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November 4th, 2018

I am pleased to announce the publication of Ice Melts in the Wind: The Seasonal Poems of the Kokinshu, another collection of translations of classical Japanese poetry. Some of you may remember the drafts posted in this journal (linked here) — these have been revised and edited and otherwise swotted into shape. Full description:
“Japanese poetry takes the human heart as its seed, and has innumerable words as its leaves.”

The Kokinshu, compiled around 905 C.E. in 20 thematic books, was the first imperial anthology of Japanese poetry. It defined the acceptable topics, diction, imagery, and style of court poetry for the next thousand years. Haiku poets took many cues from this tradition, including giving primacy to seasonal imagery.

Ice Melts in the Wind is an exciting new translation of the six books of seasonal poems, depicting the progression from New Year’s Day through spring cherry blossoms and summer cuckoo songs to autumn’s colorful leaves and winter snow, ending again with the New Year. Japanese text and commentary is included for every poem, along with brief biographies of all named poets.

    The water I cupped
in my hands, drenching my sleeves,
    has long been frozen—
today, with the start of spring,
will it melt in the wind?
Ice Melts in the Wind


Plus there’s occasional seasonal Japanese woodblock prints, for those who enjoy them.

Available in both paper and electronic editions from all the usual fine retailers: print | Kindle | Nook | Kobo | Smashwords | et cetera | as well as orderable through your local bookstore (ISBN 9781728826417).

If you do read it, please consider reviewing or at least rating. Every tick-mark counts. Review copies can be arranged.

—L.

Originally posted at https://larryhammer.dreamwidth.org/702588.html (where it has comment count unavailable comments). You can comment here or there.