Books by Miyuki Aoyama

Released: Oct. 1, 1999

Masters of Modern Japanese Poetry ($39.95; Oct.; 192 pp.; 0-9645356-8-8): A bilingual (facing pages) edition of contemporary Japanese verse, in this case accompanied by two compact discs recording that verse as spoken by its translators and authors. The entire project was overseen by Tanikawa, himself one of the leading literary figures of modern Japan, whose organizing principles were modest. —I did not intend to map out modern Japanese poetry,— he maintains in the introduction. —I simply wanted to choose poets according to my personal taste.— The six represented—Yukio Tsuji, Kiyoko Nagase, Rin Ishigaki, Michio Mado, Hiromi Itoh, and Tanikawa himself—range in age from 90 to 44. While there is a considerable stylistic variation, they all have an intensely interior voice (—There is where the sound of waves of the blue sky is heard / it seems as if I—d come away / leaving some unimaginable thing / At a station clearly in the past / I stood at a window for lost articles / and felt much sadder than before—) that's far more meditative and less narrative than even the loosest free verse Western ears are accustomed to. The CDs are a nice addition. Read full book review >