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Crow with No Mouth
Stephen Berg
$14.00 paperback
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Crow with No Mouth
Ikkyu; Fifteenth Century Zen Master
Stephen Berg

Zen master Ikkyu Sojun (1394-1481) was a Japanese monk-poet-calligrapher-musician who celebrated erotic love and attained satori upon hearing a crow call. Appointed headmaster at Daitokuji, the great temple in Kyoto, he lasted nine days before denouncing the rampant hypocrisy among the monks. He invited them to look for him in the sake parlors of the Pleasure Quarters.

His work is translated here by poet Stephen Berg.



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For Crow with No Mouth, Stephen Berg

"Ikkyu scandalized the Zen community of his day and is likely to scandalize some readers even now—his short poems are simultaneously bawdy, abrupt, vulgar, and reverential... It is impossible not to love the velocity and variety of his verse."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Stephen Berg is exactly the right poet to have translated these poems."—Hayden Carruth, The Hudson Review

"A deeply sensual man, Ikkyu had little patience for the fussiness of monastic life and ritual... What is especially appealing about Ikkyu's poetry is the way his sensuality infuses his Zen sensibility."—American Book Review

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