The World Disguised as This One
a year in tanka by Mimi White
5.5 x 8.5 87 pages; $16.95
Praise for "The World Disguised as This One":
This beautifully observed, penetrating collection of tanka slips itself into and under awareness. A narrative holding equally an illness’s navigation and the abiding, altering beauty of existence, each five-line poem is complete in itself, a world presented in full. Yet in reading these pages through, their accumulation leads to a shifted landscape of being. As life itself does.
Mimi White explores new forms with her sensitive poetic reach in language and vision, often mixing the natural world and the human condition together to express the mysteries of life as a sense of those things that cannot be seen.
From the back cover:
One of the oldest Japanese forms, the tanka (or waka) originated in seventh-century Japan. Perhaps less well known to Western audiences than the haiku, it predates this form by several hundred years. The tanka usually contains thirty-one syllables or sound units, nearly double the haiku’s seventeen. Like the haiku, the tanka’s central image is taken from nature, but a shift almost always occurs when that image is recast through a more personal lens. As Yoel Hoffman writes in his introduction to Japanese Death Poems, “The tanka poet may be likened to a person holding two mirrors in his hands, one reflecting a scene from nature, the other reflecting himself as he holds the first mirror.”
Praise for "Memory Won’t Save Me, a haibun":
When the Japanese poet-monk Basho invented the haibun, the alternating haiku and prose in which he documented his travels, he certainly never imagined what a poet could do with the form in twenty-first century American English. Mimi White’s "Memory Won’t Save Me" is an ingenious, fascinating appropriation, an account of both physical and emotional travel.