The Illusions of Self: Tanka by Takuboku Ishikawa, with notes and commentary (Paperback)

The Illusions of Self: Tanka by Takuboku Ishikawa, with notes and commentary Cover Image
By Ishikawa Takuboku, Roger Pulvers (Translator)
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Roger Pulvers' translations - with detailed notes and commentary - of Japan's greatest tanka poet, Takuboku Ishikawa, is now available here for the first time in this volume. Each tanka - a poem that in Japanese has thirty-one syllables - is a microcosm of the human psyche, revealing astounding insights into human behaviors, love (and hate) relationships, as well as social and political circumstances that presage our own times.

In his short life (1886-1912) Takuboku experienced many loves, a tumultuous marriage, fatherhood of three children, one of whom died shortly after birth, a brilliant career as a journalist and wildly popular poet, not to mention a political awakening that was leading him onto the path of the revolutionary.

In "Old Love Letters," he writes ...

There are so many spelling mistakes

In those old love letters.

I never noticed until now.

In "The New Year" ...

Will this year be like all others

With my mind conjuring only things

That the world will not accept?

And in "The Patient" ...

One push of the door, a single step

And the corridor seems to stretch

As far as the eye can see.

Pulvers writes in The Illusions of Self ...

Takuboku puts every aspect of his character on the line for us to judge. Japan today craves writers who have the integrity of self-expression and the clarity of vision on their society that Takuboku expresses to us. In the mirror of his works, we are compelled to see our own face in a clear and honest light.

Of these translations, distinguished author and translator of American literature Motoyuki Shibata has written: "These masterful translations will be a revelation for lovers of Takuboku's poetry while, at the same time, comprising a stylish introduction to those who wish to know it."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781911221869
ISBN-10: 1911221868
Publisher: Balestier Press
Publication Date: November 15th, 2020
Pages: 140
Language: English