by Sakutarō Hagiwara, translated from the Japanese by Hiroaki Sato
Modernist poet Sakutarō Hagiwara’s first published book, Howling at the Moon, shattered conventional verse forms and transformed the poetic landscape of Japan. Two of its poems were removed on order of the Ministry of the Interior for “disturbing social customs.” Along with the entirety of Howling, this volume includes all of Blue Cat, Hagiwara’s second major collection, together with Cat Town, a prose-poem novella, and a substantial selection of verse from the rest of his books, giving readers the full breadth and depth of this pioneering poet’s extraordinary work.
Sakutarō Hagiwara is the ultimate modern Japanese poet-the first to perfect the use of colloquial language as a medium for poetic expression. Always rhythmic, his poetry represents a scintillating verbal and spiritual adventure, particularly in the lucid and elegant translations createdby Hiroaki Sato.
—J. Thomas Rimer
Sakutarō Hagiwara is not just the most influential poet of his generation-his body of radically expressive work inspires the most innovative Japanese poets writing today. He is the big cheese, and Hiroaki Sato, the master translator, has the gifts necessary to render his incomparably sharp taste.