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Poets Behind Barbed Wire

Poets Behind Barbed WirePoets Behind Barbed Wire
edited & translated by Jiro Nakano & Kay Nakano
ISBN: 0-910043-05-1
73 pages

OUT OF PRINT

OUT OF PRINT, NO LONGER AVAILABLE

This anthology of tanka poems, translated from Japanese into English, paints a deeply personal profile of life in the Wartime Relocation Camps during WWII. The short (31 syllable) traditional Japanese poetry form, tanka, offers an economical account of the inner lives of four internees, whose work was originally published in camp magazines and later in anthologies and Japanese newspapers in Hawai'i. The collection includes illustrations by camp artist George Hoshida and the featured poets--Keiho Soga, Taisanboku Mori, Sojin Takei, and Muin Ozaki.

Winner of the 1985 Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award.

by Sojin Takei

Torawaruru
Toki wa kitarinu
Ame no yoi
Kokoro sadamete
Kutsu no oto kiku

The time has come
For my arrest
This dark rainy night.
I calm myself and listen
To the sound of the shoes.

by Muin Ozaki

Komi ageru
Ikidori an
Hyakujyuichi to
Munehada i bango
Akaku kakareshi

A retching anguish rises
As the number "111"
Is painted
On my naked chest
In red.