[Buddha-l] Lucian Stryke died

Jim Peavler jmp at peavler.org
Tue Feb 19 12:37:28 MST 2013

Lucien Stryk, 1924-2013
"Zen Poet, outstanding teacher, dear friend. Amongst the most cherished hours I have spent on this shaky planet were those I spent in the faculty lounge at Northern Illinois University (NIU) talking with Lucien about life in general and Zen in particular. I had taken up Buddhism in some form or another some years before I went to NIU in 1969. I imagined myself a modern analogue of a mediaeval Chinese student of Zen. I had done my reading without any guidance from any living person who knew anything about Buddhism, and I had sat zazen alone, preferably outdoors, and then preferably in inclement weather for a long time. Within a few minutes of meeting Lucian I felt as though the sun had broken through on a vast natural scene. From then until I left Northern several years later, we would spend several hours each week, sitting in the Faculty Lounge and talking about philosophy and poetry in general, and Zen. Our discussions often attracted a small group of students who, at first, found us by accident but who later became regulars. About this time Anchor Press published his "World of the Buddha: A Reader -- from the Three Baskets to Modern Zen", which became for a time my complete library of Classical Buddhist texts, with translations and commentary by Lucian.

Lucian published over 35 books -- most notably anthologies of translations of historical Buddhist texts, translations of poetry (he was probably best known as a translator of major modern Zen poets). His ruminations on life, Buddhism, and Zen are sprinkled throughout his "works" and ae always tied closely to original writings of Chinese and Japanese masters. 

Collections of his poems include Collected Poems, 1953–1983 (Swallow/Ohio University Press, 1984), Bells of Lombardi (Northern Illinois University Press, 1986), and the Penguin Book of Zen Poetry (Penguin 1977). He was also editor of World of the Buddha: An Introduction to Buddhist Literature (Grove Press, 1982) and Of Pen and Ink and Paper Scraps (Swallow/Ohio University Press, 1989); a book of interviews, Encounter with Zen: Writings on Poetry and Zen (Swallow/Ohio University Press, 1982); and many translations, including On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho (Penguin, 1985), Triumph of the Sparrow: Zen Poems of Shinkichi Takahashi (University of Illinois press, 1986), and The Dumpling Field: Haiku of Issa (Swallow/Ohio University Press, 1991). With Takashi Ikemoyo he translated Zen Poems of China and Japan: the Crane's Bill (Grove Press, 1981).

Jim Peavler
jmp at peavler.org

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."
	Neil deGrasse Tyson

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