The book becomes more attractive with the inclusion of poems about soup and food. Lewis Carroll's apt words "Who for such dainties would not stoop?" ("The Mock Turtle's Song") are truly applicable to these soup poems, enough to cheer up the people when they are feeling down. Joseph is the inventor of the Epulaeryu poetic form which is about succulent dishes, drinks and various cuisine. The Awakened One Poetics is divided into Section One, Beautiful Smiles from Japan, Poland and China; Section Two, Enchanting Smiles in Japanese, Spanish, Polish & Chinese; Section Three, Captivating Smiles from Egypt, Poland and China; Section Four, Elevating Smiles in French, Polish & Chinese and Section Five, Radiant Smiles in Jamaikan Patwa, Polish and Spanish.
It is a multilingual book with Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic and Jamiekan Patwa translations. Cross-cultural cosmopolitanism inspires Joseph Spence, and here he is different from Voltaire and Goethe. "Even Voltaire's and Goethe's concepts of littérature universelle and Weltliteratur were basically monolingual and linked to linguistic patriotism and imperialism" (Literary Multilingualism i: General Outlines and Western World - K. Alfons Knauth). The Awakened One Poetics by Joseph S. Spence, Sr. is a magnificent book, sure in its handling, and restrained in its expression of passion.
Poet Joseph S. Spence, Sr., Remembering Matsuo Bashō and Yaso Buson
This amazing book, The Awakened One Poetics, by Joseph S. Spence Sr., is such a wonderful book to read. It captures inspirational thoughts and enlightens the spirit within the soul. You will experience its beauty, love, peace, harmony and tranquillity in the form of Haiku poems. You will also experience the delight that transcends time and the universe, as it captures the most precious things in life within the art of a poem.
These Haiku poems (started by Matsuo Bashō) are translated from English, the universal language, into seven other languages; you may be familiar with one. The author, Mr Joseph Spence, Sr., has also provided wonderful sketches that he created. Included are also some of his other beautiful poetic pieces, especially the Epulaeryu Poetry which he invented. I am honoured to have read his work; I have the utmost respect for the Author and his poetic artistry.
Haiku requires internal thoughts to capture the meaning and the spirit of poem written in silence. In this respect, it is a characteristic of phenomena arising from the fact (as observed and taught by the Buddha) that the impermanent nature of form means that nothing possesses enduring identity. The Buddha's spiritual teaching regarding insight into the emptiness of phenomena is that which leads to wisdom and inner peace, like the Haiku poems in this book.
Take a journey through the pages no matter what language you speak. These poetic words will paint wonderful pictures through imagery in your mind, tantalizing thoughts that will whisper to you of peace, love and joy. Whilst lifting the spirit within you, they will capture the very essence of your heart and soul with inspiration and humility.
The author has created something quite unique as well as his English Haiku poems. His art in creating the Haiga poems (started by Yaso Buson during the Edo period) with his poetic artistry and drawings must be also admired.
Each language translation brings its own images of beauty whereby solidifying its art form, the Haiku poem. The diversity of this book holds the meaning of life and love, two very important gifts in this world. This book should make a beautiful gift to give and to own.
Written by Leokadia Durmaj:
Poet and author of My Journey Through Life Love and Passion.
I translated the Haiku into Polish and co-translated with Krystyna Ratkun into French.
The Blessing of Love and Compassionate Understanding!
I am so proud of my father with the publication of this book, "The Awakened One Poetics." He has made my heart smile inside.
When he asked me to assist him with the translation I did not hesitate one minute. The poems touched my soul deeply and are very inspiring and invigorating, especially in lifting up the spirits of two great Jamaican heroes, Queen Nanny and Claude McKay for the enlightenment of Jamaicans. The only issue we have is that he lives in America and I live in Jamaica. He loves America and I love Jamaica. However, amidst those differences we love each other and are very supportive of each other. People in Jamaica would certainly love to see him here, back home, enjoying the wonderful sunshine, swimming in the beautiful Caribbean Sea, reading his inspiring "Epulaeryu" and "Seventh Heaven" poetry which he has invented, and walking with the people who are loving, respecting and genuine.
All of The Jumiekan Patwa poems in the book were edited, revised, and translated by me with assistance from the Jamaican Language Unit / Jumiekan Langwij Yuunit in the Department of Language, Linguistics and Philosophy at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus. As a result of the variances in creole articulation, the Cassidy writing system was introduced by UWI to standardise the language. We are a diverse country with people from many backgrounds and religions. We are moulded into one, and as our motto states, "Our of Many We Are One."
We must embrace others, religions, cultures, see through our differences, find common grounds, live in peace with each other, and love each other. This elegant book, "The Awakened One Poetics," brings to light such a philosophy. I firmly believe that the blessing of the Buddha is with my father as he has found the gold within. He is walking a path to help people relieve their pain and to overcome suffering as the Buddha accomplished when he walked the earth almost 500 years before Christ. The poet Robert Frost also articulated such brilliant words in his poem, "The Road Less Travelled" when he walked the earth.
Both Buddha and Christ embodied universal human aspirations and their ultimate realisation is as stated in the scriptures, "You shall love your neighbour as yourselves." (Mark 12: 31). This book brings out the combined enlightenment one will find in Christ and Buddha toward all people. The Buddha said: "Go forth in all the world, for the good of the many, for the welfare of the many, in compassion for the world. Preach the teaching, magnificent as it is in the beginning, magnificent as it is at the end. Preach a life of holiness, perfect and pure." This is truly a gem for Buddhist teaching of compassion and love--not divisiveness and conflict.
On the other hand Christ said: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Here we find a similar message as the Buddha gave hundred of years before being articulated for the humility and humbleness of humankind--not divisiveness and conflict.
Through the studies of Japanese linguistics from the Jamon-Neolithic period to the present, my father has truly expanded his enlightenment by understanding others and their cultures, especially living in America where religious freedom is mandated as a fundamental principle by the U. S. Constitution, a land where pilgrims and others came to avoid religious persecution, a land where cultural diversity is foremost. The Japanese Poetic Anthology with such reverence of poetic culture as demonstrated in the Man'yôshû (c. 8th century AD), with over 4,500 poems from both ancient times has been an enlightenment in my father's cultural studies, especially Zen Buddhism.
This book, "The Awakened One Poetics" is potently packed with inspiring and exhilarating thoughts for the mind, body, and soul. It reflects deeply on where we should be in today's society instead of fostering contrary thoughts of divisiveness. One should read and meditate on the uplifting, inspiring and soul stirring words embedded on its golden pages to gain a deeper understanding of self and love for others as Christ and Buddha showed their love for us when they walked the earth. As stated by the lyrics of Bob Marley in the most beautify Jamaican reggae song stirring our souls, "One love! One heart! Let's get together and feel alright."
--Claudia Karen Spence, Kingston, Jamaica; educator and translator of Jamiekan Patwa!
The Dawning of New Light for the Mind, Body and Soul!
Let me first say that I am awe stuck and am in amazement regarding the essence of this book. Joseph Spence has certainly established a quality of poetry that has depth, width and height. Having known him for several years, I have been addicted to his variety of poetry forms and style of writing; however, with this book he has launched a golden beam like rays from the sun which uplifts the spirit and the soul. He has provided me with mentoring and quality guidance over the years and I have adopted his unique brilliance of creativity; however, The Awakened One Poetics has established a new dawn for me to aspire toward with sparkling eyes as I am looking into the light.
The book which is laid out in what I would consider seven sections. It is also written in seven different languages: Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic and Jamiekan Patwa, with translators from across the world. This shows his tenacity of patience, coordination, and intestinal fortitude of getting others to function in unity on the same sheet of music. This is just quality creative writing coupled with the art of moving together as one, as his poems highlight.
Regarding art, this book has a variety of haiga poems by Joseph which raises one’s level of community strength in doing the right thing, because that is the right thing to do. On another note, his artistry is exceptional and down to earth. I had no idea he was an artist and has taken art classes. Having combined artistry and haiku to produce the haiga poem is just brilliant and I have no doubt that Yosa Buson, the great Japanese painter and poet from the Edo period, would have been proud of his artistry and haiga style. Additionally, I feel deeply moved within that Matsuo Basho and Kobayasi Issa the great haiku poets who started this awesome tradition in Japan during the Edo period are looking down on him with a smile. Additionally, the Buddha has shown him the glowing gold inside.
This is just a remarkable book to uplift the mind, body and sou l with. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone to read. This is really a golden nugget to have for lifetime memories.
--Mary Ann Duhart, Author and Poet, of Healing Through Poetry—available in book stores.