Sun at Midnight

Musō Soseki, W.S. Merwin, trans.

Long out of print, this reissue is the first translation into English of the work of Musō Soseki, the thirteenth-century Zen rōshi and founder of the rock garden. A gorgeous introduction by co-translator W.S. Merwin sets the stage for 130 poems and six letters to the emperor that combine delicacy and lightness with penetrating plainness. Essential for poets, gardeners, and students of Zen.

ISBN: 9781556594397

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Musō Soseki was born ten years after Dante, in 1275 according to our reckoning. His third year was one of loss—his family moved and his mother died. In the year after the death of his mother, he is said to have shown a precocious religious fervor, reciting sutras and prayers before the Buddhist images. When he was nine, his father took him to the Shingon temple in Kai and gave him up to the religious life.

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About the Translator

W.S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and was United States Poet Laureate in 2010. He graduated from Princeton University in 1948, where he studied with John Berryman and R.P. Blackmur. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Mallorca, and Portugal; for several years afterward he made the greater part of his living by translating from French, Spanish, Latin, and Portuguese. His first book of poetry, A Mask for Janus (1952) was selected …

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