Written on the Sky: Poems from the Japanese

Front Cover
New Directions Publishing, Apr 21, 2009 - Poetry - 90 pages
0 Reviews

“Rexroth’s readings from the Japanese master poets are breathtaking in their simplicity and clarity.”—The New York Times

I go out of the darkness
Onto a road of darkness
Lit only by the far off
Moon on the edge of the mountains.
—Izumi Shikobu

Over the years, thousands of readers have discovered the beauty of classic Japanese poetry through the superb English versions by the great American poet Kenneth Rexroth. Mostly haiku, these poems range from the classical and medieval to modern poetry, with an emphasis on folk songs and love lyrics. Because women played such an outstanding role in Japanese literature, included here are selections from their work, including the contemporary, deeply sensuous Marichiko. This elegant, beautifully designed gift book of poems spanning many centuries presents the original texts in romanji, the transliteration into the Western alphabet.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2009)

Poet-essayist Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982) was a high-school dropout, disillusioned ex-Communist, pacifist, anarchist, rock-climber, critic and translator, mentor, Catholic-Buddhist spiritualist and a prominent figure of San Francisco's Beat scene. He is regarded as a central figure of the San Francisco Renaissance and is among the first American poets to explore traditional Japanese forms such as the haiku.

Bibliographic information