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Presents of Mind

Jim Kacian’s book of haiku, Presents of Mind, has the distinction of being the first scholarly translation of an English language haijin into Japanese, and it is our Book of the Week.  Special recognition goes to Richard Gilbert of Kumamoto University and his team of Japanese translators.


on the winter moor
by the wind


passing the wind
hand to hand


orchard slush
wizened fruit melts
into the earth


You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published 2010 or earlier you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details.

Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Garry Eaton, and are used with permissio

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Presents of Mind is a masterpiece.Am going to take simonj advice and read it again in reverse.

  2. Pardon my earlier confusion. I was fooled by the difference between the two versions of the title in the announcement.

  3. Some very fine haiku here.
    My first two books of haiku were translated into Japanese in 2006 by Professor Ban’ya Natsuishi.
    Of course, I don’t have the contact and connections of Jim Kacian, so here would be no way of anyone to know about the translation date (by a renowned Japanese scholar and poet) of my books.
    And since I lack any influence in the haiku world, probably there is no interest in this fact. However, I will say that Ban’ya did an excellent job according to a young Japanese poet I knew back then and I believe those books stand up well today.
    Again, Presents of Mind has some first rate haiku in its pages.

  4. What is striking about these poems is the near complete lack of “I”
    which is different than many haiku published in the journals today.

    A welcome reminder that shifts one’s focus to outside, exterior, nature.

    Also striking is the image of a trillium “marking time” to “the wind’s waltz.” Brilliant. I will forever see them this way. Thank you.

    Here it is:

    marking time
    to the wind’s waltz

    ~Jim Kacian

    1. Never much cared for Personification in poetry. It has its day I suppose in the 18th Century and some during the Renaissance, but it stand out as silly today.
      The wind doesn’t waltz and trillium don’t keep time to it.
      Frankly, the word trillium reminds me of a episode from Star Drek.

  5. “Presents of Mind” is a wonderful title, I look forward to reading the book 🙏🏾

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