Kenneth Rexroth was heavily influenced by the moods and modes of Japanese poetry, which in turn reached those who were influenced by him. Named by Time Magazine as the “father of the Beats” and a friend of that other great Japanophile poet, Gary Snyder, Rexroth famously passed off his own poems “in the Japanese style” as those of a young female Japanese poet.
But these “100 Poems from the Japanese,” first published in 1955, are translated by him. Eschewing the more common approach of bringing together famous haiku poems, this collection ranges over styles, forms and eras and makes a good attempt at gender balance among the authors.
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