First Penguin volume
Of best Japanese haiku
A Japanese poetry form that flourished from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, haiku are defined by their brevity: they are usually only three lines long and a total of seventeen syllables. Most famously, they use natural imagery to make Zen-like observations about reality. However, as this anthology reveals, there's much more to haiku than cherry blossoms and waning moons: the verse included here is frequently erotic, funny, rude, and mischievous. Adam Kern has travelled throughout Japan to gather the best and most important examples of the genre, and his vivid and engaging translations form the basis of the Penguin Book of Haiku.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
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Adam L. Kern (editor, translator) studied Japanese literature at Harvard University, where he earned his PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations before joining the faculty for nearly a decade. In Japan, he has been affiliated with the University of Kyoto, the University of Tokyo, and the National Institute of Japanese Literature, and worked as a staff reporter for the Kyoto Shimbun. Kern teaches Japanese literature and visual culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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