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Sanford Goldstein, the grand old man of tanka, is now eighty-eight years old. A co-translator of modern classics of Japanese tanka, editor of journals and anthologies, and a gifted poet in the mold of Ishikawa Takuboku, Goldstein has been on his tanka road for fifty years. In his latest book, he says, "[M]inimalism is a state of mind. Something appears in the mind and before one realizes it, the poem has been formed." All the tanka in This Short Life have this immediacy. They are uncensored, fresh, honest, and engaged. Rationalization and literary artifice are excluded. They are life as it happens.