Salty Dog Digital is republishing ‘Single songs of a hundred poets’ one at a time. The poems were written in Japanese from the seventh to the thirteenth centuries.The collection was assembled in the thirteenth century by Fujiwara no Sadaie Teikakyo. They were translated into English by an American living in Japan, Clay MacCauley, and published in Yokohama, Shanghai by Kelly and Walsh in 1917. We were inspired by these poems to produce the “rewards” in fourtex zen. We want them to be more widely available, as a form of cultural preservation.

The poems are a form of Japanese poetry called waka. Waka poetry today generally refers to a specific form, tanka, that follows a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern.