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Messages - light pilgrim

Hello again,

(don't want the John Wayne image really) 😂

Thank you so much for this powerful account of your experience of shamanic practice. You're indeed brave and generous to share such a poignant experience. I didn't know that clinical psychologists also sometimes train as shamans. I imagined that the shamanic tradition was hereditary.

Yes, I do know of exorcism in Catholic tradition. In many communities including Tibet,  Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh, there is a long established tradition of exorcism rites for purification of land, house, person, animals. In a similar manner to what you describe 'negative' presences or spirit are driven out by the local healers/shamans. This might involve seances, offerings at sacred places in the locality etc.

Quoteabout my shaman. michael (that's his given name) started his healing job as a PhD clinical psychologist.  that was how i found him in december 2019. i had been diagnosed with and variously treated for multiple personality disorder and, in 2018-2019, epilepsy that remained unresponsive to drug therapy. one hospital stay in 2018 diagnosed temporal lobe epilepsy and the hospitalization in 2019 said that it was psychological in origin. which was why i was having sessions with michael.

turned out that the psychological had a spiritual cause. michael had taken 4 years of shaman training that led him to being a third degree shaman, the highest level possible. shaman heal both physical and mental disease by treating the spiritual cause. attacking my problems from a spiritual standpoint led to the negative entities that caused both physical and mental health problems to being cast out. the catholic church calls it exorcism. then the energetic healing to fill the space left empty.

michael doesn't advertise himself as a spiritual healer, a shaman. his training is based on the healing ways of the peruvian currandero. he doesn't start with mental illness being spiritually based. though most of the time they are. he has practiced with native american groups where he would be perceived as a community based healer. in big city tucson, arizona, he's mental health firstly.

I think this is such a powerful realization on your part : to  break away the ties to a particular source/person. In essence, this is the 'moksha' for freedom that realization brings.
Quotethis description is deliberately sketchy. there are many, many lifetimes of knowing each other. not positive. he's worked with my survivor stories as a way to lighten his karma. i feel used. i'll write that story someday. at the end of the story currently. just as he's freed me of negative spiritual entities, i need to be free of him.  it's been lifetimes coming

Mainly the Himalayan region. The healers usually 'inherit' their 'healing spirits' from father or mother to child. But there are also traditions, where the 'healing spirit' selects its practitioner and the person is 'possessed' and trained by the healer whose shares the 'healing spirit' or deity as it is called in the local communities. The repertoire of healing songs, mantras are passed down by word of mouth. It is essentially an oral tradition with no texts or scriptures used at the various rites and celebrations.

Quotewhere are you that community based healers are the default?

Now this is something I have not looked into at great depth. Yeats belonged to Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn which combined geomancy, astrology, Kabalah, astology, alchemy and tarot. There was the famous fallout with Crowley. But I have not heard of Yeats in association with Akashi records. However, both Akashi (Sanskrit for the ether/ sky) and Hermetic Order were influenced by the Theosophical Society so perhaps Yeats probably knew of the fabled Akashi Reords.

Quoteon another note:::i bought w g sebald's the rings of saturn. as i told carol in my thread in advanced "not home", sebald's writing puts me very much in mind of w. b. yeats' occult channeling as a way to access the akashi record which is an archive that records everything that has happened on earth since the beginning of time. every piece of information, no matter how large or minute. yeats used the huge amounts of information to build a symbolic system within his writing that led to vagueness and a lack of clarity that only the people in the occult group he belonged to could decipher.

Again, I must look into Sebald. He is more into the memory/loss of memory. rise and decay of culture and civilization etc. But worth further reading for me. So thank you.

Quotei'm not saying sebald did what yeats did. but the extraordina
ry variety of information with its wealth of detail simply put me in mind of what i know about yeats. [/quote]

Lorraine, I appreciate your honest and deeply moving account of your shaman Michael. I hope you will find your healing in  - in a way, your articulating so clearly is a beginning and your writing and communicating, will keep you well and safe.

light pilgrim
Hi Lorraine,

(Now the image of John Wayne will be forever associated with 'Hi' in my mind) 😁

Mark Doty sounds very interesting and I will look it up. Thank you for the pointer. It is great how you use associations to evoke a color rather than just stating the hue. The painters too have a good range of terms for all kinds of hues. An example: 'viridian green', 'sap green', 'jade', 'celeadon' 'chrome green' etc.
i will have to take a look at Sebald as well. i'm currently rereading, for at least the 3rd time, mark doty's book of essays: world into word. what caught me last night were his comments on how effective writers evoke color by using a reference to an object that evokes the particular color. i do that myself when i write about a particular shade of blue as "arizona early april morning blue." a friend who resides in tucson knew exactly the color of blue i referred to.  mark doty's examples are shorter, often only one word

You're right, reading Sebald is like going on many trajectories as his sheer knowledge and allusions are a treasure trove. Kafka, Edward Lear, St Julian, Dürer etc come thick and fast. He is perhaps of the same tradition of learning as the late George Steiner, who wove philosophy, history, art, music, literature, current affairs seamlessly in his writings and made one want to learn something new and more. Joyce too is the same with his encyclopedic range of allusions.

Quoteit sounds like sebald unlocks more sensory descriptive than color. it's going on my list.

A joke: if one tells someone that one is a burglar as an occupation, they might think, 'not a wise choice' but they would get it. If one says, "i am a poet', they are totally thrown and can't take it seriously. So to earn a living, writing has to be put aside, now and then.

Quotedon't work too hard. hurry back.

Hi Lorraine,

As ever, you have raised some interesting points. You have kept Carol and me engaged and exploring books and writers 😊

It's great that you've found Hopkin's poems and discussion of his work online. Online sources are indeed a godsend. I have read that his "sprung rhythm" was influenced by the rhythms of the Welsh language. This is interesting as his sojourn in Wales was a happy one and in his lyrical use of language, he reminds of Dylan Thomas, albeit Dylan Thomas is a much more of a performer, bardic poet, whereas Hopkins is reflective and quite melancholy.
Quotein the hopkins website there are a number of his poems along with study guides. it's been forever since i've scansioned but i'm really curious about his sprung rhythm and also the ways he both lengthened and shortened his sonnets. so, diving into the deep end!

It is fascinating how he invented the 'curtal sonnet'. ('curtal' meaning 'shortened', as in 'curtailed').

Very good of you to send Carol the site links. Your point here made me go back to reading about  Hopkins -Duns Scotus again. In a way, the latter gave Hopkins the courage and inspiration to write poetry as a Jesuit priest. Hopkins was conflicted about his calling and his literary aspirations. But Duns Scotus's view that the human DNA is divine and that evrything : plants, amimals, humans,  God are connected - made it possible for Hopkins to write so evocatively and passionately.
Quotewhile i was reading and ruminating on hopkins' inscape / instress, i learned he had been influenced by Duns Scotus in that regard. found a interesting site that talked at length about it from both men's point of view. sent that on to Carol.

Two things here: 1. Please would you elaborate a little more about the shaman? I am absolutely fascinated and wonder if the shaman is akin to the local healers we have. Is the shaman a community-based healer?

The second thing, I hope you use your photography for haiga or other artistic projects. Must admit that I have not really paid much attention to Merton's photography So thank you for mentioning it.
Quoteabout merton. i became acquainted with him through my shaman reading me his favorite prayer written by merton. i read a number of merton's essays. but what i really enjoyed was merton's photography. i too take photographs, always searching for the essence or suchness of what i'm photographing. sometimes the essence is best shown after a round in photoshop.

You're absolutely right - "suchness' or  'just the way it is' is similar to Duns Scotus' notion of haecaeitas or 'thisness.' In Buddhism it is Tathata, the agata particle means come or gone or a locative in, so Thus gone, Thus come, or Thus dwelling are all possible. Tathatagarbha means potential Buddhahood inherent in all beings.

Quotespeaking of suchness, is that not a primary endeavor to uncover in buddhism or hinduism perhaps. read that someplace.

You could not have expressed it better! 😊
Quotei think it's really cool (can't think of a better term) that the kind of topics we're discussing in this thread are not limited to one culture or one religious group. everyone searches for similar events. experiences. answers. have similar questions.

All part and parcel of this tapestry of life!
Quotegotta go. abbey schnauzer needs feeding.

I am enjoying this very much, albeit I have to 'steal' time to read and engage fully with all the wonderful issues, you and Carol bring up.

Quotethanks for the continuing conversation.
Other Haiku News / The Lure of the Threshold
June 17, 2021, 04:02:16 PM
The Lure of the Threshold


Sonam Chhoki

Copyright © 2021 Sonam Chhoki

Éditions de petits nuages
Ottawa, Canada

"The thread that runs through this cycle of poems is rich in faith, in dream, myth, magic, and the music of words. I know that each haibun rises with questions and ends with a haiku planted squarely in the here and now—here on Earth.

sirens through the night moth in a jar"

Glenn G Coats

Presenting her haibun as 'poems,' Chhoki recounts snippets of supernatural stories, confidential visions. All invite us in. Yet all usher us out at the end with a haiku spell – pine branches rise / like lammergeier wings; a blue thrush whistles in the rain; rope bridge to the shrine / Orion at dawn.

Stephen Henry Gill, Lecturer Kyoto University, Leader of Hailstone Haiku Circle, Japan


I should add that the comparisons of Scotus, Hopkins and living in the particular with Dzogchen teachings is my own particular reading of the work.

light pilgrim
Hi Carol,

Sebald has a way of evoking scent of plants, sounds of the night/day, the local landscape and then weaving it with several literary and art refrences:  The Castle (Kafka), Günter Grass, Dürer, Orphelia. I found myself searching and finding books and art, which I hadn't before. I hope you enjoy it:
QuoteI look forward to reading the work of WG Sebald. I had to look up Santos Campo - cemetery/burial place, now that piqued my interest.

How good of Lorraine to send you these files. Scotus, Hopkins and living in the particular- is very well written and also raises some vital comparisons with the Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen teachings which holds that that every sentient being has an inherent Buddha nature and that there is no higher order  but all that is meaningful is in the here and now.
QuoteLorraine was kind enough to send me some pdf files on  various writers. I started on the last two. The second one I'm in the process of reading -Scotus, Hopkins and living in the particular- an interesting read.

Remarkably Dzogchen in spirit.😊
QuoteA quote from it: read not slovenly with the eyes but take a deep breath and read it with the ears.
And isn't this the way with poetry, and more so with the short form verses such as haiku and related forms.

I haven't read this one so I am fascinated by your comparison with Zuihtsu.
QuoteAt the moment I'm reading a book by Thomas Merton-when the trees say nothing- nature writing.
This I feel is much the same as the way of writing zuihitzu, minus the verses.

This is a wonderful thought! 😊
QuoteIt will be interesting to read the passages of his encounters with animals, knowing the nature of the beast is an important part of capturing their true nature within words.

My revels too will end soon as work catches up in a few days. I have so enjoyed this discussion. Thank you.
QuoteBack to work, then down to more reading, later on.

light pilgrim
Hi Carol,

I'm sorry that I missed this post of yours.This thread has grown since we started discussing our views.

Not at all. Your questions raised important issues for me and made me realize how one must be careful while using terms like "form", "style" etc.
QuoteThanks for the info, about this being a genre and not a specific form it does leave way for a bit of interpretation on presentation.

Same here. :) Our discussion took me back to some of the books shelved for a while and I am delighted that you are now reading more writers. Please do share any writers that you have found interesting. Would be very grateful for your suggestions.
QuoteI enjoyed the search, and this conversation. t has lead me to many different writers of verse and nature.

You're absolutely right. A second and more readings can be quite rewarding.
QuoteSome time ago I started to read, essays in idleness. I'll go back for another read, at some time, I could get more from it second time round.

I agree  :)
QuoteNow, its a case of getting down to reading and as always re reading.

You're welcome and thanks to you I too am reading more now.
QuoteThanks both

For when you return, may I add WG Sebald's The Rings of Saturn and Campos Santo? These are his essays/memoirs. Rings is about his foot journey along the East Anglia coast, England, UK and Campos is his account of visiting Corsica. He writes enviably well using history, philosophy, descriptions of nature and people.
QuoteI may be away for some time :)

light pilgrim

Hi Lorraine,

The bane of technology! How much we depend on it and how frustrating when bandwidth-connections, not enough data/memory etc play up. You have my full sympathy.

QuoteFINALLY!!! INTERNET!!!  ON MY IPAD!!!   finally have a large enough screen and wifi to boot.

I am delighted that you too are now enchanted by Hopkins. :) He was quite wary of what his writings might bring him as he veered between bouts of depression. But his distinctive voice is truly inspiring.
Quoteallows me to look into Gerard Manley Hopkins links that you shared. which are spectacular, i must say. i've heard the name. i know he's important in the poetic scheme of things. but i've not read more than a couple of his poems.

I must admit that I haven't read much of Dobyns' poetry but, yes, I do know of his "Next Word, Better Word" which is a witty riposte  to Ginsburg's "first word, best word". I can appreciate why you return to this work. The one point which struck me was his insistence for clarity in what poets write. That a throw- away phrase such as "and the geese fly north into memory" while seemingly original and striking befuddles the reader as it makes no sense. I am reminded of TS Eliot's warning about how to avoid language being a "barbed wire" which frustrates and bars the reader. Something, a poet and writer should keep in mind. But of course in the name of experiment many do adopt such flourishes. Another point that both Dobyns and Eliot make is about the "craft" of writing and that a critical eye is essential for a poet to write better. Eliot argued that one does not lose one's original voice if we let our writing be critiqued and edited.
Quoteare you familiar with Stephen Dobyns' essays? next word, better word. on the crafting of poetry. best words, best order. essays on poets and their poetry.   are the two i have. li they are two books that i go back to frequently.

You're absolutely right about the underlying similarities with the Spanish mystic St. John and Thomas Merton. They were all seeking "God" not through the theological construct but as a personal quest. Hopkins found it in the landscape, St. John in his own soul and Merton was hugely influenced by Hopkins and also looked for the spiritual in experience and not texts and teachings.
Quoteback to Hopkins. i read the bio stuff. made me think of St. john of the Cross and Thomas Merton. Merton more of an essayist. both monks.

I find Merton quite fascinating as he was interested in Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism and initiated conversations with the Dalai Lama.

This is wonderful! His use of language and the landscape is both lyrical and inspiring. Who else apart from the Bard (perhaps Joyce cannot be overlooked) can forge words with such impact? : "Where shake shadow is sun's eye-ringed" (The WoodLark) or " As a dare-gale skylark scanted in a dull cage" (The Caged Skylark).
Quotewhen something is going to affect me in a major way, i get this funny, excited feeling in my solar plexus. a kind of "wait-till-you-get-a-load-of-this!" teaser. hopkins work has something for me. something that will expand my writing. something waiting to be discovered. your link to the gerard manley hopkins poetry website with his poems and study guide is where i go next.

I wish you many, many hours of immersion in Hopkin's world of language and imagery.

You certainly are well on the path to a journey of writing and reflection. I hope long may you be inspired and find the passion to change "Next poem, Better Poem".  :)
Quotei my writing keeps evolving. it's never the same. i don't think i'll ever be pinned down as being ____ kind of poet. every thing i read. think about. changes me forever. changes my writing as i incorporate new ideas.

We all have commitments and call on our time but it is great that we meet in poetry discussion.
Quotei'm ranting. abbey schnauzer needs walking.

Let's hope more join with more themes.
Quotekeep those links and conversation coming please. i so look forward.

light pilgrim
Hi Carol,

The pleasure is mine as I am enjoying this discussion and what you bring to it nudges me to go back to some of the books I have enjoyed. Besides, it is stimulating to read about your own take on the genre of Zuihitsu and what you have been reading. :)

QuoteThankyou for your reply.

Thank you for sharing this. I don't know some of these works and will definitely have a good read.
QuoteThe sites I have visited are, Autumn Sky Poetry and read work by Andrea Zawinsky
Poetry Foundation read work by Jenny Xie
also work by Tina Chang 1969

I think we are all novices here and what you say about the different ways the poets interpret and use this genre is something that happens in writing. But it is wonderful that you are thinking your way through these differences and finding your way and sharing your thoughts.

QuoteI know I'm a total novice in this subject, and each poet has his/her own way of writing, however, I found their interpretation of zuihitzu nothing like the format presented on this site.

Perhaps it is worth reminding ourselves that Zuihitsu is a GENRE not a specific FORM, like haiku, tanka, ryuka. Haibun is another case, where poets are constantly exploring ways to refine and write. Haibun in Japan is quite different from what we know and write as haibun in the ELH.

So what you say is true for many poets. In a way, it is exciting that our own personal journeys and experiences shape how we use Zuihitsu. The subject or motif, as much as, how we use language to convey this, is what makes writing worthwhile.

I wonder if my original posts in reply to Lorraine about Zuihitsu were confusing. Sometimes we don't think through clearly what we say, taking for granted that there is a common background of information that we all have accessed. But I realize now, that I should have been clearer that Zuihitsu is not a specific form but a wider entity - a GENRE. I do apoloize if my responses have confused you.

Absolutely, please do read it. It is quite an absorbing book. As Basho said to learn of the pine go to the pine. So, what better way to get some idea of how Zuihitsu is used than to read some the books that are popular in this Genre?  Besides, Pillow Book perhaps worth considering As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams by Lady Sarashina (trans. Ivan Morris) and Essays in Idleness and Hōjōki by Kenkō and Chōmei (trans. Meredith McKinney)
QuoteI also came across the pillow book when searching. I'm happy to read this if it will enhance my understanding of this particular way of presenting verse.

I don't know if Wild Ivy, The Spiritual Autobiography pf Zen Master Hakunin (trans. Norman Waddell) would count as Zuihitsu, but it is quite engaging with descriptions of his childhood, his travels and his Zen practices and indeed conflicts with various other Zen Masters.

Hopkins is truly inspiring with his "sprung rhythm" and use of imagery and language so I do hope you will enjoy the read: :)
Quote from: flowerfox on June 06, 2021, 06:30:11 PM

Now, into the links you have provided.

Definitely more than 'swatting' :)
This will take some reading and understanding.


Hi again,

Thank you for returning with this very interesting point.  I have not had any conversations about poetry and poetic forms with Alan recently. Amazed and indeed honored that you saw similarities in our perspectives. Thank you also for alerting me to his new MahMight Haiku Journal. I will definitely check it out.

Quote from: Lorraine Pester on June 05, 2021, 08:45:52 PM

i'm back pilgrim. and i figured out what sounded familiar when you said:

" As a reader, I would say, in the end, what is it about one's poem that offers something to make the reader sit up and take note and also  to be inspired to write in a similar vein? These questions are essential for all writing indeed. I suppose what I am saying is it is not just the form that we use - zuihitsu, "organic" open poetry, tanka, haiku, etc, - but How, we use it that ultimately counts."

have you been talking to Alan Summers lately?  because this sounds like a mission statement for his new journal (or at least, new to me)


light pilgrim
Hi Lorraine,

This thread seems to have taken off since I last replied to your first post, which is great. :)

Coleridge, Levertov and Hopkins are the basics for "organic form poetry, so I suppose the source is similar.

Quotei swear you and i have been reading similar information. coleridge. levertov. gerald manley hopkins.

Mind you, I highlighted very bare-to-the-bone basics of organic poetry from my own reading so it is good to know that I have not veered off point in comparison to the essay you read:
Quotethe above mentioned essay by levertov was only briefly mentioned by the person who was running the class. however, i found in it the basis that made best sense for addressing the structure of organic poetry which you mention.

I find this fascinating. I would love to hear a Diné recitation. Perhaps such use of "organic form" poetry will grown exponentially and reach beyond cultural and language:

Quotenot sure what others got out of a fairly choppy presentation by a Dine poet (native american poet who primarily uses native american language processing to write their poetry) but i just followed the google breadcrumbs to yet another essay.

Now here I must admit that I know very little about American Literature, where "Projective verse" and Olson feature prominently.
Quoteprojective verse :::appears to me that the main element in utilizing it has to do with the actual line length and structure of a poem being dictated by the length of the poet's breath as he writes the line as he would speak it (so the poet's speech patterns become the shaping factor of each line of each poem?) and also the way it sounds to the ear when read aloud. so that rhyme of all sorts. rhythm. the way syllables act. will all be of primary importance to this way of writing. so that the artificial forms created to use these elements (i think of meter,accent, used in writing sonnets for example) are to be eschewed.

However, what you say about Olson's idea of a poet's breath and the length of the line in a poem is interesting and makes me think of the Japanese Uta - gathering - where verses were read and written to what could be called "prompts" of motifs and themes. The latter were often premised on the host of the Uta - his house, garden, perhaps lineage of some prominence. My point being that what Olsen seems to be saying about the auditory and "breath" are quite similar to the way poetry was written and shared in Japan. Olson was influenced by Ezra Pound, whose monumental work, The Cantos was based on musical thematic structure rather than the traditional narrative structure. Pound in turn was influenced by the work of Ernst Fenellosa, a scholar of Japanese art and culture, who lived and taught in Japan. After his death in 1908 Fenellosa's body of notes on Japanese and also Chinese literature was left to Pound which Pound studied at great length with the help of Waley. Fenellosa's work on Chinese literature introduced Pound to Chinese ideograms, which feature in The Cantos. Pound also studied the verse form, the haiku, from Fenellosa's notes. So, I wonder if Olson's idea of "breath poem" is perhaps a nod to the influence of Pound?

I have enjoyed this discussion and will definitely read up more on "Projective Poetry".

light pilgrim

Hi flowerfox,

You're right. There aren't many current poets who write Zuihitsu.
Quote from: flowerfox on June 05, 2021, 05:43:41 PM
Apart from, Lorraine and Chen-Ou's zuihitzu poetry, I have found nothing else of this calibre. I have searched but nothing has come up to match these.

Which source is this? "sporadic sentences" might well be the poet's way of "organic" writing, which is characteristic of Zuihitsu.
QuoteAll I find is sporadic sentences that make no sense.

We have mentioned the Pillow Book in the discussion thread about Zuihitsu and another Japanese example is As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in Eleventh-century Japan by Lady Sarashina This book has anecdotes, poems, personal ruminations and observances about the countryside and the places she visits on her travels.

QuoteThe words, instress and inscape is interesting know about. Something to consider when I, eventually, get to grips with this zuihitzu and produce an experimental piece.

"Instress" and "inscape" are the ideas of Gerald Manley Hopkins (1844- 1889), an English Jesuit priest and poet. A wiki link here for him:

QuoteA link to swatting up on this would be welcome.

I hope it is more than "swatting": inspiring and enriching  :)

light pilgrim

Hi Lorraine,

A very interesting question and observation in your post.

Quotethe "beyond the environment" essay writing class i'm taking through emergence magazine is going to feature poetry this coming week. 

I don't know what modules are used in this particular class and so, my response is mainly to do with a basic understanding of "organic form poetry".

Quotein preparation for the class, materials that center around organic form poetry have been read.

it strikes me that the essence of the process of writing organic form poetry is very similar to zuihitsu and the outcome is similar.

You make a good point about zuihitsu here and my answer would be a big yes, in as much as "organic form poetry" is seen as something that is "shaped" not "structured" by form (Coleridge) and that it is "exploratory" (Levertov). But most of all, I would say that what is appealing about such unstructured and exploratory form is what Hopkins calls "instress" (actual experience) and "inscape" (uniqueness, not repeated).

So, in as far as zuihitsu is exploratory, not structured but shaped and evolving and it has an unique motif , perspective and use of language, it is similar to "organic form poetry."

As a reader, I would say, in the end, what is it about one's poem that offers something to make the reader sit up and take note and also  to be inspired to write in a similar vein? These questions are essential for all writing indeed. I suppose what I am saying is it is not just the form that we use - zuihitsu, "organic" open poetry, tanka, haiku, etc, - but How, we use it that ultimately counts.

So yes, your observations are valid and thought-provoking too.

Enjoyed this too!

Hi Lorraine,

This sounds very frustrating. The Genji is a huge work and I wonder which parts of this extraordinary novel are missing. The Pillow is not long so 25% of this would mean quite drastic cutting. You're right to feel "cheated."
Quotethe kindle translations of both the pillow book and the tales tales of genji are only about 25% of the total text. i feel cheated.

I suppose translators do make such decisions but I would still find this frustrating although Waley has his fans:
Quotewaley admits in his introduction that he deliberately avoided passages that he deemed boring.

Morris believed that the final chapters were missing while Seidensticker thought that the novel was incomplete :
Quotesuematsu had @54 chapters in tales of genji and only translated @20 of them.

My pleasure. I hope you will enjoy the Edward Seidensticker translation in Penguin paperback. There are Waley admirers but personally I prefer Seidensticker's translation:
Quotei thank you for your recommendations. i look forward to acquiring the editions you suggest.

By the way, I didn't answer this question of yours in your original post as I wasn't sure if you were referring to Genji or the Pillow Book.
Quoteaccording to what i've read, the ivan morris translation is superior to that of meredith mckinney

Mckinney has not translated Genji (as far as I know) but her Pillow Book is quite highly regarded. But again, Morris's translation is popular.

My apologies for the mistake here in my answer to the previous post:. I meant Waley's translation is popular not Ivan Morris, who has not translated Genji but has written extensively about Japanese culture and history of the period that Murasaki describes in her book. It would be fair though to say that Waley's translations of Japanese works are not as excellent as his translations of Chinese works.
QuoteIvan Morris's translation is good but the Penguin Classics translation by Edward Seidensticker, is excellent, all 1090 pages of it.

I have enjoyed this discussion so thank you for this.

light pilgrim

Hi Lorraine,

Wow, Genji on Kindle is quite amazing!

Ivan Morris's translation is good but the Penguin Classics translation by Edward Seidensticker, is excellent, all 1090 pages of it.

In addition, Ivan Morris's book The World of the Shining Prince is a brilliant portrayal of court life in the era covered by Murasaki in Genji and worthwhile as it gives an insight into the the kind of social, religious, cultural and political background to the world Murasaki creates in Genji. An example might be James Atherton's  The Books at the Wake: A Study of Literary Allusions in James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake". I found this very helpful in the background to the phenomenal literary, philosophical and social/cultural allusions that Joyce makes in his book.

Re The Pillow Book the Ivan Morris translation has quite extensive notes although I do find his Introduction, a tad patronizing. I haven't read the Waley translation.

light pilgrim
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