October 10th, 2006

Egrets Reading

A Long Rainy Season

Today I received a copy of a long rainy season edited by leza lowitz, miyuki aoyama, and akemi tomioka in the mail.

An unexpected perk of buying an inexpensive used copy through Amazon was that I received a book signed by Leza Lowitz, inscribed "for August - for all seasons! with admiration & gratitude, Leza".

So, I don't know if this means she signed the book for a woman named "August" or simply signed the book in the month of August. (I'm leaning towards the woman named August theory.).

It's a volume of contemporary Japanese women's poetry -- half of the book is haiku and the other half is tanka, with translations of haiku by Nobuko Katsura, Kimiko Itami, Sonoko Nakamura, Teiko Inahata, Kiyoko Uda, Kōko Katō, Keiko Itō and tanka by Ei Akitsu, Motoko Michiura, Meiko Matsudaira, Yūko Kawano, Fumi Saitō, Chicko Yamanaka, Amari Hayashi, and Machi Tawara.

Here's the title poem by Nobuko Katsura:

The nuisance
of breasts --
a long rainy season

--Nobuko Katsura

I enjoyed the haiku more than the tanka in this anthology - a lot of the tanka seemed more "shock value" than reflective IMO. However, it's still worth checking out, there are some real gems in this collection in both sections of the book.

Washing and combing
the smell of tear gas
from my black hair--
I go out
to see him

--Motoko Michiura