The Love Poems of Marichiko
Santa Barbara: Christopher's Books, 1978. Octavo. Perfect-bound yellow paper wraps, lightly sunned spine, some trace soiling. Unpaginated. First edition, one of 1000 copies. Very good.
A singular triumph. Because of the late career critical acclaim earned by the book, people started to get curious about "Marichiko." In a biographical sketch which follows the poems, Rexroth claims that it's "the pen name of a contemporary young woman who lives near the temple of Marishi-ben in Kyoto." It didn't take long for everyone to discover that the poems were written by Rexroth himself, which makes them, at least in our opinion, an even more remarkable accomplishment. Quite rare, one of the finest (though not well-known) works of twentieth-century American poetry.
"Did you want me because you loved me?
Did you want me without love?
Or did you want me just
To experiment on my heart?"