* milosz and some friends

Recently read an interview with Czeslaw Milosz where he says:

“My motto could be that haiku of Issa—“We walk on the roof of Hell / gazing at flowers.” ” *

Which speaks to the power of the short lyric poem – a haiku in this case – that it can be carried in one’s mental pocket and offered up as something understood and communed with.  What I am moved by is the duality captured so casually, the line between happiness and suffering pointed out with an air of amusement.  This kind of thing requires nerve.

***

The Japanese poet Issa is amazing.  A great anthology that includes his work is “The Essential Haiku:versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa” edited by Robert Hass.

Another fan of Issa is Don Wentworth, editor of Lilliput Review, a journal that focuses on the short lyric.  His blog is Issa’s Untidy Hut and can be found here:

http://lilliputreview.blogspot.com/

Happy gazing!

J

* (found here:http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1721/the-art-of-poetry-no-70-czeslaw-milosz)

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