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Bearded Cones and Pleasure Blades: The Collected Poems of Tori Shozo


Bearded Cones & Pleasure Blades contains all of the poetry of Torii Shozo (1932-99) in English translation for the first time. Taylor Mignon took a decade to produce his painstaking translation. Shiraishi Kazuko introduces the work, and Taylor adds an essay. It is illustrated by Torii’s fellow VOU Club poets/artists KitasonoKatue and Yamamoto Kansuke.

Torii Shozo situated himself poetically in a unique position straddling two worlds. His erudite knowledge of surrealism is marked in his poetry by endearing references to international avant-garde heroes and their works. His method of poetic production owes to the haiku tradition of juxtaposing concrete particulars unexpectedly, for intensely imagistic works. This unique, hybrid method set himapart from his more minimalist poetic brethren by figuratively supplementing flesh on the "exquisite corpse." Literal references to lines by Santoka and Matsuo Basho, among others, were fused in his last volume, Wind Semiotics, in which the irony, eroticism and violence are presented humorously.

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