Translated by Takako Lento
Haydn Morning is the fifth collection by one of Japan’s finest contemporary poets, arriving over a decade since his last collection, St. Francis’ Birds (2008). Why did it take twelve long years? Taguchi explains: I can give a few reasons, but the major issue was my health, which presented me with medically inexplicable disorders. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every wall is a door.” For me my illness turned out to be the door. It took more than ten years for it to open. (It appeared totally different from the way ‘a door’ looks.) So what Haydn Morning brings you is the world on the other side of that door. I hope you will explore what I saw, as you page through this book. Looking forward to meeting you ‘beyond the door’! Sometimes armored with wit and humor, sometimes with painful innocence and sincerity, Taguchi writes for those who don’t usually read poetry but whose souls may be in need of it.
Taguchi Inuo (whose pen name literally means Dog Man) was born in 1967, a few years after the Tokyo Olympics that would herald the end of the ‘post-war’ years and the start of an economic boom in Japan. He grew up in Tokyo, able to enjoy those days of the boomin economy, but it was only after Japan hit rockier times economically that he started writing poetry. Taguchi’s work stood in distinct contrast to the mainstream Japanese poetry of his time. While the poems of his contemporaries were seriously intellectual, his were light, concrete and precise, and intelligent. Taguchi’s first collection, 20th-Century Orphan, came out in 1995. His second collection, General Moo (2000), won the prestigious Takami Jyun Award, followed by Armadillogic (2002); and St. Francis’ Birds (2008).
Takako Lento translates poetry and prose from Japanese to English and vice versa, her most recent collections being Shuntarō Tanikawa’s Ordinary People (2021) and Shinkawa Kazue’s Selected Poems (2021), both with Vagabond Press. Her recent books of translation and critical essays include Tamura Ryūichi, on the Life and Work of a 20th Century Master (co-ed. Wayne Miller); The Art of Being Alone: Tanikawa Shuntarō, Poems 1952 – 2009; Collected Haiku of Yosa Buson (with W.S. Merwin); Pioneers of Modern Japanese Poetry, and Butterfly by Kashiwagi Mari. She lives in the United States.
Inuo Taguchi, Haydn Morning
Translated by Translated by Takako Lento
2023. 148mm x 210mm. 64pp.
Release: February 2023.