The Tsurezuregusa is a collection of wise, witty, compassionate and, occasionally, cranky ruminations on the business of living by the monk, Kenkō (c1283-c1350). The poems in What the Sky Arranges by Andrew Fitzsimons speak in a voice and tell of things derived from Kenkō: reading, travel, good and bad taste, exile, art, art bores, technophobia, scandal, sex, gardening, game theory, graveyards, friendship, death, the moon . . .
Tender, philosophical, disabused, these poems are a putting in order of ‘the business of life’. Worked from the Tsurezuregusa of Kenkō they are wide-awake, alert, moving from joy to disgruntlement, from bleak advice to quiet celebration – the kind of poetry that gets written in the early hours of the morning when the poet remembers the dates on gravestones. The poetry is in the detail, the things that are all too easy to miss – maple leaves, wisteria, ‘morning glories on a low fence, / not too high, and not too many’, the waxing and waning moon, ‘what the sky arranges’, and equally in the subtle music of Andrew Fitzsimons’ language. – Peter Sirr
A truly wonderful sequence of poems, combining a lightness of touch with great depth and resonance, and one to be enjoyed in the words of the work itself ‘under the lamp alone / a book spread out before you: bliss’. Absolute bliss, indeed. – David Peace
These poems are really stunning: shafts of truth, beautifully crafted. The way they link Eastern and Western traditions of precision and eloquence is magical. – Bernard O’Donoghue
Gently witty, wise, finely phrased variations on Kenkō’s themes. A pleasure to read and reflect on. – Royall Tyler
December 2013. Paperback. 54 pages. 8.5 x 5.5. ISBN 978-4-907359-02-7.
Click here to download a PDF excerpt from What the Sky Arranges.
Click here to see a video of Andrew Fitzsimons reading ‘The Exile’s Moon’ and ‘Worlds’ from What the Sky Arranges at the launch of the book in January 2014.
Click here to read a review of What the Sky Arranges by Kris Kosaka in The Japan Times.
Click here to buy What the Sky Arranges from the London Review Bookshop.