steam rising from a full bowl of rice



Zen Master Dogen Versions

Stephen Berg
$10 USA/$TK Canada
5 ¼ x 7, 92 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9890912-0-6

Dogen, a Zen master of
early medieval Japan,
wrote poems that have
fascinated readers for centuries.
In this volume, acclaimed
poet Stephen Berg adapts and
refashions more than sixty of

Praise from the New York Times for Stephen Berg:
“We need poets like this. Mr. Berg relentlessly describes what we would often prefer to forget but can’t allow ourselves to forget.”
“. . . dazzling intimations of the possibility and mystery of a radically awakened consciousness.”
stephenberg2oet and editor Stephen Berg’s honors and awards include fellowships
from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the
Pew Foundation. He received a PEN grant in translation and the Frank
O’Hara Prize. He has taught at Princeton and Haverford College and is a
professor of humanities at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He
has published numerous poetry collections and translations. He is the
founder and editor of The American Poetry Review. He lives in Philadelphia.


In all the years I have known [Stephen Berg] he has been skeptical
of Enlightenment even for the Zen masters who claim it. That
contradiction is the driving force of these ‘versions.’ The Enlightened
Dōgen we have come to anticipate, ecstatic and calm, sensitive to
cosmic beauty, is steadily undermined by a curmudgeon Dōgen, blind,
angry, pinned. …” – From the Afterword by Steve Antinoff

That idea
Moon mind water
It’s enough to make me puke
Waves rush up freezing my bare
Bright feet

White white clouds
And snow
And me pinned down
On Echizden between rocks
Blind in fog and snow

A halo
Framing the boat
Moonlight soaks the oars
Waves no-identity waves
And the rower

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