Peter Beilenson, founder of Peter Pauper Press and student of famed typographic artist Frederic W. Goudy, translated and designed this volume with an eye to creating a beautiful and accessible introduction to haiku. This approachable rendition of the poetry Peter loved was crafted with the hope of sparking greater interest in this spare poetic form. We invite you to enjoy each luminous verse.
The Four Seasons: Japanese Haikuby Peter Beilenson
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Step into a series of dazzling, funny, melancholy, and joyous moments with this collection of haiku masterworks. Beloved translator Peter Beilenson’s goals were twofold: to craft a book of haiku accessible to anyone, and to render his best guess at what the poets would have written in English. His translations preserve the sublime spirit of each verse, conjuring vivid visual and emotional impressions in spare words.
Haiku icon Basho is represented amply here, as are imagery-virtuoso Buson and wry, warm, painfully human Issa. The verses of Shiki, Joso, Kyorai, Kikaku, Chora, Gyodai, Kakei, Izen, and others also appear, all illuminated by lovely woodblock prints. Filled with witty surprises (<i>Hazy ponded moon/And pale night sky are broken…/Bungling black frog</i> –Buson), fond musings (<i>Rainy afternoon…/Little daughter, you will never/Teach that cat to dance</i> –Issa), and pensive marveling (<i>Here is the dark tree/Denuded now of leafage…/But a million stars</i> –Shiki), this collection will stir your senses and your heart.
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