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
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
Presents of Mind is a masterpiece.Am going to take simonj advice and read it again in reverse.
Pardon my earlier confusion. I was fooled by the difference between the two versions of the title in the announcement.
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.
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:
to the wind’s waltz
What would be the equivalent of a waltz in Japanese culture?
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.
Is it just my download or is this one scanned in reverse?
“Presents of Mind” is a wonderful title, I look forward to reading the book 🙏🏾
btw – Start at the back!
Well, I think “Presents of Mind” is a great title, but . . .
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