Shuntarō Tanikawa has been the most inventive modern Japanese poet, ever since he published Two Billion Light Years of Solitude (1952), his first book, aged twenty one. Undamaged by Japan’s post-War trauma, he took up the language and ran with it. He has continued running. When in 1968 his first Collected Poems appeared the critics noted at once his popularity and his refusal to compromise with the negative tones that dominated the poetic palette of contemporary Japan. He has published more than sixty books of poetry, lyrics, prose poems, narratives, epics and satires. He has experimented in form and theme, combining clarity with subtlety. This new selection supplements his original Selected Poems published by Carcanet in 1998.