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Table of Contents

XV:3, October, 2000

LYNX  
A Journal for Linking Poets    
 
   
  In this issue of Lynx you will find book reviews or mentions of:

Oriori no Uta (Poems for All Seasons) ďoka Makato. Translated by Janine Beichman. Kodansha Bilingual Books, Japan: 2000. ISBN:4-7700-2380-4. Perfect bound with dust jacket, 4.5 " x 7.5", 300 pages, Yen 1300.

Ry˘kan: Selected Tanka Haiku translated by Sanford Goldstein, Shigeo Mizuguchi and Fujisato Kitajima with drawings by Kazuaki Wakui. ISBN: 4-87499-574-8C0092, perfect bound with dust jacket, 7.5" x 5", 220 pages, Yen:2000. K˘kod˘ Co., 4 Furumachi-d˘ri, Niigata, Japan 951-8063. Fax:81-25 224-8654.

The Perfect Worry-Stone: haiku, senryu, tanka by Francine Porad. Vandina Press, 6944 SE 33rd, Mercer Island, WA 98040-3324. Saddle stapled, 8.5" x 5.5", 30 pages, $6.50.

The Wail of Gaea by Fujio Tachibana. AHA Books Online at http://www.ahapoetry.
com/wail.htm

Dah Vjecnosti - Breath of Eternity by Marijan Cekolj. Book # 28 from the series of publication by the Croatian Haiku Poets Association. ISBN: 953-6677-12-1, perfect bound, 8" x 5.5", 200 pages, color illustrations of paintings by Vesna Cekolj, bilingual. Write to Marijan Cekolj, Smerovisce 24, 41430 Samobor, Croatia for prices and payment policies.

Spindrift by Edward Baranosky. Saddle-stapled, 8,5 x 5.5", 40 pages, illustrated, US $5.00 or Canadian $7.00 postpaid. Order from EAB Publications, 115 Parkside Drive, Toronto, Ont., M6R-2Y8, Canada.

For My Brother Victor  & Elsa His Wife by Gerard John Conforti. AHA Books Online at: http://www.ahapoetry.
com/conforbk.htm

Young Leaves: An old way of seeing new; Writings on Haiku in English, compiled to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Edited by Patricia J. Machmiller and June Hopper Hymas. Perfect bound, 11" x 8", 130 pages, archive photos, $19.50 plus US postage of $3.50 or $5.00 elsewhere. Order with checks on American banks made out to the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, from Jean Hale, 20711 Garden Place Court, Cupertino, CA 95014.

Haiku International 2000 by the Haiku International Association of Japan. Preface by the President, Kogure Gohei, Editor: Nagato Ryűtar˘, Translation by Kinuko and Richard Jambor perfect bound with dust jacket, 7.5" x 5", 208 pages, published on June 30th, 2000, US$27.00 or Yen 2,857. Contact distributor: Librairie Nagata 3-7-13, Takaban, Meguro, Tokyo, 152-0004 Japan, or fax the Haiku International Association at 03-5228-9004.

Toetssteen / Keywords by Gerla Brakkee, Fred Flohr, Wilhelm Haupt, Emile Mollhuysen, Jan-Berger Troost, Max Verhart, Armold Vermeeren. To quote from the Colophon: This volume of 7 x 7 cm (2.5" x 2.5"), designed by Emile Molhuysen, printed by Wim Lofvers, and multiplied by Dieuwke Meichers was bound by the poets in 400 numbered copies during the spring of 2000. The type is 6 and 9 points Humanist, on ivory papers. The booklet can be ordered from Wim Lofvers, Rijsterdijk 25, 8574 VW Bakhuisen, The Netherlands, fax (0031) 0514 582083 for $5.00 postpaid sent in bills not checks.

Oneself: Haiku by Poets from Rochester, New York by Pamela A. Babusci, Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa, Donatella Cardillo-Young, Michael Ketchek, Tom Painting, Sue-Stapleton Tkach with cover art by Pamela A. Babusci, designed by Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa with a foreword by Michael Ketchek. Saddle-stapled, 12 pages, $5.00 postpaid. Order from Tom Painting, 40 Huntington Hills, Rochester, NY 14622.

HAIBUN:Wort und Bild von Vladimir Devide und Nada Ziljak. Galerija S'IVAN ZELINA., 1999, Hardcover 6" x 11" , 80 Seiten., farbige Illustrationen. Contactpersonen: Vladimir Devide, Vinogradska 10, 1000 Zagreb, Croatia.

    BOOK REVIEWS
Jane & Werner Reichhold

Oriori no Uta (Poems for All Seasons) ďoka Makato. Translated by Janine Beichman. Kodansha Bilingual Books, Japan: 2000. ISBN: 4-7700-2380-4. Perfect bound with dust jacket, 4.5 " x 7.5", 300 pages, Yen 1300.

Since January 25th, 1979, ďoka Makato has written a column for the front page of the Asahi Newspaper (one of Japan's leading papers) on and about poetry. In each column he selects either a short poem or a few lines from a longer poem and then explains his choice and clarifies any unusual terms or difficult phrases. For the past ten years Janine Beichman has translated the column into English. In the interest of international poetry, ďoka is attempting to break out of the superficial boundaries that divide poetry genres, especially in Japan into the camps of the tanka and haiku writers. His idea is that poetry is poetry is poetry and the quicker these artificial borders disappear, the better the poetry and its appreciation will become. With this selection, made by the editors of Kodansha International, he says that they wanted to submit a compendium of Japanese literature ranging from Chinese classics to folk songs and modern poetry. Especially they wanted to appeal to young readers, but there is a wealth of interest and enjoyment for readers of any age.

The son of a tanka poet, ďoka is at home with all the Japanese genres and his commentary reads, at times, almost like poetry. The excellent translations are by Janine Beichman, who has aimed at concise, accurate, minimal rendition of the poems and the commentaries.

The poems are arranged by seasons. On the left-hand page is the kanji version, written in lines that reflect the sound unit counts with generous spacing. Under the kanji is written the romaji. In the box below, in kanji, are ďoka's comments. On the right-hand page is the poem or poem selection written with the author's name below. In the box below that is the English translation of the comments. In the back of the book, on facing pages are brief but adequate Japanese and English biographies of the authors. The range of selections extends from poems taken from the Man'y˘shű (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves), the first imperial anthology of Japanese poetry, to works from living poets. The majority of the picks are either haiku or tanka with these genre sharing about equally.

Honored to be included in this elite collection is Hatsue Kawamura. Her chosen poem:

tsutsumashiki
gishiki no gotoku
asanasana
ringo ikko wo
tsuma to wakateri

each morning
in humble ceremony
between us we
divide a single apple:
my husband and I

To quote the complete commentary from Oriori no Uta written by ďoka Makoto:

"From Kujakuao, 1994. This is the third collection of tanka in Japanese by a writer who occupies a central position in both the creation and study of tanka in English. For her most recent book Tanka no Miryoku (The Appeal of English Tanka), she received two prizes. She has also made notable contributions as translator of Aston's and Chamberlain's histories of Japanese literature and Waley's critical works on classical Japanese poetry. Another tanka by her is: "I bought a chopping board / of cypress from Shimokita / and at night / the autumn water quietly / flowed down its sides" (shimokita no / hiba no manaita / kaishi yo wa / shizuka ni aki no / mizu nagashi ori). Her poetry combines a reverence for everyday life with a refreshingly down-to-earth feeling."

It has been interesting to watch the development of Janine Beichman from translator-scholar in her handling of the haiku in her book, Masaoka Shiki (Kodansha:1982) and her now more experienced translations of tanka and modern poetry in Poems for All Seasons.

Ry˘kan: Selected Tanka Haiku translated by Sanford Goldstein, Shigeo Mizuguchi and Fujisato Kitajima with drawings by Kazuaki Wakui. ISBN: 4-87499-574-8C0092, perfect bound with dust jacket, 7.5" x 5", 220 pages, Yen:2000. K˘kod˘ Co., 4 Furumachi-d˘ri, Niigata, Japan 951-8063. Fax:81-25 224-8654.

Ry˘kan, (1758 - 1831) has always had enormous appeal for the Japanese, and now with this translation and generous introduction to the man and his work, English readers can expand the horizons of their understanding of Japanese poetry, culture and religion. Though, at the time Ry˘kan lived, he was an itinerant monk, living often in barely minimal housing, begging daily for his food, his poetry and his examples of calligraphy but especially his spirit carried by these media, show a man of exquisite taste and spirituality. Thus, the admiration for his life has increased with the passing of time.

wondering
how you are
these days -
a wind foretelling snow
gets colder each day

As is often with genius, Ry˘kan's life was one of contrasts. Within his deep spirituality he enjoyed playing ball with the mountain village children, he found humor in the most revered acts and beliefs. As we get more accurate translations of his poetry, as Sanford Goldstein is highly qualified to do, we find out how very 'earthy' Ry˘kan truly was.

easy it is
to express "diarrhea"
in words,
but in truth
it is really hard to bear

It seems Goldstein divides the poems into two sections: tanka and haiku and each section has its individual section of notes and commentary. The poems are presented, one to a page, with the kanji vertical on the inside margin and romaji given in three or five lines. Above this is the English printed in a large, easy to read font. As in Goldstein's other translations of Akiko Yosano, Takuboku, Mokichi Sait˘, and Masaoka Shiki, his notes and explanations of the poems are most helpful, valuable and enlightening.

In case Goldstein has been moving too fast for you to catch up with him, he has also translated novels by Ogai Mori (The Wild Goose, Vita Sexualis, Youth), Soseki Natsume's To the Spring Equinox and Beyond, Takeo Arishima's Labyrinth and Harumi Setouchi's Beauty in Disarray. His own book, At the Hut of the Small Mind is online, complete, with AHA Books. Sanford Goldstein has now been a Professor of American Literature at Keiwa College in Niigata Prefecture for the last seven years. You could not have a better guide showing you the marvels of the poetry of the crazy-like-a-fox monk Ry˘kan.

The Perfect Worry-Stone: haiku, senryu, tanka by Francine Porad. Vandina Press, 6944 SE 33rd, Mercer Island, WA 98040-3324. Saddle stapled, 8.5" x 5.5", 30 pages, $6.50.

As this is the 22nd collection Francine has published of her work, the reader has a feeling of comfort, assurance and quiet acquaintance. Her techniques are securely in place, her skill and facility seems to flow without effort even though the poems are quite polished. She portrays the life of a modern grandmother - one who thinks for herself as she finds her way among family and friends and a world still exciting and new to her.

clink of coins -
a con game
it may be but
I prefer to trust
the beggar's need

There are five more tanka in the book for you to discover for yourself.

The Wail of Gaea by Fujio Tachibana. AHA Books Online. 

 Fujio Tachibana, who is Yukiko Inoue in real life, is a professor at the University of Guam. This year she has also had published in Japanese only, in a beautiful hardcover book by Nihon Kindai Bungei-Sha where you can read more about this book and Tachibana's tanka poems.

The foreword to Tachibana's The Wail of Gaea, written by Akiko Ishimaru, Professor of Japanese Literature, Tokyo Keizai University states: "Widely different from the snugly united tanka poems, Fujio's tanka poems devotedly continue to pursue the arrogance of roses, and at the risk of her life, to involve a kind of danger and distress. Fujio has a natural talent to compose tanka poems."

shall I take off
the heavy evening gown
called Love and
wrap my naked self
in a shawl of mist?

ai to iu
omotaki doresu wo
nugi sutete
kiri no sh˘ru wo
rashin ni matou

While Fujio does not follow too closely the techniques of the other most famous Japanese tanka writers, Akkiko Yosano and Machi Tawara, her emotional stance is securely within the parameters of feeling and expose which these two pioneered in this last century. She portrays the life of a woman living alone, strong and sad, yet not to be pitied but admired. Still very young and extremely competent, her name is one to watch in the future. Competent in English, also, Yukiko Inoue has translated the poems into English herself. This online book contains both the romaji and English versions of the poems.

Dah Vjecnosti - Breath of Eternity by Marijan Cekolj. Book # 28 from the series of publication by the Croatian Haiku Poets Association. ISBN: 953-6677-12-1, perfect bound, 8" x 5.5", 200 pages, color illustrations of paintings by Vesna Cekolj, bilingual. Write to Marijan Cekolj, Smerovisce 24, 41430 Samobor, Croatia for prices and payment policies.

Marijan Cekolj, founder and president of the Croatian Haiku Poets Association, has been the fount of an astounding number of publications to acquaint the English-reading world with the haiku of the Croatians. And now Marijan brings out his own impressive collection of tanka. Most of the poems seem spoken to a lover or instructions on how to live one's life.

Sam sam nedu ljudima.
Hladnoca u kostima
i usijana dusa
zeljna ljubavnog zanosa
u danima kada te nema

(unfortunately, the critical marks cannot be reproduced here.)

I am alone among the people.
Coldness in the bones
and red-hot soul
desirous love ecstasy
in days without you

On the page across from this tanka is a swirling abstraction in hot reds, blacks with touches of spark-white which makes one wonder which came first? the painting or the poem. This book is a husband and wife team effort.

Reading all the poems one sees that Cekolj is of the school that doesn't make an attempt to construct his tanka as a bridge between nature and emotion. Following the schools in Japan that concentrate on pure emotion, Cekolj seems to have found a form for his passion. Many of the poems reveal his new understanding of life, living and loving. For example:

With the yearning
the selfishness disappeared,
and at the very peak
I've realized that love,
lover and beloved are one.

 

Spindrift by Edward Baranosky. Saddle-stapled, 8,5 x 5.5", 40 pages, illustrated, US $5.00 or Canadian $7.00 postpaid. Order from EAB Publications, 115 Parkside Drive, Toronto, Ont., M6R-2Y8, Canada.

From the Foreword: "This collection involves the appearance and disappearance of the "other"." The poetry genres are mixed between glosa, sijo, ghazal, haiku and tanka in vintage Baranosky. The series "Spindrift" in this issue of Lynx is taken from this book so you can have a generous sampling of Edward's style. Illustrations in pen and ink of swirling seas, and massive rocks, also by Edward, further animate the pages. For those of you out there, thinking of someday 'publishing a book' of your poems, you could take lessons from him on how to accomplish this feat with panache.

For My Brother Victor  & Elsa His Wife by Gerard John Conforti. AHA Books Online.

As Pamela Ness Miller so competently states in the preface: "Living for over half a century with overwhelming loss and loneliness, Gerard John Conforti turns to his powerful gift for words to write "poems gathered from my heart." In 1999, he learned that his last surviving brother, Victor, was undergoing treatment for cancer. Having already lost his brothers Eric to a traffic accident and Anthony to AIDS, Gerard reached a state of panic and despair in which only his ability to write tanka kept him in his days. " The complete preface and all of the poems by Gerard John Conforti are now offered to you for your perusal online at AHApoetry.com

 

HAIKU BOOKS

Young Leaves: An old way of seeing new; Writings on Haiku in English, compiled to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. Edited by Patricia J. Machmiller and June Hopper Hymas. Perfect bound, 11" x 8", 130 pages, archive photos, $19.50 plus US postage of $3.50 or $5.00 elsewhere. Order with checks on American banks made out to the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, from Jean Hale, 20711 Garden Place Court, Cupertino, CA 95014.

Young Leaves contains essays by Kiyoko Tokutomi, Makoto Ueda, James Hackett, Yoshiko Yoshino, Patricia Donegan, Clark Strand, George Swede, Jane Reichhold, Emiko Miyashita, Patricia Machmiller, Jerry Ball, June Hopper Hymas, Teruo Yamagata, David Wright, Patrick Gallagher, and D. Claire Gallagher. In addition, for this festive gathering, are the haiku of 56 other writers. If you weren't 'there' in these 25 years of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society's history you must have this book to see what you missed, and if you were 'there' this book surely stands with pride on your bookshelf. What a wealth of history and never-forgotten times. What a wealth of information about haiku and haiku writing. You will see the genre anew with this book.

Haiku International 2000 by the Haiku International Association of Japan. Preface by the President, Kogure Gohei, Editor: Nagato Ryűtar˘, Translation by Kinuko and Richard Jambor, perfect bound with dust jacket, 7.5" x 5", 208 pages, published on June 30th, 2000, US$27.00 or Yen 2,857. Contact distributor: Librairie Nagata 3-7-13, Takaban, Meguro, Tokyo, 152-0004 Japan, or fax the Haiku International Association at 03-5228-9004.

This is the third in the series of anthologies of haiku produced by the Haiku International Association in the past ten years of its existence. Having found a successful format and design, this book fits in on the bookshelf with the ones done in 1992 and 1995. In the beginning of the book are the haiku in kanji and English by Japanese members with two to a page. The last 30 pages are given to writer-members from other countries; again with each page bearing the work of two authors in Japanese kanji and English. The book reads like a who's who of haiku as well as showcasing the level of work done by poets in different nations.

Toetssteen / Keywords by Gerla Brakkee, Fred Flohr, Wilhelm Haupt, Emile Mollhuysen, Jan-Berger Troost, Max Verhart, Arnold Vermeeren. To quote from the Colophone: This volume of 7 x 7 cm (2.5" x 2.5"), designed by Emile Molhuysen, printed by Wim Lofvers, and multiplied by Dieuwke Meichers was bound by the poets in 400 numbered copies during the spring of 2000. The type is 6 and 9 points Hamanist, on ivory papers. The booklet can be ordered from Wim Lofvers, Rijsterdijk 25, 8574 VW Bakhuisen, The Netherlands, fax (0031) 0514 582083 for $5.00 postpaid sent in bills not checks.

For those of you interested in unusual small books this is a "must-have". I still have to figure out the intricate folds that makes each author's name appear as a tabbed table of contents and then unfolds to hold all of their poems together so you get a generous sampling of each poet's work all tied up with red string in one marvelous packet. You can read this book without a degree in origami. Poems are in both Dutch and English. The tiny, but very clear, print allows each page to surround the haiku, one to a page, with the all the empty space a poem could ever want. There is a subtle joke in the title that is 'explained' by a graphic on the cover. Hint, all of these Dutch-speaking poets are active in online poetry lists and pages where they got the idea for the book. Hint #2 - the mysteries of the folded book are Wim Lofver's idea so contact him if you wish to follow in his footsteps.

Oneself: Haiku by Poets from Rochester, New York by Pamela A. Babusci, Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa, Donatella Cardillo-Young, Michael Ketchek, Tom Painting, Sue-Stapleton Tkach with cover art by Pamela A. Babusci, designed by Mary Lou Bittle-DeLapa with a foreword by Michael Ketchek. Saddle-stapled, 12 pages, $5.00 postpaid. Order from Tom Painting, 40 Huntington Hills, Rochester, NY 14622.

We have been so often told haiku should be written as if the author did not exist and if there must be one, the person should be covered up, hidden and disguised. This group has made a strike for honesty and freedom by publishing a collection of haiku that say, loudly and clearly, "I am!"

HAIBUN:Wort und Bild von Vladimir Devide und Nada Ziljak. Galerija S'IVAN ZELINA., 1999, Hardcover 6" x 11", 80 Seiten., farbige Illustrationen. Contactpersonen: Vladimir Devide, Vinogradska 10, 1000 Zagreb, Croatia.

Vladimir Devide ist ein wohlbekannter Dichter in Europa. Er Řberraschte uns 1997 mit einem in Leinen gebundenen Band seiner Haibun, sehr kŘnstlerisch farbig illustriert von Nada Yiljak. Nun hat er, kaum zu glauben, eine ▄bersetzung ins deutsche, wiederum als hardcover, herausbringen lassen. Professor Devide schreibt eine vorzŘgliche Prosa und Řberblendet die Texte mit seinen besten Haiku und anderen Gedichtformen. Immer entsteht dabei ein in sich poetisch vollkommen neues, selbstńndiges Gebilde. Es sollte niemanden wundern zu sehen, da▀ Devide's poetische Ideen nicht nur in Europa Schule machen werden. Seine Arbeiten bieten Anregungen in HŘlle und FŘlle. Man ist gespannt, ob auch in Europa sich Schriftsteller finden werden, die Prosa und Gedicht, ńhnlich wie wir es in den USA erlebten, mit mehreren Personen gemeinsam schreiben werden mit dem Ziel, symbiotische Dichtung weiter zu entwickeln.

 

 

   
   
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The deadline for Lynx is Jan. 1, 2001

  Copyright ę AHA Books 2000.

Table of Contents for LYNX XV-3 October, 2000
Read the previous issue of LYNX XV-2 June, 2000

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