Beneath the Sleepless Tossing of the Planets

Beneath the Sleepless Tossing of the Planets : Selected Poems

3.5 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by  , Other 
3.5 (4 ratings by Goodreads)

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One of the most important poets of contemporary Japan, Makoto Ōoka's works continue to resonate powerfully among readers today. He speaks to the spirit, not of Japan and the Japanese, but of humanity, and of the world we are a part of.

This new edition brings together some of his best work in English translation by Janine Beichman, who worked with Ōoka for many years. Also included are the original Japanese poems, the author's own calligraphy and drafts, and selected photographs from his personal life...
a book to be savored for a depth and beauty that surpasses any single cultural identity.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 11mm | 249g
  • English
  • 19 Illustrations; Illustrations, black and white; 19 Illustrations; Illustrations, black and white
  • 4902075954
  • 9784902075953
  • 1,495,851

Review quote of Japan's most celebrated artists and intellectuals.
--The New York Times Ōoka Makoto is a distinguished poet... [and] a major critic of poetry, perhaps the finest in Japan
--Donald Keene How young and fresh these poems of Ōoka are! Full of joy and excitement, they fuse the ancient tradition of Japanese poetry with the modernism and surrealism of the West. Through Beichman's translucent translations, polished over 25 years, they are now given a new life for all of us to share on this sleepless and tossing planet.
--Yasuhiro Yotsumoto, poet, Hagiwara Sakutarō Award The kinship of voice and temperament between poet and translator gives outstanding value to these translations. Spanning most of Ōoka Makoto's career, they illumine the richness of his oeuvre. Ōoka's spirit is vividly alive here. Coming so close to this poet's very essence is an overwhelming experience.
--Masaya Saito, poet, author of Snow Bones, Asahi Haiku Shinjin Award for haiku sequence "Gasshō" (Hands Together in Prayer) Many of Ōoka Makoto's poems are short and condensed; while they come across as philosophical, surrealistic, and nonchalant at the same time, in many cases they also straightforwardly describe a reality. They exist in the space between classical tanka and haiku poetry and modernist poetry of the Imagists. Janine Beichman, who is a poet and scholar of Japanese literature, delves deeply into the inner world of the poet and his works. Her translation brings out the profound insight hidden in the poems, casting a brilliant light on the skills the poet consciously develops to create his unique texts.
--Noriko Mizuta, poet, Cikada Prize in Poetry, Director of International Institute for Media and Women's Studies Ōoka Makoto was a distinguished critic of Japanese poetry and a superb poet himself.
He drew on both the centuries-old traditions of the Japanese waka and twentieth-century Western poetry, from surrealism to high modernism. In this collection, he is well served once again by the highly skillful translations of Dr. Janine Beichman, who worked with him closely during his lifetime. Dr. Beichman's English versions are faithful to the originals and at the same time creative in finding new means of expressing the spirit of the poems. It has been said that "It takes a poet to translate poetry," and this splendid collection is evidence of that.
--Paul McCarthy, Professor Emeritus, Surugadai University, Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature Through the richness of Ooka's work we find once again the abundance of our spiritual and natural heritage
--Shuntarō Tanikawa
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3.5 out of 5 stars
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