Ishikawa Takuboku

* Books of Poetry (alphabetical). * Time Line. * Books.

Attributes Of Ishikawa Takuboku's Tanka

Attributes of his tanka:

These tanka were immediately popular.

His content is a relief from the sweetness of too many tanka.

Books of Ishikawa Takuboku's Tanka

Poems To Eat (translation by Carl Sesar)
(printed 1966 in Japan and 1998 in USA)

Three parts:

In his introduction, Sesar writes that Takuboku's style is to have each tanka be:

a strict report of events taking place in one's emotional life ... a straightforward diary. This means it's going to be fragmentary, it can't have a unity or a coherence.

Literary critic Donald Keene writes (on the rear cover):

The original texts are among the most popular poems ever composed in Japan, and yet Sesar renders them so perfectly in language and feeling that one might think this was a collection of his own poetry. This book is the best possible introduction to Takuboku — and to his translator.

Sesar translates with extremely short lines so a syllabic Westerner might "consider" them senryu. But they seem so rich that I am content to call them tanka as that is what Takubuku called them.


Time Line

See Takuboku at wikipedia for more info.

Born 20 February 1886 as Ishikawa Hajime (later taking a pseudonym for publications) in Northern Japan.

Published Ichiakuno suna (A Handful of Sand) .

Died 13 April 1912, age 26.
Posthumous publication of Kanashiki gangu (Sad (or Grieving) Toys).

Poems To Eat (translation by Carl Sesar) published in Japan.

Poems To Eat (translation by Carl Sesar) published in USA.


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