Just as much as the French love Jerry Lewis, the Japanese love Emmett Lee Dickinson (Emily Dickinson’s third cousin, twice removed – at her request). And why do the people in the Land of the Rising Sun love America’s greatest poet? There are many reasons.
First, Emmett Lee Dickinson loved and made many trips to Japan, and the Japanese could not get enough of his poetry. Second, Dickinson invented the poetry form most closely associated with Japan, the haiku (information is HERE). Third, Dickinson helped to establish bonsai as an art form in japan and in many other Eastern countries.
Another reason for Dickinson’s popularity in Japan was the elevation and distribution of his poetry by Japan’s preeminent poet, Emi Li Dikytinson. Not only did Dikytinson write and publish her own poetry, but she regularly translated Emmett Lee Dickinson’s works into Japanese. We featured a special exhibit on Dikytinson in 2014 (HERE).
Pictured below: Japan's preeminent poet, Emi Li Dikytinson. Dikytinson is credited with making the poetry of Emmett Lee Dickinson accessible to the people of Japan by translating his poems into Japanese.
Recently we wrote about our trip to the National Bonsai Museum in Washington, DC; information and pictures are HERE. The post includes a poem by Emmett Lee Dickinson about a bonsai tree that dates back to the year 1625:
By Emmett Lee Dickinson:
Is cherished by the Crowd
Because its Junior Foliage is captivating now
This venerable Pine
Whose Transformation Size
Would titillate most Everyone’s
Refocused Spellbound Eyes.
Dikytinson's translation reads as follows in English:
Venerated with great respect by an audience abundant in size
Because its miniaturized Foliage is now captivating
This Pine accorded with great respect
Whose dramatic change in form
Would arouse and excite most of the gathering of individual's
Refocused Eyes as if enchanted by a spell.
Pictured below: Emi Li Dikytinson established the Emmett Lee Dickinson Translation Center of Japan. The women in the inset are carrying volumes of poetry by Emmett Lee Dickinson.