May Sky: There's Always Tomorrow

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9781557132536: May Sky: There's Always Tomorrow
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Traces the literary activities of Japanese Americans who became members of haiku clubs while in internment camps during World War II and offers a large selection--in Japanese and in English--of haiku poetry written in those camps. IP.

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Text: English (translation)

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In one of the most shameful moments of U.S. history, thousands of innocent citizens of Japanese descent were interned in concentration camps in the western states. Among them were many amateur poets who were active in haiku societies and who did not stop writing during their confinement. Editor de Cristoforo, herself a former internee, has collected the poignant documents of human pain and hope that are those concentration camp haiku, and in her lengthy preface, she sets them in their artistic and social contexts. Although the preface is interesting and academically important, the poems themselves--simple in language, emotionally blunt--are the heart of this book. "Hand-cuffed and taken away / I see my husband / even today," one woman writes. "Women are busier than men / people are living in disarray / and there are irises," another records. And there is this: "Frosty night / listening to rumbling train / we have come a long way." A beautiful, important collection and an astonishing document of the human spirit. Patricia Monaghan

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