Friday, October 14, 2005

A Morning Glory; Another Book Review

This is by Emiko Miyashita, whom I met at the HNA conference. Ms. Miyashita is a poet and translator, and a very impressive speaker as well.

a morning-glory

blue to its throat:

I refill my fountain pen

The poem is published on the Simply Haiku website.

Haiku are published in anthologies, and because they are short, these anthologies get crowded, and it's hard to focus on any one verse This is true of classical anthologies also--it's like sitting down to dinner and finding your plate stacked with extremely high-calorie food, all of it intensely delicious. After a while, it's hard to appreciate any one of the poems. Sometimes it's good to just choose one and live with it for a while.

So that's what I'm doing with Ms. Miyashita's today.

Other than that, I've got another review to do, this time for Philosophy East and West. It's on a book about kabuki. I love kabuki; I like to go see plays at the Kabuki-za and the National Theater of Japan. Kabuki is absolutely amazing. I credit my friend Tomoe Shimizu (alias Wangwang) with introducing me to it. That and bunraku, the puppet theater, which is in some ways even more amazing. (If you don't know what kabuki and bunraku are, the National Theater website explains it all a bit.)

I'll write more about the book soon. In the meantime, while the morning glories in my garden are long since gone, I might go out in search of the osmanthus that some people in my neighborhood have thoughtfully planted. Not because it's beautiful to look at--it doesn't look like anything special, in fact. However, osmanthus has a fabulous fragrance--warm, lush and magical. I don't know which gardens have them, but a lot do, because when walking down the street and just breathing, this fragrance is suddenly present, and and you find yourself reminded of a faraway world. And then it disappears again.

But something of that world remains.