As if done with sumi ink, these verses by John Wilson are meditative responses to the landscapes of great classical masters. Each poem faces a reproduction of a work by an artist of mythic stature, among them Sesshu, Sesson, Buson, Musashi, Sengai, Shih K'o, Korin, Ku K'ai-chih, Kusumi Morikage, Taiga, and Kung K'ai. The succinct loveliness of the poems seems often as acute as the verses of Li Po and Tu Fu.
"One of the poems herein says – Art should give us back / The world / That our living / Confiscates – And this is so fitting a characterization of what these master artists and this master poet do, in our terrorist twenty-first century, in which we mourn for a more innocent, simpler, more serene world. In these beautiful pages, art triumphs over life." —Lawrence Ferlinghetti
"Words as precise and exact as the brush strokes he chronicles." —Joanne Kyger
"These poems and paintings prove a compassionate and delicious company. Their reflective perceptions of the common world make a securing place for all to enter." —Robert Creeley
John Wilson studied Japanese for four years and has lived in Japan. He taught Asian and Western literature in the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. He has published his poems in anthologies and journals, and has translated Smoke in the Mountain Valley by Yoshiko Shigekane.