First published in Woodnotes #15, Winter 1992, page 35.
More Light, Larger Vision by Geraldine Clinton Little. 1992, 92 pages, perfect-bound paperback, 5½by 8½inches. $9.00 postpaid from AHA Books, P.O. Box 767, Gualala, California [address no longer correct]. In the tradition of the poet Jien in twelfth century Japan, Geraldine Little has composed a series of 100 tanka, all 5-7-5-7-7, with ten each on the subjects of flowers, cuckoo, moon, snow, love, pine, bamboo, mountain hut, sea lane, and reflections. While Jien wrote his 100 tanka in a mere four hours, Geraldine took twelve days, yet her poems are still written, as Lucien Stryk comments on the back cover, “with the surest touch.” A selection from the love section:
how long I waited
for you and you never came.
I’ve no long sleeves to
wet, as ancient women had—
just this rough pillow for tears