Today my wife asked me who I felt were the great translators of our time… I answered Lucien Stryk and with that, I went online to see whether he had released any work, post And Still Birds Sing. Sadly, what I discovered was that he passed away on January 24, aged 88.
Stryk’s translations of Japanese haiku masters, Issa and Basho, are for mine, some of the best I have ever and will ever read.
Here is just one example (taken from Issa’s Untidy Hut):
Don’t weep, insects-
lovers, stars themselves,
Stryk’s own work has also been hugely influential on my own writing. Please take the time to visit this public radio site and listen to him read the title poem from his final collection, And Still Birds Sing; it just might change your life.