Author:                 Harold Wright
Paperback:                    198 pages

List Price:        $14.95

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Literary Masters, Inc.
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                                                  Long Island, New York 11971
Best Asian Verses
Ten Thousand Leaves

Compiled during the eighth century, the Manyoshu is a sweeping
anthology of 4516 poems on a range of subjects from the bawdy to
the heroic. Wright, a scholar of Oriental poetry, has drawn from it
136 lyrical love poems written by royalty and peasants, warriors and
priests. As he explains in his enlightening introduction, all the love
poems were originally written in tanka, a 31-syllable form divided
into five units. His translations each contain five lines, with each line
comprising the designated number of syllables, except where too
rigid a structure would interrupt the flow of a line. The poems are
arranged thematically. Many look to nature for an outward, physical
expression of mood, emotion, the passing of time. We read about the
anticipation of love, the memory of love, and the constancy of love
into old age. But by far the most prevalent theme is the longing for  a
spouse away at war, for a lover, for a person glimpsed but still
unknown. Over 30 beautiful black-and-white illustrations accompany
the poems. (March 20)
Synopsis:
The poignancy in these poems speaks as directly to the heart
today as it must have in the eighth century. Separation of
secrecy, intensified the longing. The illustrations are very
The poignancy in these poems speaks as directly to the heart
today as it must have in the eighth century. Separation of
today as it must have in the eighth century. Separation of
lovers, whether by war or by the necessity of maintaining
secrecy, intensified the longing. The illustrations are very
nice, and the introduction and notes provide a helpful and
interesting context.
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