Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday

Regular price $17.00 $0.00 Unit price per

Author: Mutsuo Takahashi

Translator: Jeffrey Angles

Publisher: Canarium Books (2023)

In 2018, soon after Mutsuo Takahashi turned eighty, he published his magnum opus, a collection of poetry entitled Only Yesterday, a work containing 153 poems that showcase the poet's enormous erudition as he revisits the themes he has explored for the last five decades: the nature of beauty, love, homoerotic desire, art, and aging. At the same time, it also includes numerous socially engaged poems inspired by contemporary problems, such as exploitation of the nameless masses and the culture of hero worship. What makes this collection so is that even when talking about contemporary issues, Takahashi weaves into all poems motifs and ideas borrowed from ancient Greek culture, so that Greece serves as the lens through which Takahashi—a lifelong scholar of both modern poetry and classical literature—views the world, even as he writes in an elegant blend of classical and modern Japanese. The result is a dazzling piece of world literature that bridges East and West, new and ancient, all within a witty, idiosyncratic collection that's been translated beautifully by acclaimed translator Jeffrey Angles, whose work earned this book a grant from Japan Foundation.