Stephen Berg – steam rising from a full bowl of rice

steamrisingpoetry

Zen Master Dogen Versions

Stephen Berg
$10 USA/$TK Canada
5 ¼ x 7, 92 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN 978-0-9890912-0-6
Poetry




Dogen, a Zen master of early medieval Japan, wrote poems that have fascinated readers for centuries. In this volume, acclaimed poet Stephen Berg adapts and refashions more than sixty of them.

Praise from the New York Times for Stephen Berg:
“We need poets like this. Mr. Berg relentlessly describes what we would often prefer to forget but can’t allow ourselves to forget.”
“. . . dazzling intimations of the possibility and mystery of a radically awakened consciousness.”
stephenberg2Poet and editor Stephen Berg’s honors and awards include fellowships
from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Pew Foundation. He received a PEN grant in translation and the Frank O’Hara Prize. He has taught at Princeton and Haverford College and is a professor of humanities at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He has published numerous poetry collections and translations. He is the founder and editor of The American Poetry Review. He lives in Philadelphia.

In all the years I have known [Stephen Berg] he has been skeptical of Enlightenment even for the Zen masters who claim it. That contradiction is the driving force of these ‘versions.’ The Enlightened Dōgen we have come to anticipate, ecstatic and calm, sensitive to cosmic beauty, is steadily undermined by a curmudgeon Dōgen, blind, angry, pinned. …” – From the Afterword by Steve Antinoff

ZAZEN
That idea
Moon mind water
It’s enough to make me puke
Waves rush up freezing my bare
Bright feet

TRAPPED
White white clouds
And snow
And me pinned down
On Echizden between rocks
Blind in fog and snow

REFUSING WHAT DŌGEN SAYS IT IS
A halo
Framing the boat
Moonlight soaks the oars
Waves no-identity waves
And the rower