front cover

back cover

Into the Wind


a sweep of poems by Santoka
versions of Cid Corman

front & back cover illustration
by Alan Chong Lau
ISBN 0-932274-13-7
first edition 1990
introduction by Cid Corman
140 PAGES, 4" x 5½"

Letterpress printing at the Enderby Press; Mohawk Superfine text and cover stock.

From the Introduction

The photographs we have of Santoka show an intense face, eyes behind thick glasses, a wisp of a beard, and under the straw hat and lost in the bedraggled dark robes a look that goes nowhere even as it sees everywhere and could be smiling or in tears.
Corman shows why we ought consider Santoka the last of the itinerant monk haiku poets in Japan—that line which includes Basho and Issa and Ryokan. He was born Shoichi Tandeam in 1892 and died in 1940; the pen name Santoka was adopted from Chinese literature and literally means Mountain-Head-Fire.
In the spring of 1926 the wandering life began, a sequence of pilgramages, often over ways travelled by his most revered predecessors, keeping a journal, travelling light, eating light, drinking when he could. . . . And haiku began to tell and be his life. . . .
Santoka's poems need no explication—they are as clear as breath—are his life . . . and this selection out of over 800 pieces tries to show him at that best—goes beyond mere sentimentality to where feeling and perception have become and keep becoming in the access of language reached a touching and enduring poetry.

— Cid Corman

in the iron bowl

no more houses
to beg from now
in the mountains

this the way to die
finishing maybe
I don't know
lying on the ground