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At the Hut of the Small Mind By Sanford Goldstein
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Sanford Goldstein’s 'At the Hut of the Small Mind' is a classic of English-language tanka. As much a work of Zen as of tanka, it was written while the author spent several days on a natural... More > farm operated by a Japanese Zen master. While there he met several other seekers, but most of all, he met himself. It may have been a black butterfly winging into his hut to escape the rain, or a white hen who joined the seekers at the master’s feet, but there are messages here. Subliminal messages that require a mind free from the distractions of daily life to open to them and their is-ness. The reader, like the poet, arrives with ambiguities and departs with them, but somewhere in the middle something changes. The satori that eluded the poet at the beginning of the sequence is found in the hairstyles of sumo wrestlers at the end. This is intuitive poetry. Like Zen, it can’t be explained in words. The reader can only follow the poet’s footsteps and draw their own conclusions.—M. Kei, author of January, A Tanka Diary< Less
Four Decades On My Tanka Road By Sanford Goldstein
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Four Decades on My Tanka Road is a tanka treasure chest, filled with nearly five hundred poems by the acknowledged master of the genre, Sanford Goldstein. Not only has Goldstein, with his translating... More > partners, made the classics of modern Japanese poetry available in English, he has written some of the best tanka ever rendered first in English. Six published collections of the tanka of Sanford Goldstein are compiled in this single, historic, volume by “the father of tanka in English.” For anyone who wants to understand tanka, who wants a genuine tanka experience, this book is a must-read. Sanford Goldstein’s Four Decades on My Tanka Road is where you start your own journey with the world’s oldest continually-anthologized poetic genre.< Less
this tanka whirl By Sanford Goldstein
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In "This Tanka Whirl," Sanford Goldstein writes with honesty and humility; his is an everyday world, but it is not without its thrills and spills, joy and anguish. He rages against the... More > tameness of his tanka, invoking the music of inner worlds that have ‘gone berserk’; here, too, he would be Ishmael, driven by his own white whale. Eight decades and he can no more set down his tanka brush, ‘this cascade of me! and my! and mine!’ than this dervish earth can bow out of the cosmic dance. This is a poet who sits, pen in hand, in the eye of the storm, drawing ink from Van Gogh’s swirling petals, Mokichi’s yellow tears, Gatsby’s glitter. . . This is a poet who would have Hamlet tread the boards of his own short song, only to look the Prince squarely in the eye and exclaim: ‘. . . I feel even tanka/ can scale the spectacular’. Indeed, in Goldstein's hands, it can. — Claire Everett, Founder and Editor of Skylark, A Tanka Journal< Less

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