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Poems of a Penisist

2012
Author:

Mutsuo Takahashi
Introduction by Burton Watson
Translated by Hiroaki Sato

Poems of a Penisist

A collection of homoerotic poetry by one of Japan’s most prominent poets

A groundbreaking collection of queer poetry, Mutsuo Takahashi’s Poems of a Penisist is a celebration of the male body, treating homosexual desire as something sacred. Stunningly beautiful and passionate, Poems of a Penisist is one of the most important compilations of homoerotic poetry written in the twentieth century.

Mr. Takahashi was exempted from the human principle that every young boy grows up to be a young man. . . . He did not have to go down to the bottom of the sea, down to the bottom of the female genitalia, which many a young man mistakes for a philosophy, mistakes for profundity.

Yukio Mishima

“In the name of / Man, member, / and the holy fluid, / Amen,” begins Mutsuo Takahashi’s epic one-thousand-line erotic fantasy poem, “Ode,” the centerpiece of his groundbreaking collection of queer poetry, Poems of a Penisist. Takahashi’s work, reminiscent of Walt Whitman’s, is a celebration of the male body, treating homosexual desire as something sacred. Stunningly beautiful and passionate, Poems of a Penisist is one of the most important compilations of homoerotic poetry written in the twentieth century.

Poems of a Penisist

Mutsuo Takahashi is one of Japan’s leading living poets. He has published more than three dozen anthologies of poetry and is a prolific essayist, literary historian, and critic.

Hiroaki Sato is a Japanese poet and prolific translator who writes frequently for the Japan Times.

Burton Watson is an award-winning translator of Chinese and Japanese poetry and literature.

Poems of a Penisist

Mr. Takahashi was exempted from the human principle that every young boy grows up to be a young man. . . . He did not have to go down to the bottom of the sea, down to the bottom of the female genitalia, which many a young man mistakes for a philosophy, mistakes for profundity.

Yukio Mishima

Takahashi deserves to be known here, and this is a fine introduction.

Library Journal

Quite a triumphant success.

Journal of Asian Studies

Few poets bring as much skill and passion to their poems. Poems of a Penisist is one of the most important collections of poetry on homosexual desire and sex written in this century.

Reviews by Amos Lassen