by Stephen Berg
5.25 x 8
Ikkyu (1394–1481) was a Japanese monk and Zen master who denounced many of his fellow monks and ridiculed orthodox Zen practices. In this volume, acclaimed poet Stephen Ber presents freely adapted
“versions” of many of Ikkyu ’s most compelling poems as well as new poems inspired by Ikkyu.
“Ikkyu, the Zen master who scoffed at Zen is one of the world’s grand pessimists…on the other hand, when he writes about sex his earthly reckless enthusiasm is unmistakable. Stephen Berg’s adaptations are just right for Ikkyu ’s bitter sensitivity. From them one gets a very complex, even self-contradictory enjoyment, which is the mark,
I believe, of attending to genius.” —Hayden Carruth (review of Crow with No Mouth, Ikkyu, by Stephen Berg)
“Ikkyu scandalized the Zen community of his day and is likely to scandalize some readers even now – his short poems are simultaneously bawdy, abrupt, vulgar and reverential…It is impossible not to love the velocity and variety of his verse.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
Poet 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 taught at Princeton, Haverford College and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He published numerous poetry collections and translations. He was the founder and editor of The American Poetry Review.
He died in Philadelphia on June 12, 2014.