Forgot to check the mail yesterday, and this morning a nice surprise.
Break the Mirror: The Poems of Nanao Sakaki, 1986. I ordered another volume, Let’s Eat Stars, which will hopefully arrive on Monday. How to Live on the Planet Earth: Collected Poems is probably next.
The poems date from 1966 and they are translated into English by the author.
Some people like their books to be in pristine condition but I have become less picky over the years. There is an inscription in this book that puts a smile on my face.
“To Another World Citizen…”—Chris Iverson, Clara Dugan, Shannon & Meghan
I posted the untitled first poem from this collection the other day. I repeat it again here.
If you have time to chatter
If you have time to read
Walk into mountain, desert and ocean
If you have time to walk
sing songs and dance
If you have time to dance
Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot
And a random selection:
Sharpening a Knife
Nanao, keep your knife clean
Nanao, keep your mind clean
Sea breeze is bad for a knife they say
Sea breeze is good for a m mind they say
Sea Breeze not bad for a knife
Sharpen your knife, that’s all
Sea breeze neither bad nor good
The ocean a whetstone for mind
A clean knife mind—Iriomote, Japan, Under the Tropic of Cancer, February 1976
A clean mind ocean
Nanao, sleep well tonight
Blossoming crinum lily as a shelter
The coral sand beach as a bed
The Southern Cross as a pillow.
Line three of Sharpening a Knife is typed here as it appears in the print version but I suspect a possible editing mistake. Perhaps it should read “Sea breeze is good for the mind they say.”
By the way, I ordered this book from AbeBooks which I recommend if you are looking for something out of print.