war between Koshi and Izumo
tribes still rages.
The all of All, the One
The three thousand worlds
are in that plum blossom.
The smell is God.
'Triumph of the Sparrow: Zen Poems of Shinkichi Takahashi'
By Shinkichi Takahashi (Author), Takashi Ikemoto (Contributor), Lucien Stryk (Translator)
Shinkichi Takahashi is one of the truly great figures in world poetry. In the classic Zen tradition of economy, disciplined attention, and subtlety, Takahashi lucidly captures that which is contemporary in its problems and experiences, yet classic in its quest for unity with the Absolute. Lucien Stryk, Takahashi's fellow poet and close friend, here presents Takahashi's complete body of Zen poems in an English translation that conveys the grace and power of Takahashi's superb art. "A first-rate poet . . . [Takahashi] springs out of some crack between ordinary worlds: that is, there is some genuine madness of the sort striven for in Zen." -- Robert Bly; "We visit places in Takahashi that we once may have visited in a dream, or in a moment too startling to record the perception. . . . You need know nothing of Zen to become immersed in his work. You will inevitably know something of Zen when you emerge."
(Jim Harrison, American Poetry Review)