Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology

The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology by Faubion Bowers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a 'thing' for Dover Press books, as well as haiku, so this was doubly fun to read. Dover books are often so well done for so little cost that they are like bop trio versions of big band standards. Informative introduction by Bowers, with many a helpful footnote on both biographical details and cultural context that reveal more than I can gather from the poems alone. This was also great for introducing me to haikai masters other than Basho, such as Buddhist nun Chiyo-ni (Kaga no Chiyo) (1703-1775) and Uejima Onitsura (1661 – 1738). Plus, for some of the poems, more than one translation is offered, which is a delight to see. Finally I also enjoyed the transliterations, giving a sense of the 5-7-5 sound in the original Japanese. There are even 'outliers' of 7-7-5 that make the grade. I will leave my opinion on haiku written in English for another time, heh.

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