Seasons and Landscapes in Japanese Poetry: An Introduction to haiku and waka

Author: Marra, Micheal J.
Year:2009
Pages:312
ISBN:0-7734-4907-8
978-0-7734-4907-7
Price:249.95
This work is an anthology of nearly 500 translated poems, many available in English for the first time, from the eighth to twentieth centuries.

Reviews

“. . . one of the most meticulously prepared, and most innovative, collections of translations ever published in English. . . . by means of notes and commentaries, the reader will be able to grasp the various ways in which both the original and the subsequent Japanese readers of these poems have been able to derive complex and sophisticated levels of meaning from what may appear on the surface to be straightforward, rather lyrical statements about nature and the seasons. Prof. Marra makes a compelling case for our need to understand the nature of this expansion of poetic possibilities, which ranges from intent on one end of the spectrum to word games and hidden humor on the other. In this regard, Prof. Marra’s study provides readers with a liberating energy when they approach these often deceptively simple poems. . . . I know of no other anthology in English with the range and ambition of this collection. ” – Prof. J. Thomas Rimer, University of Pittsburgh

“Marra’s discerning selection of examples his careful annotations open the way to a sophisticated understanding of the way the Japanese poets use linguistic features to create semantic complexity.” – Prof. Janet R. Goodwin, University of Southern California

“Poetic traditions in East Asia can hardly be understood without appreciation for the things we typically refer to in modern shorthand as “nature”: landscapes, fauna, weather, the cycles of time that determine fecundity and decrepitude, life and death. And yet “nature” presented by poetry could not, in fact, be more artificial—an assortment of beautiful stylizations derived from individual, or, more prevalently, communal sensibilities/. It is precisely this artifice that—the exquisitely wrought perceptual template long imposed by waka on the natural world—that Prof. Marra illuminates in this volume. . . . Marra’s translations are elegant, accurate, at times ingenious, and the inclusion of a Romanized version of the original will be of assistance to students of classical Japanese grammar.” – Prof. Jason Webb, University of Tokyo

Table of Contents

Foreword by J. Thomas Rimer
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Lunar Months
Spring
Summer
Autumn
Winter
Glossary
Bibliography
Index of First Lines
Index