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The Basho Variations by Steve McCaffery


The Basho Variations by Steve McCaffery


The Dialogic Basho

Basho: i want a poem
Frog: i want a pond

Basho: poematic pondness
Frog: pondific poesis

Basho: where are you?
Frog: where you are

The Basho Variations gathers thirty-four translations of Basho’s famous haiku. In doing so it enters an august (albeit scanty) lineage of maverick redactions of this poem that include (as inaugural) the “frog pond plop” by Dom Sylvester Hudard and the “fog prondl pop” by Gerry Gilbert. Inspired by Raymond Queneau’s Exercises in Style, it also joins the company of his earlier “Restricted Translation with Imperfect Level Shift (After Basho)” as well as the Frogments from the Frag Pool: Haiku after Basho by fellow ludicians de langage Gary Barwin and Derek Beaulieu; Beaulieu?s solo ((plop)) and Basho’s Frogger (a Zen video game) created by the Prize Budget for Boys.

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SKU: 2688 Categories: , ,

Praise for Steve McCaffery:

“Literature for McCaffery… is not an act of imaginative creation but a procedure, a machine for estranging us from our own language—estranging and thereby recuperating …. [Panopticon] is ultimately a profoundly optimistic work, a leap of faith that chooses to revel in the opacity of language …. A hypnotizing work.” — Full Stop

“Steve McCaffery is a major figure in contemporary poetry—certainly one of the most innovative and conceptually challenging poets of the last twenty-five years.” — Gerald Bruns

Author of around 40 books of poetry and criticism published variously in Canada, England, and the United States, McCaffery was a founding member of the sound poetry ensemble The Four Horsemen (with bpNichol of TRG – The Toronto Research Group), and a founding theorist of Language Poetry. He has published three previous titles with BookThug: a revised second edition of Panopticon, The Basho Variations, and Every Way Oakly (homolinguistic translations of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons), as well as editing the first Canadian edition of Stein’s book of that name. He is the two-time recipient of the Gertrude Stein Award for Innovative Writing, and was shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. He lives and teaches in Buffalo, NY, where he is the David Gray Professor of Poetry and Letters at the State University at Buffalo.

Condition: New

Additional information

Weight .5 kg
Dimensions 5 × 8 × .5 in