Embodied among travel sketches and portraits of people and places visited during his 1988 stay in Japan on a Japan-U.S. Fellowship, Sam Hamill presents a reading of Japanese poetry beginning with the eighteenth-century anthology, Man'yoshu, tracing the development of the Japanese poetic imagination up through the seventeenth-century poet Bash , the eighteenth-century monk/poet Ry kan, and concluding with Japan's first Mondernist poet, Takamura Kotar . Visiting places in Japan's north country where Bash traveled three hundred years ago, Hamill drawns upon his own zen practice of twenty-five years, and upon his lifelong study of Asian literature, encountering some of Japan's foremost poets, introducing them as he would old friends met along a great journey.
Bash 's Ghost is a literary exegesis located in personal memoir, a .deep reading. performed with translucent grace, often poignant and always revealing. It is a true poet's book, a book of the heart.
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