Sunday, December 5, 2010



This is one of my favorite poets, always was, always will be.

I found his work when a very young man in Gary Snyder's
The Back Country and nothing in poetry for me has ever been the same. I loved dearly the Han-Shan translated by Snyder in Riprap, though nothing touched me as fully as the Kenji.

It was the story behind the poems and the man, the story felt within the pulse of the poems. I went and found every book I could find translated into English for years to come. I'm still looking.

I may still get Hiro Sato, the kind one, to one day allow one of his Kenji stories or group of poems to be published. Gerry Hausman did send to us a beautiful little group he translated with a Japanese friend. We put that into a glove of golden papers.

Miyazawa was born in Hanamaki, Iwate, Japan in 1896 and passed away in the same place 37 years later . Even struggling for years with pleurisy he hiked the fields he loved.

This poem has been in my tool room so long I had completely forgotten it was there. It's right even with the vise.


photo © bob arnold