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Tamura Ryuichi / 田村隆一

0801tamura ryuichi Tamura Ryuichi / 田村隆一

Tamura Ryuichi  (1923-1998) was a crucial figure in the development of Japanese postwar poetry.  He was a founding member of the Arechi group (1946-1958), a diverse and vibrant group of poets who saw themselves as radically separated by their wartime experience from past poetic traditions and therefore shared a commitment to creating new poetic possibilities. In 1967, he traveled to the U.S., where he participated in the University of Iowa International Writing, and in 1971 had an encounter with W.H. Auden in New York that inspired the poem “The Mercury Sank in the Mouth of the Dying Day.”  His work, including Four Thousand Days and Nights and The World Without Words, is rigorously experimental and still challenging for today’s readers. The poems presented here—witty, humorous pieces infused with Tamura’s love of sake—are meant to portray a lighter, more fun-loving side of Ryuichi Tamura.

Translations from the Japanese by Marianne Tarcov. Tarcov graduated from the University of Chicago in 2006 and spent the following year as a Fulbright Fellow at Kanto Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan.