Winner of the 2007 Japan-US Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature, Ferris Wheel delivers the world of modern Japanese tanka to Western readers. Astonishingly complex imagery and emotions condensed into 31 syllables are the hallmarks of these evocative vignettes. Tanka have been an essential part of Japan’s literary aesthetic for more than 1,300 years, and Ferris Wheel shows how modern masters have renewed tanka as a dynamic expression of the evolving way the Japanese see themselves, each other, and the world.

In this collection, Kozue Uzawa and Amelia Fielden translate 101 poems, many appearing for the first time in English, that combine classical form and an unmistakably modern sensibility. Each poem is presented in three forms on the same page: in English translation, in romanized transliteration, and in the original Japanese. This format makes Ferris Wheel as relevant to translators and students of Japanese as it is welcoming to everyone interested in Japanese poetry.

Professor, poet, and translator Kozue Uzawa has written an informative preface about tanka’s history, structure, translation, and composition in English, and Ferris Wheel is rounded out with an appendix of short biographical notes about each poet. Accessible and rewarding, Ferris Wheel will be a delight to both newcomers and connoisseurs of poetry, who will want to visit it again and again.

SKU: 9780887274947 Language: English Series: OTHER Volume: N/A Edition: N/A Categories: ,


...a door into a whole wide world of poetry that the reader will always remember with a special sense of gratitude and return to with renewed appreciation.

—Janine Beichman, author of Masaoka Shiki: His Life and Works
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