The City That Silk Built

The Courier Collection

by Chris Mosdell

Bilingual edition: translated by Kin Shiotani.

A series of eighty-eight poems written while the lyricist resided for six months in the city of Kyoto. The poems replicate the ancient tenth century Heian tradition of communiqués delivered by court appointed couriers. Each poem comes with a map of where it was composed and a photograph or woodcut print by the artist and translator Kin Shiotani. An edition envisaged as an eclectic yet poetic guide to the Capital of Peace and Tranquillity, with eighty-eight alluding to the number of stations on the Buddhist’s pilgrimage to enlightenment and, in its ideographic form, to eternity.

Published by Shinhyoron, 2014

"Captures an almost primeval Kyoto paradigm, the sense of intimacy with eternity, through the immediacy of transience . . . with a blend of passion and detachment sometimes reminiscent of Rilke's meditations." — Kyoto Journal

we are rarely conscious
of how the ordinary is outfitted with the extraordinary.
Consider the carp as it swims,
inscribing the pool with its caligraphic masterpieces.
— Chris Mosdell