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.


don't be emily said...

"Guilt". So true. Do you like Calvin and Hobbes?

William Michaelian said...

For some reason, I never got hooked on that one. Why do you ask?

don't be emily said...

The poem made me think of a strip from one of those books. I have a soft spot in my heart for them. I'll see if I can find it and somehow scan it in or make it appear on A bit of silliness.

don't be emily said...

Try this link...I just googled it and found it here.
It is even deeper than I remembered. I think it was the sketch at the very beginning of the strip that made me think of it. It's one of those you never forget, especially turning the page of one of those books, laughing out loud from the last bit of humor, and suddenly see that.

William Michaelian said...

Hey, that is a good one. I see what you mean. Thanks for the link.