Tuesday, May 24, 2011

52 Poems (week 11)

Lovely Husband is heading to Japan for a conference soon and this place has been in my head. I've been twice in only the briefest of ways, spending a night in a Narita hotel before heading elsewhere. There was no sightseeing or even long glimpses of the patchwork countryside. There was cloud, then the airport, then a bus in the darkness, a faceless hotel room with a low toilet and no English-language channels, then a bus through early morning streets and a take-off through clouds.

I wanted to try some modern Japanese poetry, away from the cliched but thoughful Haiku. This is the work (translated into English) of Shuntaro Tanikawa, one of Japan's preminent poets, who also wrote the themesong for Howl's Moving Castle made his living translating Peanuts comics. 

from Twenty Billion Light Years of Loneliness

...The universe goes on expanding
So all feel uneasy.
At the loneliness of twenty billion light years
Without thinking, I sneezed.
I'm still looking for a copy of 'In the Manner of Charlie Brown'.

Photo source: Shuntaro Tanikawa

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