BE. Witter Bynner

25. Smith, William Jay. Introduction to Light Verse and Satires (18), 1978.


Smith suggests that Bynner was among the first poets writing in English to move beyond imitation of Chinese and Japanese forms and to take on something of the ‘manner’ of East-Asian verse. While Chinese poetry is more central to his work than Japanese, in The Beloved Stranger (1) haiku and tanka, while not ‘copied exactly’, are ‘suggested’, by ‘indirection’, ‘unusually vivid sensuous detail’, and insistence that ‘the reader . . . complete the whole’. The poems Smith mentions specifically in this regard are Horses and The Fire-mountain.





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