Great Construction

Gosanka Poems, 1948, Preface

     Since antiquity, one of Japan’s unique literary forms has been the waka poem. Waka poems have a mystical power, and difficult topics that cannot be described even in ten thousand words, may be readily expressed in thirty-one syllables. Waka poetry has an uncanny power to move others. For these reasons, when I have the time, I compose poems of my impressions, about faith, about God and the divine, and from these poems, I have selected the verses that appear in this volume. I am not a trained poet, and most of these poems have been composed without wracking my brains but simply putting down what has naturally occurred to me. In composing poems, I have particularly tried to be mindful that they be easy for everyone to understand, that they maintain a sense of dignity, and that they convey the full beauty of the power of speech.


July 1948

translated by cynndd