Only Companion: Japanese Poems of Love and Longing

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Written by court princesses, exiled officials, Zen priests, and recluses, the one hundred and fifty poems translated here represent the rich diversity of Japan's poetic tradition. Varying in tone from the sensuous and erotic to the profoundly spiritual, each poem captures a sense of the poignant beauty and longing known only in the fleeting experience of the moment. The translator has selected these five-line tanka--one of the great traditional verse forms of Japanese literature--from sources ranging from the classical ...

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