I Wait for the Moon: 100 Haiku of Momoko Kuroda
If you’ve ever read haiku, you’ve probably seen the five-seven-five syllable pattern and dismissed it as an art form. But in Japan, there are centuries of tradition behind that deceptively simple-looking poem. There is a style and a grace to true haiku that eludes most people, which explains why the best haiku poets are considered craftspeople of the highest order.
Momoko Kuroda is one of haiku’s most well-known modern practitioners, and I Wait for the Moon is the first major English translation of her work. Enthusiast and poet Abigail Friedman not only translates Kuroda’s work for new eyes but offers key insight into each poem, as well as snippets of Japanese vocabulary to give readers the tools necessary to fully appreciate Kuroda’s work. Not only that, but Friedman also presents a brief look into the history of haiku in Japan, and I learned some valuable new information in process. For instance, I had no idea that there are more female than male haiku poets these days, a huge reversal from times past.
The haiku themselves vary from the sublime to the ridiculous, but you’re bound to find a few that inspire you to try your own hand at the art form.
Momoko Kuroda, Abigail Friedman, Translator
Stone Bridge Press