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Rise, Ye Sea Slugs! Paperback – October 31, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Paraverse Press (October 31, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974261807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974261805
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,574,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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From the Author

People ask me "Why Sea Slugs [sea cucumbers]?" One reason is because I identify with the following idea of the "namako" (as Japanese call it):

"Surviving by eating the sand one lives upon is like realizing the dream of living in a gingerbread house. The sea slug, by staying still and learning to live on so little, has turned this world into its paradise. – Motokawa Tatsuo (Tokyo Institute of Technology Professor – quoted on pg 3 of "Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!")

I also find the variety of sea slug metaphor in the old Japanese haiku refreshing. The formlessness of the namako allows it to stand for so many things! I began making out sub-themes of sea cucumber as the embodiment of "cold," "meekness," "slipperiness," "ugliness" and so forth. Sure, the real sea cucumber has its interesting points: for one, it is amazing that it gets along as well as it does without a brain. But, I am writing books on many subjects (mosquitos and cherry blossoms, to name a couple) all of which enthrall me.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Flaherty on November 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Sea slugs (in this case "sea cucumbers") may not be everyone's cup of tea, but this collection warrants a good read by anyone interested in pure fun, not to mention haiku and senryu, marine biology, the hair-raising problems of translation and cross-cultural communications, and, more fundamentally, what the heck a seasonal reference in a haiku might mean.
For those already familiar with R. H. Blyth's 4-volume <em>Haiku</em> or my own <em>Haiku World</em>, <em>Rise, Ye Sea Slugs!</em> offers a deep view of the place of seasonal phenomena in Japanese haiku and senryu. Robin Gill brings some 1,000 poems to demonstrate the tremendous range and depth inherent in one modest Japanese seasonal topic, <em>namako</em>, and in so doing shows us how incredibly rich the inclusion of a season word can make one of these short poems. Also, his method of multiple, pungent translations of many of the poems gives a more rounded view of each than that achieved by most translators in the field. (Perhaps only 10-20 of these poems have been previously translated into English. Gill includes original Japanese and romanized texts, as well as word-for-word trots of each poem, along with his witty and usually dead-on translations.)
The ultimate worth of this book will be the striking questions it raises about the (im)possibility of bridging cultural and linguistic gaps, and the wonderful fun to be had along the way. It also forms a tutorial on the packed meanings of well-written poems in the tradition, and challenges those of us who think we write "haiku" in other languages to revise our views of that enterprise.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By chibi on May 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Mr. Gill has a knack with translating haiku. His technical prowess is top-drawer! It is a brilliant slant on sea slugs, a foil, to explore the layered depth and soft heart of haiku.

Rise Ye Sea Slugs is a thick and rich treatment that will take time (and you should take time) to enjoy.

As a student of haiku, I find his treatment of the Japanese language invaluable in giving context to its use in poetry. I will continue to use his work(s) as helpful and joyful references.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Poetcomic1 on April 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Gill's books on Sea Slugs (as well as his equally fine Cherry Blossoms book) are a rousing death blow to the Western image of 'haiku' and the 'haiku' sensibility as something 'precious' and affected. . Goodbye to the tasteful 'one or two to a page' presentation of haiku as little 'jewels' of enlightenment. These crowded sprawling pages are full of humor, good cheer, wonder and segue effortlessly from lowest burlesque to the sublime. As a long-time writer of haiku I thank Mr. Gill for liberating me from the unseen shackles Western haiku has worn for a half a century and more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fisqa on April 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected this book to only display lots of haiku translation, it turn out to be more. Not only it provides explanation about the haiku, but also anything I want to know about Sea Slug. It's a literary product and encyclopedia, all in 1 complete package. Do I get my money worth? MORE!
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