Awesome Nightfall: the life, times, and poetry of Saigyo
At the intersection of violence and beauty, world and transcendence, the medieval Japanese poet-monk Saigyo celebrated natural phenomena, especially blossoms and the moon. But his concise verse also revealed inner struggles against a backdrop of royal scandals, erotic involvements, political upheavals, and devastating warfare. A warrior himself, Saigyo eventually became disillusioned and committed to a monk's life. His extensive travels allowed him to bear true witness to the world around him, leading him also to examine his own passions as expressed in poetry and Buddhist practice. In AWESOME NIGHTFALL William R. LaFleur's gives us Saigyo in a far richer range of translations than has been available before.
"Saigyo's poems are masterful mind-language challenges. LaFleur's deeply understanding translations present us with the snake-like energy of the syntax, and the illuminated world that was called out by one man's lifetime of walking and meditation is again right here." - Gary Snyder, author of The High Sierra of California
"LaFleur's account of Saigyo's life kept me spellbound, and his translations made me ache to hit the road with Saigyo, surely the most lucid and bittersweet poet of Buddhist Japan. Superb." - Andrew Schelling, Naropa University, author of The Cane Groves of Narmada River