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Poetry. PERIGEE MOON is a collection of tanka, the elegant poetic form used by Japanese court poets over 1300 years ago to express desire, longing, and unrequited love. These short five-line poems create space in the reader's mind and heart to enter the poem through their own experiences. Arranged in five sections with themes of love, family, childhood, nature, and travel, the poems in PERIGEE MOON weave themselves through time into a cohesive whole. From Theseus to a Zen monastery to a Goth girl to courting juncos, a panoply of emotions is revealed through images and the musicality of Chula's language. Her tanka ("short songs") sing out and celebrate what it is to be alive in the 21st century.
"In PERIGEE MOON, Margaret Chula writes with pinpoints of poignancy, bringing us closer to nature, to the lover, to the mother, and to life itself. Above all, we are drawn closer to our innermost selves, just as the perigee moon is drawn to the earth. Almost imperceptibly, Chula merges the elegance of the Japanese tradition with the finger-snap of the modern world. Her graceful voice heralds the way for non-Japanese."—Patricia Donegan
"Imbued with a Japanese sensibility and rendered in an American idiom, these masterful five-line poems are a sheer pleasure to read. Ranging in subject and tone from the erotic to the dolorous—and never without a touch of humor—each one makes an unexpected turn or pivot, a little poof of surprise, in the manner of the traditional tanka. Margaret Chula is an unquestionable master of the form."—Clemens Starck
Margaret Chula migrates the ancient tanka form into English with all its virtuosity intact. Her poems are by turns tender, startling, ironical, acerbic, gritty, hilarious, self-deprecating, and achingly true. I will always treasure these poems for their loving sadness about the human predicament, and for images that can stun the reader into enlightenment: 'one daffodil / fallen face down / into a water bowl / Mother's slender neck / as she drank from the stream.'"—Patrick Donnelly
Margaret Chula has published thirteen collections of poetry: Grinding my ink; This Moment; The Smell of Rust; Shadow Lines; Always Filling, Always Full; What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps; Just This; Winter Deepens, Daffodils at Twilight; One Leaf Detaches; Shadow Man, One Last Scherzo and, most recently, Firefly Lanterns: Twelve Years in Kyoto. Grinding my ink and Shadow Lines received Haiku Society of America Book Awards and One Leaf Detaches, a 2019 Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. Her haiku have appeared on Itoen tea cans in Japan, on a construction site for the new Orange Line in Portland, Oregon, and on billboards in Tokyo train stations. Musician/composer, James Falzone, composed and performed pieces inspired by selected tanka from Just This. Margaret has served as president of the Tanka Society of America as well as poet laureate for Friends of Chamber Music. Living in Kyoto for twelve years, she now makes her home in Portland, Oregon.Author City: USA