BD. Edmund Blunden

110. Trans. Eight Japanese Poems. Encounter, February 1954, p. 42.

Only twice did Blunden publish translations from the Japanese, here and in 142. A brief introduction notes that his aim is to introduce haiku to ‘new readers’ and recommends Blyth’s (Ap, misprinted here ‘Alyth’s’) Haiku for further examples. Blunden’s versions of work by Bashô (Ap), Buson (Ap), Issa (Ap), Shiki, and others are rhymed, owe a considerable debt to works by Miyamori (see D27) that Blunden had reviewed eighteen and twenty-one years earlier (see 39 and 47), and even in 1954 must have appeared dated to readers acquainted either with Japanese itself or with contemporary English translations. Blunden’s assertion that the originals are from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is not entirely correct: Shiki was born in 1867 and lived into the twentieth century.





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