Thursday, March 6, 2008

Japanese Love Poems & New Issues

The contributor copies of the new issues of Lilliput Review went out in the mail this past Monday and regular subscriber copies will begin hitting the mails over the next two weeks. It usually takes about a full month to get out the entire run, what with letters to be written, poems to be read and all the attendant details in getting scores of envelopes out each week.

#161 is graced with the photographs of Keddy Ann Outlaw, dedicated to the memory of her brother, Wade Stanton Outlaw. Among others, poems appear by John Martone, W. T. Ranney, Peggy Heinrich, Donny Smith, Charlie Mehrhoff, George Swede and translations of the Japanese tanka great, Yosano Akiko, by Dennis Maloney, 25 poems in all. 25 poems for a buck: you do the math.

#162 is a broadside issue by David Chorlton, who has been appearing in Lillie since its inception, way back in 1989. David is a consummate artist; this issue, entitled Venetian Sequence, showcases his beautifully lyrical poetry and his own artwork, as seen above. Here's a poetic taste:


His audience applauds,
convinced he is the devil
who never sleeps.
After the performance
he sails to the dead.
Their breath steams out of frozen marble
when he plays. They whisper
each one to the next, that the time has come
to grow back their flesh
and complete abandoned vices.

Cover by Edward O'Durr Supranowicz

Spotlighted this week is LR #148, published in February 2006. The issue opens with 5 poems by a variety of poets with the common thread of our place in nature: they are deceptively simple. It is a fine coming together of work by 5 grounded poets; it was a privilege to publish. Issa would be proud.

Stopping as a crow
alights in a snowed pine copse
-the poem composed
Rebecca Lily

yesterday's snow---
the place it melts
Gary Hotham

this spring
the birds are nesting
where his garden was
Joyce Austin Gilbert

in his private garden
and vice versa
Pete Lee




Bob Arnold

Besides these 5, there are 24 more poems in #148, many like-minded, all worth a look. As with regular issues, back issues from #1 through #160 are available for a buck apiece or a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). If the price is still too dear (and who's to say) more free samples may be found in the past posts of this blog or in the back issue archive at the Lilliput homepage.

Finally, there is that matter of Unending Night, as pictured at the top of this post. Unending Night is a selection of Japanese love poems drawn from the classic Japanese tanka anthology, The Hyakunin Isshu or 100 Poems by 100 Poets. The Hyakunin Isshu was compiled in the thirteenth century by Fujiwara no Teika and is the most popular of the classic poetry anthologies of Japan.

This selection from 100 Poems ... is translated by Dennis Maloney and Hide Oshiro and is #18 in the Modest Proposal Chapbook series published by Lilliput Review. The chapbook features the poetry of 18 different classic Japanese poets and provides a unique lens through which to view this much loved anthology. The finishing touches are being put on Unending Night even as I type (i.e. it's being printed) and will be available by the end of the week. Price, as always for chapbooks, is $3.00, postpaid.

best till next week,

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