Tag Archives: Japanese Poetry

The Thousand Marvels. . . . Free Shipping

17 Oct

the thousand marvels of every moment
a tanka collection
by pat nolan

Fall 2018, 124 pages, $16

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One In A Thousand

Tanka is the modern name for a short poem known throughout the history of Japanese literature as a waka. The pre-modern word, waka, finds its source in ancient oral tradition of call and response agricultural chants as well as those accompanying communal efforts in indigenous Japanese villages.  In its lineated form, the tanka consists of five lines.  In its non-lineated form, the tanka has the syllabic rhythm or pattern of 5-7-5-7-7. 

The courtly love culture of medieval Japan adapted the folk tradition as the exchange of verse between courtiers requiring a cap or response to bring the poem to a subtle esoteric often erotic resolution. Eventually the practice transformed into a unified singular verse, the waka, a poem of two minds as the literary affectation of one mind.


The short poems of the thousand marvels of every moment are composed of five lines.  They also take into consideration the 5-7-5-7-7 patterns as a phonetic rhythm although they do not necessarily conform to the syllabic count.  The succinct directness required of the form lends itself to this rhythm. The first stanza balances on the second, sometimes precariously, to pose a distinguishing match. The break between stanzas acts as a kind of caesura, a gap for synaptic sparks to jump.  It also emphasizes its call and response origins serving as a binary exchange of verbal energy.  The two last lines in these poems tend to resolve them either as parallel breaths or as a single run-on semantic declaration.  Sometimes they function as a pedestal for the preceding stanza, the bass line for its melodic pretext, sometimes as a bowl or receptacle to contain the original intent, or as a decorative garnish to the entrée (think California cuisine), and sometimes at its most basic, the response to the call.


I hesitate to name the poems in this collection tanka as that would presume the mastery of a complicated set of rules and conditions.  They do not observe many of the accepted tanka conventions although they do seek a synthesis and accommodation brought about by translation into a radically different language and culture.  The poems actually owe their method more to the intricate multi-voiced play of a related Japanese verse form, haikai no renga, also known as renku or linked verse.  That similarity is especially true in the relationship between stanzas or the rhythms of 5-7-5 -7-7.  There is, in fact, a term for a linked poem composed of only two stanzas, tanrenga.  As accurate as that may be I am uncomfortable with the label. Tanku, a word of my own devising, would seem to accommodate the Japanese nomenclature (haiku, hokku, renku) but still doesn’t fit my sense of the poems.  Ultimately I find myself preferring tanka as the logical and sentimental favorite of what this type of poem might be called. I do so well aware that the designation is a borrowed one.

(from the introduction to the thousand marvels of every moment)


 

from the thousand marvels of every moment

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Fall, 2018, the thousand marvels of every moment

23 Sep

the thousand marvels of every moment
a tanka collection
by pat nolan

Fall 2018, approx 100 pages, $16

Pre-orders now being accepted

 

Tanka is the modern name for a short poem known throughout the history of Japanese literature as a “waka.” The pre-modern word, “waka”, finds it source in the ancient oral tradition of call and response planting and harvesting songs as well as those accompanying communal efforts in indigenous Japanese villages.  In its lineated form, the tanka consists of five lines.  In its non-lineated form, the tanka has the syllabic rhythm or pattern of 5-7-5-7-7.  The short poems of the thousand marvels of every moment are composed of five lines.  They also take into consideration the rhythmic patterns of 5-7-5-7-7 although they do not necessarily conform to the syllabic count.  The poems in this collection also do not observe many of the accepted tanka conventions but seek a synthesis and accommodation brought about by translation into a radically different language and culture. 

from One In A Thousand

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So Much, Selected Poem, 1969-1989
“Descriptions of nature so translucent we can only marvel how he weaves us into them, onward, around that eternal share of misfortune, bitter realization, and expectations gone wrong. This is Nolan’s secret power.  He engages us in magical transformation and will not let us look away.”
—Maureen Owen, author of Erosion’s Pull and Edges of Water

 

Exile In Paradise
“Reading these poems, I feel like I’m walking down a village lane somewhere in China, beyond the reach of the emperor’s minions, and every door I walk by, someone invites me in for a cup of wine. At this rate, I don’t think I’ll ever make it out of here, and why should I?”
—Bill Porter (Red Pine), translator, author of Finding Them Gone: Visiting China’s Poets from the Past

 

Poetry For Sale
Poetry For Sale is a fantastic collection.  Anyone interested in the interaction between Japanese and English poetry needs this book.  And anyone interested in renga should definitely get it.  It is an immensely pleasing collection: entertaining, surprising, sometimes sharp and witty, sometimes introspective, sometimes descriptive, the renga unfold with great skill and elegance.”
 —Jim Wilson,  author of Microcosmos, The Art Of The Solo Renga (Sebastopol, 2014)

 

Your Name Here
“The poems glow with insight and wit as they simply monitor the flow of a mind steeped in Chinese poetry, bebop, the Russian River, the beats, the birds, Heraclitus. . . .  [Nolan] in his own words, is an alphabet male.  And despite the breadth of his learning and thought, is always just talking from right here.  It’s a hell of a book.”
—Eric Johnson, poet and master printer at Iota Press

 

Hello Life
“Reading Gail King has always been one of my great poetry pleasures. Her inimitable voice narrates the world with humor and tenderness, a world of beauty and occasional sorrow. Her work has healing effects.”
—Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator and author of So Recently Rent A World

 

 

The Last Resort
“Pat Nolan’s The Last Resort puts his gun in the right hands–a woman’s–with authority and harmful intent.  Get ready to hit the deck!”
Barry Gifford, author of Imagining Paradise and Wild At Heart

 

 

On The Road To Las Cruces
On the Road to Las Cruces takes us on a twilight journey through frontier history.  Nolan’s adroit and stylish prose intertwines death, betrayal, greed and conspiracy as each claims its victims.”
Keith Abbott, author of Downstream From Trout Fishing In America

 

 


 

 

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Exile In Paradise FREE SHIPPING

27 Oct

Praise for Exile In Paradise

“Nolan has given Solitude, itself, a voice in this rich lyric of nature.  A luminosity of flickering bursts pause and magnify now moments of being alive.  His quotidian soaks us with its presence.  His lines trace the air.”
—Maureen Owen, author of Erosion’s Pull and Edges of Water

“Reading these poems, I feel like I’m walking down a village lane somewhere in China, beyond the reach of the emperor’s minions, and every door I walk by, someone invites me in for a cup of wine. At this rate, I don’t think I’ll ever make it out of here, and why should I?”
—Bill Porter (Red Pine), translator, author of Finding Them Gone: Visiting China’s Poets from the Past


 

The poems of Exile In Paradise are derived from a lifelong appreciation of classical Chinese poetry. This selection by Pat Nolan marks an almost fifty year creative engagement with Asian literature in translation. Chinese poetry is image rich and largely dependent for its overall effect on the juxtaposition of these images in a discontinuous thread that is not unlike the successive frames of a film. Each of the poems finds its origin in a line translated from an ancient Chinese poet. Although removed by degrees of separation from the originals in time and language, their impulse remains the same: to call up the perceptual as a song of celebration in sacred engagement with the world.

Pat Nolan has lived in silent cunning exile along the Russian River in Northern California for over forty years.  His poetry, prose and translations have appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies in North America, Europe and Asia.  He has worked as a bartender, rock band manager, trail crew grunt, radio DJ, janitor, preschool teacher, and emergency dispatcher.  The author of three novels and over a dozen poetry books, he is also publisher of Nualláin House, Publishers and maintains this literary blog.


Failed in Letters Happy in Life

“Cherishing my ineptness I’m carefree to the end”
enjoying a little peace cup of herb tea cold
attentive to the sound of the eaves overflowing
after a rush of late winter rain passes through
where I have gone wrong fills many notebooks
file cabinets bulging with personal hyperbole
here mistake after mistake accumulates like dust
documents of my timeless imperfection


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November, 2017
$16.00~paper~100 pages~6×9~ISBN 978-0-9840310-5-4

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ontheroadfront300ON THE ROAD TO LAS CRUCES; Being A Novel Account of The Last Day In The Life of A Legendary Western Lawman
by Pat Nolan

 Pat Nolan’s first published novel, On The Road To Last Cruces; Being A Novel Account of The Last Day In The Life of A Legendary Western Lawman is the story of youthful bravado and an old man’s regret, and as much a dusty tale of buffalo hunts and shoot-outs as a politically driven “whodunit.”  November 2011 ~ 154 pages

 

THE LAST RESORT
A Lee Malone Adventure
by Pat Nolan

Pat Nolan has written a fast paced, tongue-in-cheek, pun filled comedy of errors, misunderstandings, and faux intuition in the mode of a 1930’s pulp thriller.  Instead of the typical splinter-jawed, broken nosed, tobacco breathed tough guy hero, Nolan upends the stereotype by introducing a gorgeous internationally famous former fashion model whose super power is her beauty.
August 2012~ 212 pages

 

 

HELLO LIFE
Poems by Gail King 

The poems of Hello Life achieve their freshness in the particularity of experience. The poet surrenders herself to the moment and tenders that subtle cognition as a delighted welcome to life. The ease of her expression in dealing with the everyday communicates an uncommon wisdom. The poems present, through playful understatement and sly humor, the immediacy of spontaneous impressions.
December 2013  ~  64 pages

 

 

 

Your Name Here
New Poems
by Pat Nolan 

The poems in Your Name Here revolve around that quantum axis with seemingly random discontinuities that do not pin down meaning but are left to mean themselves. Nolan’s poetry enacts a sub-vocal monologue that is like the murmur of cosmic background radiation, noticeable only in its cessation or as pauses when the mind registers the sum of discrete moments in an instant.  November 2014 ~ 80 pages

 

Poetry For Sale
Haikai no Renga (Linked Poetry)

Introduction by Pat Nolan
The eleven haikai no renga included in Poetry For Sale were written over period of nearly thirty years by Pat Nolan and his renku collaborators, Keith Kumasen Abbott, Sandy Berrigan, Gloria Frym, Steven Lavoie, Joen Eshima Moore, Maureen Owen, Michael Sowl, and John Veglia.  In these pages haikai no renga is synthesized as a brief, highly suggestive, well spoken, maddeningly ambiguous, read-between-the-lines kind of poetry tuned to a common understanding.  October 2015 ~ 152 pages

Poetry For Sale Now Available!

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P4sale15tjPoetry For Sale

Haikai No Renga (linked poetry)
Introduction by Pat Nolan
Haikai no Renga with
Keith Kumasen Abbott,
Sandy Berrigan, Gloria Frym,
Steven Lavoie, 
Joen Eshima Moore,
Maureen Owen, 
Michael Sowl,
and John Veglia
.

The eleven haikai no renga included in Poetry For Sale were written over period of nearly thirty years by Pat Nolan and his renku collaborators, Keith Kumasen Abbott, Sandy Berrigan, Gloria Frym, Steven Lavoie, Joen Eshima Moore, Maureen Owen, Michael Sowl, and John Veglia. This collection of linked poetry presents a fascinating excursion in comparative literature by a cross-section of exceptional, widely-published American poets.  What these poets bring to the collaborative linking of stanzas is a visceral sense of the poetic that transcends two disparate languages and the gap of centuries. In these pages haikai no renga is synthesized as a brief, highly suggestive, well spoken, maddeningly ambiguous, read-between-the-lines kind of poetry tuned to a common understanding.

October 2015 ~ 152 pages ~ $16 ~ paper ~ ISBN978-0-9840310-4-7

click on the How To Order tab for more information


from HARDLY STRICTLY HAIKAI
—An Introduction—

Haikai no Renga is collaborative poetry of Japanese origin normally written by two or more poets linking stanzas of 17 syllables and 14 syllables according to specific rules governing the relationship between stanzas.  Haikai collaboration can be as complex as chess, as multi-dimensional as go, and as fast-paced and entertaining as dominoes.  It is as much about the interaction of the poets as it is about what gets written.  The forward progress of its improvisation is akin to that of a tight jazz combo. Haikai composition has also been compared to montage in experimental film where the discontinuity of images and vectors achieves an integral non-narrative expression.

Haikai no renga is known variously as renga, haikai, renku, and linked poetry.  Generally the term renga is applied to an older, more traditional style of linking poetry practiced by the aristocracy and the upper echelon of medieval Japanese society.  Haikai no renga means “non-standard renga” though it has often been translated as “mongrel” or “dog renga” which places it in the literary hierarchy as common entertainment.

In the introduction to her seminal study of Matsuo Basho’s haikai no renga, Monkey’s Raincoat (Grossinger/Mushinsha, 1973), Dr. Maeda Cana offers a further explication of the word haikai.  “The main characteristics of the haikai are partly discernible in the kanji or Chinese characters which make up the words haikai and renku: hai denotes fun, play, humor, and also actor or actress, and kai friendly exchange of words; ren represents a number of carriages passing along a road one after another and has the meaning of continuing to completion while ku is expressive of the rhythmic changes in speech and denotes end or stop.”

Renku is a literary game of high seriousness valuing cooperation and rewarding intelligence as well as intuition.  A poet’s erudition and sense of language are called upon to clear paths and build bridges that will meander through the landscape of a literary garden.  Its cooperative result, a balance of unpredictable language gestures as insubstantial as smoke but possessed of a palpable humanity, is what is important.  The echo of the response, its relationship to the previous stanza, and how it extends its meaning, poignantly or allusively, is the esthetic ground for this kind of poetry.  The linking process, in renga, and in haikai, allows a sequence whose subtle oscillation of playfulness and gravity walk the tightrope of language’s built-in ambiguities.

“Generally speaking, haikai is steeped in the wit and banter” as Dr. Cana explains, and “it has a brilliance that shocks.  Such brilliance is continual and amazes. . .at every turn.”  Poets are under pressure to produce the unpredictable so that the possibilities of cleverness are continually exploited at a tempo that is swift and witty.  The haikai poets of old delighted in word play, literary allusions, double entendres as well as displays of authentic sensibility. The completed renku is as much a certificate of cooperation as it is a multi-page poem and a sequence of short poems.  Its literary value is in its effervescent spontaneity and transitory nature, a quality much appreciated by the Japanese.

renku sheet1

 

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