「DOUBLE-SIDED」Preface

Collectively called 「DOUBLE-SIDED」, White Tiger and Azure Dragon are two poetry compilations paired together such that each poem from one is coupled with a poem from the other. The coupled poems may be read together as sets. The individual compilations may also be read separately. Any poems paired together are connected through a similar theme or motif, and simply present different ways of looking at or understanding them. This is possible because most all aspects of human life are complex and multifaceted – thus the total compilation title, 「DOUBLE-SIDED」. As a note, both traditional structured poems and free-verse poem-songs are included in this work.

The titles of White Tiger and Azure Dragon are derived from the English names of two of the Four Symbols – ancient creatures originally appearing in Chinese mythology. Each of the Four Symbols is traditionally associated with certain colors, weather patterns, elements, cardinal directions, seasons, and traits, and each appears commonly in legends and folktales. The twelve poems in 「DOUBLE-SIDED」utilize elements of such tales, combining Chinese and Japanese interpretations of the symbols, as well as the author’s own interpretation. Knowledge of the symbols is not necessary to read the poems – it would simply deepen the reader’s understanding. The author humbly offers up this work and hopes that readers may find it insightful, thought-provoking, and enjoyable.

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