January 12, 2013
Her first book, Pissstained Stairs and the Monkey Man's Wares, was published in 1969 by Phrase Text, and her next four books were published by the press she established, Bola. As she as written of her own poetic writing: “I use dreams, the subconscious and the real objects, and I open up the body and use organs, and I sink them into words. I guess the poetry is like a festival. Everything can be transformed.
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Upon his return to the US in 1903, and in New York developed relationships with Zona Gale, Edmund Clarence Stedman, and others. Yet the poet continued to have difficulties being published in English until the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, when he suddenly was encouraged to write on numerous Japanese subjects, including a article, “A Proposal to American Poets,” in which he suggested they try writing Japanese hokku.
And the footsteps, lighter than the heart of wind,
Beat, now high, then low, before my dream-flaming eyes.
Dancing wild as a fire only to vanish away.”
Comes like the stir of the day:
One whose breath is an odor,
Whose eyes show the road to stars,
The breeze in his face,
The glory of heaven on his back.
He steps like a vision hung in air,
Diffusing the passion of eternity;
His abode is the sunlight of morn,
The music of his eve his speech:
In his sight
One shall turn from the dust of the grave,
And move upward to the woodland.
January 10, 2013
[On March 11, 2011, northeastern Japan suffered a massive earthquake that left nearly 16,000 people dead or missing and many others injured. Soon afterward, the editors of Gendai shi techo (Japan's foremost magazine of contemporary poetry) and the Asahi Shinbun (one of Japan's largest newspapers) collaborated to commission and publish a series of works about the disaster, all written by Japan's foremost poets. The following poem was Hiromi Itō 's contribution to the project. This translation first appeared in Poetry Kanto, vol. 28 (2012). (J.A.)]