Yorifumi Yaguchi is a nationally known poet in Japan. He was a child during World War II, watching while bombs split his countryside to pieces, while the neighbor girl fell prey to soldiers, while an American soldier crept into his home, hoping for rest and safety. Yaguchi's grandfather, a devout Buddhist priest, taught him peaceful ways, urged him to build a healed world. His father taught him the Shinto way, emperor-worship, and the nationalism that fueled Japan's World War II military efforts. The War focused Yaguchi's poetic abilities instead of destroying them, says Wilbur Birky, the editor of this volume of 150 of Yaguchi's poems in English. Six sections form this collection -- "Silence," "Child of War," "Horizon," "Breath of God,' "Words Made Flesh," and "War and Peace." The poems cover the span of Yaguchi's life -- and his career as a poetry professor and editor, as a Mennonite Christian pastor, and as a nationally recognized, still-practicing poet.
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