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100 Poems from the Japanese [Kindle Edition]

Kenneth Rexroth
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It is remarkable that any Westerner—even so fine a poet as Kenneth Rexroth—could have captured in translation so much of the subtle essence of classic Japanese poetry: the depth of controlled passion, the austere elegance of style, the compressed richness of imagery.


The poems are drawn chiefly from the traditional Manyoshu, Kokinshu and Hyakunin Isshu collections, but there are also examplaes of haiku and other later forms. The sound of the Japanese texts i reproduced in Romaji script and the names of the poets in the calligraphy of Ukai Uchiyama. The translator's introduction gives us basic background on the history and nature of Japanese poetry, which is supplemented by notes on the individual poets and an extensive bibliography.

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Synopsis

A collection of Japanese poems accompanied by their English translations.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAGNIFICENT INTRODUCTION TO JAPANESE POETRY 3 Sept. 2003
Format:Paperback
(A review by Luciano Lupini). This is one of the greatest "small" books I have ever read. Rexroth conveys a good bird's eye view of classical japanese poetry, with poems selected and translated by him, mostly from the Manyoshu (A.D. 759) and Kokinshu (A.D. 905)compilations.
You will be surprised by the intensity and sensibility that these short poems reflect. Also you will be delighted to read the different depictions of states of mind and heart in this poetry which will eerely convey the atemporal dimension of sorrow, pain, joy and appeasement to the contemporary human being.
A sample of what to expect:
"The flowers whirl away
In the wind like snow.
The thing that falls away
Is myself....."(Prime Minister Kintsune)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection of quiet intensity 24 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
He has gathered a wonderful collection of quiet often powerful poems. I used to always keep a copy at my desk at work when I needed a break from programming. I think everyone who loves poetry should have a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rexroth's Japan 28 Dec. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've long had a "thing" for oriental poetry and Rexroth's translations do not disappoint. Not every poem in this collection is of interest (to me at least) but they give a good glimpse at a poetic tradition I had not sampled before. The translations of Hitomaro at the end are worth the price of admission in themselves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smashing book, great poetry 18 Jun. 2015
By TH
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a lovely book, and Rexroth's translations are wonderful. You really get that lovely feel that Japanese poetry has to it with this book.
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