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Forest of Eyes

One of Japan's most important modern poets, Tada Chimako (1930-2003) gained prominence in her native country for her sensual, frequently surreal poetry and fantastic imagery. Although Tada's writing is an essential part of postwar Japanese poetry, her use of themes and motifs from European, Near Eastern, and Mediterranean history, mythology, and literature, as well as her sensitive explorations of women's inner lives make her very much a poet of the world. "Forest of Eyes" offers English-language readers their first opportunity to read a wide selection from Tada's extraordinary oeuvre, including nontraditional free verse, poems in the traditional forms of tanka and haiku, and prose poems. Translator Jeffrey Angles introduces this collection with an incisive essay that situates Tada as a poet, explores her unique style, and analyzes her contribution to the representation of women in postwar Japanese literature.
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Table of Contents

Translator's Acknowledgments Note on the Translation Introduction From Fireworks (1956) From The Gladiator's Arena (1960) From Universe of the Rose (1964) From The Town of Mirrors, or Forest of Eyes (1968) From A False Record of Ages (1971) From The Four-Faced Path (1975) From A Spray of Water: Tanka (1975) From Lotophagi (1980) From Ceremonial Fire (1986) From Along the Riverbank (1998) From The Land of the Long River (2) From A Souvenir of Wind: Haiku (2003) From Upon Breaking the Seal (2004) From Person of the Playful Sta: Tanka (2005) Translator's Notes Chronology Selected Works Index of Titles and First Lines

About the Author

The writing of Tada Chimako (1930-2003) is crucial to understanding modern Japanese poetry although her work is situated outside the poetic mainstream. A solitary visionary, Tada is uniquely admired in Japan for her poems, essays, and translations. Withdrawing to Kobe after the publication of her first collection, she spent most of her life close to nature, far from Tokyo, Japan's literary epicenter. Writing poetry in both traditional Japanese forms and Western free verse and prose poetry, Tada is known as a poet of intellect and erudition but also as one of sensuality and emotion. Jeffrey Angles is Associate Professor at Western Michigan University. He is coeditor, with J. Thomas Rimer, of Japan: A Traveler's Literary Companion. He has won translation grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the PEN Club of America.


"At its best, literary translation offers something that was not there before. Angles has given readers a major poet not previously apparent in English. His translation will have the honor of leading a generation of new readers to discover the work of Tada Chimako." -- Charles Martin American Poet "A unique and most welcome publication." -- Yasuko Claremont Japanese Studies "Chimako's extraordinary imagery is reflected in this wide-ranging collection of her work, which explores women's sensuality and emotion. This is the first English translation of her work and includes translated and traditional Japanese versions of haiku and tanka." Foreword Footnotes "The three [volumes] together form the finale to a singular body of poetry that has been finely chosen, sensitively introduced and admirably translated by Jeffrey Angles in this selection." Japan Times "All in all this book provides a well-rounded look at an important modern Japanese poet." Translation Review "With its careful annotations and notes, this work should serve scholars of contemporary literature very well, but it should also appeal to a wider audience of poetry lovers everywhere". Journal Of Asian Stds

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