Walking By My Self Again
by Taneda Santoka
Versions by Scott Watson
Sendai, Japan: Bookgirl Press, 2011
No one alive now has any idea how Santoka sounded in his physical voice. No recordings exist. But, because Santoka's poems share with us a heightened
sense of life, we sense his words are coming from his own depths to do so. This is his heartvoice we sense, this is the voice that activates a physical
voice. It is his spirit voice, a voice of life, and a voice of death. It is the voice of voice.
Four poems from Walking by My Self Again:
over morning noises a long bridge spans
all day today too no one came fireflies
until my clothes dry
spider spins its web I affirm my self
Scott Watson was born in 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) and grew up in a small town called Riverton across the Delaware in NJ. He has been a resident of Japan for 31 years. He lives with his wife Morie in Sendai. They have two children: Tatsuma and James. Scott is a poet who has published
over ten collections of poetry. His translations from Japanese include Bashō's oku no hosomichi (under the title Bashō's Road's Edge),
poems by Yorifumi Yaguchi, poems by Yamao Sansei, and, of course, Santōka. He edited for ten years the poetry magazine BONGOS OF THE LORD. He
directs Bookgirl Press and is a tenured professor at a university in Sendai.
Walking By My Self Again received Honorable Mention in the Haiku Society of America's Kanterman Award for Best Translation of 2011.