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This poem is taken from PN Review 145, Volume 28 Number 5, May - June 2002.

Four Poems Judy Kendall

Edo
(1600-1867)


For Kanazawa, the Edo period constitutes
a flowering of aesthetic pursuits -
gold leaf
ceramics
lacquer
silk
tea
Noh,

all balanced on the overflowing rice tributes from land
gripped by the firm if ruthless hand of the Maeda clan.
Things haven't changed, so much, that Kanazawa (golden bog)
is now completely water-logged,

a place where only carp and lilies live,
reserved, traditional, conservative.

Note: Kanazawa is the main city in Ishikawa prefecture, Japan.


The Festival of the Dead

Lost in the hills behind Toyama,
Yatsuo, village of black sticks,
stilts, the scarecrow dance.

Three shamisen players
...


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