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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 1 Jan 2013
This review is from: Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan (Paperback)
This is an excellent collection of poems and anecdotes by and about the Zen Buddhist monk, hermit, poet and calligrapher Ryōkan (1758-1831 CE) who, along with Basho, Buson, and Issa, is regarded as one of the greatest poets of the Edo Period (1603 - 1868 CE). This work by Kazuaki Tanahashi (who is an accomplished Japanese calligrapher, Zen teacher, author and translator), is a most welcome addition to the works available by and about Ryokan.

Tanahashi provides a useful biography of Ryokan, placing him in his time and context; a selection of poems (more than 140), divided into various periods in Ryokan's life (with explanatory notes where required); a collection of anecdotes about Ryokan; and a look at both Ryokan's poetic forms and calligraphy (including a number of illustrations).

Here is one of Ryokan's haiku to whet your appetite:

Falling blossoms.
Blossoms in bloom are also
falling blossoms.

Tanahashi has produced a great collection. I only wish it could have been a larger collection but I guess until there is a readily available "Complete, Fully Illustrated, Ryokan Collection" we fans will continue to derive great pleasure from the various shorter collections available.

Also of interest may be One Robe, One Bowl: The Zen Poetry of Ryokan and The Great Fool: Zen Master Ryokan - Poems, Letters and Other Writings, both of which I also recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pared Zen master poems, with excellent notes, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan (Paperback)
straight to the point
now hitting the keyboard
Ryokan at my side
and I at his
no-one there
the wind dropping rain on the widowpane
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for all levels of poem readers, 13 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan (Paperback)
The writer was a very creative and warm person. The poems are so special and they really touch our hearts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity, 28 Jan 2014
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Ms. Kathleen Brady (UK) - See all my reviews
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Simple and profound, spacious and uplifting. Would recommend to anybody needing some spiritual nourishment. Ryokan is a recent discovery for which I am truly grateful.
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Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan
Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan by Kazuaki Tanahashi (Paperback - 9 Oct 2012)
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