Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Japanese Death Poems: Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death" (Tuttle Publishing 1986) seems like the most unlikely of books to have been published, purchased and read for pleasure. However there's something uniquely compelling about the centuries old Japanese tradition of jitsei: composing a poem before you die.

I've only begun to flick through the pages. This is my favourite so far:

What a lark!
Swinging my arms I set off:
a winter's rainstorm.

~Osen (died 1696, aged 44)



  1. I have this book too.

    Great book.

    Doesn't seem to be in print anymore?

  2. i think i'll go looking for this one if i can find a copy anywhere...

  3. hmmmm


Thanks for taking the time to write something.