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For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut

by Takashi Hiraide

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Even in translation, [Hiraide's] fine poetry really shines. At times I am reminded of T.S. Eliot.

—Kenzaburo Oe

Winner of a PEN Translation Fund Award: A lyrical, supercharged, dizzying collection in a unique bilingual format: like two halves of the walnut, the English text meets the Japanese half-way

For The Fighting Spirit Of The Walnut

Poetry by Takashi Hiraide

translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu

The radiant subway. The wall that clears up, endless. A thundering prayer of steel that fastens together the days, a brush of cloud hanging upon it, O beginning, it is there—your nest. Thus the keynotes of Hiraide’s utterly original book-length poem unfold—a mix of narrative, autobiography, minute scientific observations, poetics, rhetorical experiments, hyper-realistic images, and playful linguistic subversions—all scored with the precision of a mathematical-musical structure.

published June 1st, 2008