Monday, July 7, 2014


Spring breezes —

How'd I'd love to throw a ball

Over a grassy field.

After killing

The spider, what loneliness —

The cold of night.

Trampling through

Insect cries, I create

A path through the fields.

Columbia, 2013
Donald Keene
Masaoka Shiki (1867 ~ 1902)
haiku / tanka master
cover self portrait watercolor
translations by Burton Watson
baseball lover; prolonged spinal illness
the last 7 years of Shiki's life were confined to his sickbed
when he wrote the majority of his work
leaving behind at his death at 35
22 volumes of writing
each book is 500 pages long
Shiki is buried in the cemetery of Tairyu-ji
a temple in the Tabata Section of Tokyo


ACravan said...

This is very exciting. I had no idea that Donald Keene had recently published a biography of Shiki, who I discovered through Janine Beichman's excellent short study. I cannot wait to read this. Curtis

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

And Curtis, you'll be in heaven since there is nothing quite like the steady eye of Keene with the translations of Burton Watson. However, the story is tragic.

all's well, Bob