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The Penguin Book of Haiku


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First Penguin volume of best Japanese haiku vivid translations.

About the Author

Adam L. Kern studied Japanese literature at Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations before joining the faculty for nearly a decade. In Japan, he has been affiliated with the University of Kyoto, the University of Tokyo and the National Institute of Japanese Literature. Kern teaches Japanese literature and visual culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Adam L. Kern's authoritative new anthology challenges the myth of haiku as a monkish meditation on the natural world ... What we get is a cultural history of Japan up to the end of the 19th century condensed into verse ... This feast-like anthology reminds us that poets excelled at social media long before the "floating world" of the internet -- Jeremy Noel-Tod * The Times *
This collection will appeal to the general reader as well as the academic. Kern's impressive research and copious annotations will give the scholar plenty to digest, but the lay reader can equally delight in a collection that truly revolutionizes the schoolbook image of haiku ... With this new collection, haiku stands poised and ready for its reintroduction to the world of literature * Japan Times *
This is not your grandma's haiku book. It is bound to ruffle many feathers with its insistence on distinguishing between pre-modern haiku as a communal art of linked comic verse and the modern invention of 'haiku' as a Zen-inspired minimalist stand-alone poem of seventeen syllables ... After word of this book gets out, the English-language practice and study of haiku will never be the same -- Jay Rubin
The Penguin Book of Haiku is an amazing collection of haiku and senryu and related verse. This collection spans the entire range of poetry from the bawdy to the sublime, giving this book more diversity than any other book of haiku I have read. * Frogpond (vol 41, issue no.3) *
An eye-opening introduction ... Adam L. Kern's translations, commentaries and unabashed selections bring fresh insight to the old 'game' of haiku, a collaborative poetic form distinct from the standalone 'haiku' the world knows today ... In reasserting the relevance of haiku in all its incarnations variously serious, crude and comic, Kern does the haiku-loving world a great service and gives us all a good laugh at the same time * Japan Journal *
One of the most enjoyable reads I've had lately, and now readers can see what haiku really was like and what it can do. Kern is a marvellous translator ... The illustrations further add to the enjoyment. It's a book that should be in the library of anyone who loves Japanese literature * Asian Review of Books *
For anyone even remotely interested in the origins of haiku and the claims of tradition [...] this extraordinary tome is a must-read * Modern Haiku *

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