China, and Ganges, and Japan
Are words my Papa taught my pen.
He says, they’re countrys to be found
In a strange world below the ground;
Where folks with feet erected tread,
And distant downward hangs the head:
Fearless, they topsy-turvey run,
With naught beneath—but skies and sun.

Dr. Wenstanley of Dublin, from “The Answer,” Poems by Several Hands, Boston: B. Green, 1744.

Welcome to the Archive of Japan in English-Language Verse. In time the pages here may be introduced properly, but for now a few words about what the archive is, what it is intended to be, and what it is not. Please read these notes and the terms of use before continuing.

What the Archive is:
Until otherwise indicated the Archive is two things, or, rather, contains two kinds of information, one archival and bibliographic and the other informational only. The contents page includes chronological listings of all that is here and much that is not. Where a text itself is available the title either is or will be linked to that text. Where a text is not available the name of the author and title of the text that would be included if I had permission to include it is noted, but not linked. Unless otherwise noted the absence of these texts does not imply that permission has been denied, rather that it has not yet been requested or has not yet been received.

The issue determining whether a text noted in the contents is included is copyright. Texts not in the public domain in Japan are used only with permission or for non-profit educational, scholarly, and research purposes. In the context in which the Archive is presented, the course materials on East/West comparative cultural history and the sociology of culture in the Home area of the site, and especially the 300,000-word critical and bibliographical study of Japan in English-language verse in the Bibliography area, with which much of the archive is linked, I believe that what is included constitutes fair use of the material. Should anyone who claims to be a rights holder disagree a note to will result in removal of the work in question until an accord about its absence or presence here may be reached.

In an attempt to ensure that inclusion in the Archive is of benefit to those responsible for the work included, or at least to maximize the chances of this, works in print by each author whose work is in print are noted, and links provided to on-line stores where these may be bought in the United States and the United Kingdom, the two largest markets for English-language books. The default links are to the sites, but I shall be happy to link to any other on-line bookstore or to any publisher at the request of an author or copyright holder. No one connected with receives compensation for these links or books sold as a result of them. They are included solely for the benefit of authors and copyright holders in the hope that readers of the Archive will buy books by the authors included.

What the Archive is intended to be:
1. a searchable primary-source cultural history of the imagination of Japan, as both subject and form, in poetry and verse drama in English, and one that has not been captured, and would be difficult to capture, by more conventional means;

2. a resource that will facilitate understanding of and promote further research into this history and this imagination.

What the Archive is not:
It is not an invitation explicit or implied to reproduce, alter, or distribute any of the work included.

Terms of Use:
Materials in Emerging from Absence: An Archive of Japan in English-Language Verse are made accessible for non-profit educational and research purposes only. makes no warranty with regard to their use for any other purpose. Much of the work included is not in the public domain and is owned by the copyright holder. Such work is included either with permission or for non-profit educational, scholarly, and research purposes, as outlined in Japanese and other legal statutes, such as Title 17 Section 107 of the US Code. Work not in the public domain may not be reproduced, altered, or distributed without the written permission of the rights holder. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment and independently securing necessary permissions rests with the person or persons desiring to use a particular item in the context of the intended use. Accessing the archive by processing a search or clicking a link or any other means constitutes agreement to these terms.

For further information see what the archive is, what it is intended to be, and what it is not above.

The following appear with the permission of the rights holder:

• Ciaran Carson, The Rising Sun, Fuji Film, and February Fourteen, courtesy The Gallery Press;

• Paul Durcan, Raftery in Tokyo and The Journey Home from Japan, courtesy Paul Durcan;

• Andrew Fitzsimons, from Essays in Idleness, courtesy Andrew Fitzsimons;

• Tobias Hill, One Day in Hiroshima, from A Year in Japan, and Playing Chess with the Elder Mrs Uchida, courtesy Tobias Hill;

• Michael Longley, A Gift of Boxes, A Grain of Rice, The Weather in Japan, and Birds & Flowers, courtesy Michael Longley;

• Frank Polite, The Japanese Garden, courtesy Frank Polite;

• Peter Robinson, Deep North and After Bansui, courtesy Carcanet Press; New Year and Silence Revisited, courtesy Peter Robinson;

• Gabriel Rosenstock, Farrera, courtesy Gabriel Rosenstock;

• Paul Rossiter, Some Cultural Uncertainties and Sashimi and Roses, courtesy Paul Rossiter;

• Eileen Sheehan, claiming it, courtesy Eileen Sheehan;

• Lucien Stryk, Hearn in Matsue, Zen: The Rocks of Sesshu, Awakening: Homage to Hakuin, Zen Master, 1685~1768, and Translating Zen Poems, courtesy Ohio University Press & Swallow Press;

• Joseph Woods, Sailing to Hokkaido, Where the word for beautiful is clean, and Triptych, courtesy Joseph Woods;

• Pat Boran, A Natural History of Armed Conflict and Way of Peace, courtesy Pat Boran.

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