Terry Watada

The Game of 100 Ghosts by Terry Watada

The Game of 100 Ghosts by Terry Watada

            “night

                        crept like

              smoke in a forest fire

 

            at sundown

                                     the evening

                        settled and everyone sat

                        in        

                                    a circle

            around

            a circle of candles.”

So begins Terry Watada’s The Game of 100 Ghosts, a book of poems inspired by a Japanese tradition known as Hyaku Monogatari Kwaidan-kai. As Watada describes in the excerpt above, participants gather in a circle lighting one hundred candles and relate tales of loved ones who have passed on. After each tale, a candle is snuffed out and when the final tale is told, those gathered in the circle await a visitation of a spirit. Watada imagines himself gathered around this circle, relating stories of loved ones, invoking the spirit of the game while staying true to traditional poetic techniques.

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