Peace Poetry in English and Japanese

First published in Woodnotes #29, Summer 1996, page 51.

Heiwa: Peace Poetry in English and Japanese, edited by Jiro Nakano and Brien Hallett. University of Hawaii Press, 1995, 160 pages, paperback, 5½ by 8 inches. $17.00 in bookstores. A bilingual collection of 57 tanka and 96 haiku (given in English, Japanese, and romaji) by 105 poets on the theme of “peace.” One poem appears per page, centered down the middle. Although some verses seem contrived to fit the topic (that is, they come off purely as speculation or imagination), many fine poems add flavor to the occasional blandness of this assemblage. Here’s a high point in the book from LeRoy Gorman:

peace talk

under the table

socks that don’t match