Lindley Williams Hubbell (1901 - 1994)

Lindley Williams Hubbell was born in 1901 in Hartford, Connecticut, into an old Puritan family. He wrote in his Autobiography in fifty sentences (1971):
1. I am a New England Puritan.
 2. My family came from Ipsley which is five miles from Stratford-upon-Avon.

He began to read Shakespeare at the age of 8 and had memorized all the plays by the time he was 10. He even tried to be a Shakespearean actor in his youth. After he quit high school in his 2nd year, he was educated by private tutors (Greek, Latin and Provençal) and his multilingual aunt (German, French and Italian).

He worked as a librarian in the Map Room of the New York Public Library from 1925 to 1946, during which time he went to Italy and lived there for a year, and in 1940 in Puerto Rico for 6 months. From 1946 to 1953 he taught the history of drama, Greek tragedies, Ibsen, Shakespeare and modern poetry at the Randall School of Arts in Hartford.

He received a Yale Younger Poets award in 1927, and his books of poetry were published by major publishers in the US. He was one of the earliest admirers of Gertrude Stein and corresponded with her since he wrote a defending article of her first 4 books of The Plain Edition. When she came to New York in 1934, he accompanied her many times. He actually saw and heard the celebrated artists of the West in the early 20th century, including Eleanora Duse, Bernhardt, Mary Garden, Nijinsky and Pavlova.

He came to Japan in 1953, became naturalized and acquired his Japanese name Hayashi Shuseki (Autumn Stone in the Woods). He taught Shakespeare and English literature at Doshisha University in Kyoto from 1953 to 1970, and was given the Litt. D. with his 2 books, Lectures on Shakespeare (1958) and Classic Drama (1982).

He loved Nô drama and he saw 186 out of the extant 240 plays, 849 erformances in all. He helped translate Kadensho (Secret teachings on Nô performance) by Zeami (1363 - 1443), published by the foundation of Sumiya-Shinobe Scholoarship (1968). He also dedicated himself to Shinto, especially to the beauty of its ceremonies and rituals, its music and dance.

After The Ikuta Press was set up in 1970, 16 volumes of his poetry and prose were published by the press. After he retired from Doshisha, he taught at Mukogawa Women's University in Nishinomiya until the age of 86. He continued to write throughout his long life. He died in 1994 in the Kunishima Hospital in Kyoto.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A memorial stone was installed
by his former students, friends and colleagues
in the precincts of Kannon-ji Temple in Oh-yamazaki, Kyoto.

The year is a rough ocean
with one island

at Kannon-ji

Lindley Williams Hubbell


Dark Pavilion, Yale University Press, 1927
The Tracing of a Portal, Yale University Press, 1931
Winter-Burning, Alfred A. Knopf, 1947
The Ninth Continent, Alan Swallow, 1947
Long Island Triptych and Other Poems, Swallow & William Morrow, 1947
The Birth of the Diatom, Banyan Press, 1949
Seventy Poems, Alan Swallow, 1965
Atlantic Triptych, The Ikuta Press, 1971
Autobiography, The Ikuta Press, 1971
Double Triptych, The Ikuta Press, 1974
Pasiphae, The Ikuta Press, 1976
Trilogy The Ikuta Press, 1977
Climbing to Monfumo, The Ikuta Press, 1977
Walking Through Numba, The Ikuta Press, 1978
Air Poem, The Yamashina Press, 1979
Czerny, The Ikuta Press, 1982
The First Architect, The Ikuta Press, 1982

Lectures on Shakespeare, Nan'un-do, 1958
Shakespeare and Classic Drama, Nan'un-do, 1962
A Note on the Shakespeare Appocrypha,
First Edition, Yamashina Press, 1966
Fourth Edition, The Ikuta Press, 1977
Miscellany, Nun'un-do, 1972
A Second Miscellany, The Ikuta Press, 1972
The Ten Avatars of Vishnu, The Ikuta Press, 1978
The English Lyric in the 17th Century, The Ikuta Press, 1981
Studies in English Literature, Yamaguchi Shoten, 1982

Aki nop Hi, Nan'un-do, 1962
Translations, The Ikuta Press, 1983
Oedious at Colonus by Sophocles, The Ikuta Press, 1983
The Suppliants, Aeschylus, The Ikuta Press, 1986

1925 - 1946: New York Public Library
1946 - 1953: Randall Scholl, Hartford, Conn.
1953 - 1970: Doshisha University, Kyoto
1970 - 1985: Mukogawa Women's University, Kobe

1901: Born Hartford, Conn.
1953: Arrived in Japan
1960: Became Japanese Citizen
1994: Died in Kyoto

from Autumn Stone in the Woods: a tribute to Lindley Williams Hubbell,
by his former students, friends, and colleagues

A Memoir of Lindley Williams Hubbell by Yoko Danno in the 'Montserrat Review':

He was like an ironstone, with the base (the western culture and literature) buried deep underground. Myself being a ‘traveler’ with only a small compass (intuition), without a map, I felt sometimes a need to keep a certain distance from him so that my ‘compass’ wouldn't approach too near to the iron. He spurred me to write, with praises, like a good horse-trainer.
I first met him sometime in the early spring of 1967, when my professor-friend Hisao Kanaseki took me to his house, in semi-Western style, on the top of Kujo-yama, a hill at the eastern end of Kyoto…

Lindley williams Hubbell: a memoir by Yoko Danno

Three good things LWH wrote to Yoko Danno:

1. A poet's equipment contains three things: a sense of form, sense of rhythm,
and a sense of words.

2. When you wirite poetry yourself, don't pay any attention to what anyone else has done.
Just be yourself.

3. All we can do is KEEP THE DOOR OPEN.