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This is the first book to translate a broad spectrum of the informal, improper and generally comic side of 31-syllable Japanese poetry called 'kyoka, ' or 'kyouka, ' literally, "mad-poems" or "madcap verse," representing in the words of Aston (1899), "absolute freedom both in respect of language and choice of subject." Literary anthologies have only translated a handful of kyoka to date, and the sole exception, recent catalogues of the color prints called 'surimono, ' stick to the rather tame kyoka of the early 19c that accompany the prints. The 2000 poems in Robin D. Gill's 740-page book include hundreds of "wild waka" ('waka' being the formal side of 31-syllable poetry) to help define the field and demonstrate how humors presence or absence depends upon our expectations and, in the case of an exotic tongue, our translation. "Mad In Translation" re-creates the wit of the originals in English on the one hand, while explaining what requires Japanese on the other. Many poems will delight those who appreciate the best of the Metaphysical Poets, the grooks of Piet Hein and all that might be called 'light verse for egg-heads.' Because of the narrow focus of most work published on kyoka in Japan, even specialists in Japanese literature may be surprised to discover in this book a brave old world of humor far larger and more entertaining than they might have imagined.