Sea, Land, Shadow
by Kazuko Shiraishi
Translated from the Japanese by Yumiko Tsumura
Sea, Land, Shadow, Kazuko Shiraishi’s fourth collection with New Directions, contains work written from 1951 to 2015. Shiraishi, described by Donald Keene as “the outstanding poetic voice of her generation of disengagement in Japan,” sees the world in a grain of rice and finds poetry in a mountain-road traffic jam. In the haunting title poem, she visits Iwanuma not long after the disastrous tsunami in 2011 and finds “no houses but a place where houses had been.” This pamphlet also includes a long, lyrical homage to Yukio Mishima, as well as playful and profound meditations on a Roman condom, lizard god, god of war, and an ear.