Friday, October 3, 2008
Kitagawa Fuyuhiko: Early Spring
A rain mixed with snow fell,
It trickled desolately on the bamboo thicket.
The dream dealt with another’s heart.
When I awoke
The pillow was cold with tears.
— What has happened to my heart?
The sun shines in mildly from tall windows,
A humming rises from the steelworks,
I got out of bed
And poked with a stick the muck in the ditch;
The turbid water slowly began to move.
A little lizard had yielded himself to the current.
In the fields
I push open black earth.
The wheat sprouts greenly grow. —
You can trust the earth.
By Kitagawa Fuyuhiko (1900-1990), from Adventures in World Literature, Harcourt, Brace & World (1936; 1958). Translated by Donald Keene, appeared previously in Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to Present Day, compiled and edited by Donald Keene and published by Grove Press (1956).
Note: Adventures in World Literature (1,292 pages) is divided into the following sections: French, Spanish and Portuguese, Italian, German, Scandanavian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Babylonian-Assyrian, Hebrew, Persian, Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Recent European and Latin American Poetry, Recent European Prose, and Recent Oriental Poetry.
A new poem of seventeen words, “Guilt,” added to Songs and Letters.
In the Forum: the story behind the cover of the July 2008 issue of Barbaric Yawp.