Let Those Who Appear
by Kazuko Shiraishi
Over twenty-five years ago New Directions, at the urging of Kenneth Rexroth, published Seasons of Sacred Lust, a selection of poems by a young Japanese writer, Kazuko Shiraishi. The book toured around the world, accompanying Ms. Shiraishi to almost any country one can think of as she gave readings and participated in various poetry events. By now however, Seasons is but a prelude to Shiraishi’s greater accomplishments. It has been followed by more than fifteen new collections in Japan and, moving beyond her early Beat-related work, her poetry has developed an impressive range and depth. Let Those Who Appear contains selections from various recently-published books as carefully translated by Samuel Grolmes and Yumiko Tsumura. The title poem is from Shiraishi’s 1996 book which received three prestigious awards in Japan––the Yomiuri Literature Award, the Takami Jun Poetry Award, and the very special Purple Ribbon Medal from the Emperor of Japan.