Tag: japanese

  • Story

    The name of this poem, written by Iku Takenaka (1904-1982), is Story: Quietly the cloud cast its shadow, Passing over avenues of trees, over ponds, over fields. Enduring both joy and sadness, the cloud silently drifted on… Then, above the sound of a single flute, the cloud stopped, Seeking the one who played: but there…

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  • November Third

    Bending neither to the rain Nor to the wind Nor to snow nor to summer heat, Firm in body, yet Without greed, without anger, Always smiling serenely. Eating his four cups of rough rice a day With bean paste and a few vegetables, Never taking himself into account But seeing and hearing everything, Understanding And…

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  • Bedraggled Ostrich

    Something special happened to painting in Italy in the 15th Century and to music in America and England in the middle of the last century. Something also must have happened to poetry in Japan around the turn of the 20th Century because I have been intermittently reading the Penguin Book of Japanese Verse with subtle pleasure…

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  • Behind the long stare

    When I was young Hands pulled at my skirt. Now children and grandchildren Tug at my hands Seventh Century Japanese rice-planting song

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  • Poem of solitary delight

    What a delight it is When, of a morning, I get up and go out To find in full bloom a flower That yesterday was not there. Tachibana Akemi (1812-1868)

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