Manyōshū 2240 – Oh, ask me not who I am

Just to show that I’m still alive…

This poem is number 2240 from the Manyōshū (万葉集), a poetry anthology compiled in the 8th century, and also Japan’s oldest poetry anthology. I came across it while reading about the anime film Kimi no Na wa.

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Shiga Naoya – Waga Koi wa Chihiro no Umi no Suteobune

A poem from Shiga Naoya’s short story ‘Manazuru’. I love this story and I love the power in this poem.

Japanese
我が恋は千尋(ちひろ)の海の捨小舟(すておぶね) 寄る辺なしとて波の間に間に

English
My love is a skiff abandoned on the fathomless sea
With no shore or support
But the mercy of the waves

Romaji
Waga koi wa chihiro no umi no suteobune
Yorube nashi tote nami no manimani

Qixi

Celebrating a certain summer star festival.

Qixi

When to the seventh night they flock,
Joy-birds across the silver stream
With wings like glockenspiels, that beat
And ford the waters, dock to dock,
Allowing us to meet—

Your sunset clouds signal to me
Anticipation, in the weave
Of blushing threaded through with heat
From under practised lethargy,
As ev’ning airs blow sweet—

And till the morning you’ll be real
No bright star, distant: human warmth
In hands, cheeks, eyelashes adorn’d,
Beauty to see, your pulse to feel.
I’ll hold you till the morn.

So when tonight the bridge is born
Allowing us at last to meet
I’ll come, as ev’ning airs blow sweet:
I’ll come to hold you till the morn.

sleeping dreams

So it looks like I can try poetry too.

sleeping dreams

Sleep comes in waves retreating from the real
—It doesn’t end.
Walls and the ground were always just pretend.
Voices dampen, as coyest murmurs steal
Round your arms with profoundest feel—
—ing, like you’ll bend:
Into a night of living dream.
Into a tv sky.
Into a world where flat is tall
And round, and all besides.
Blocks they will form, to stopper up your sight.
Then a kick, it falls—Toppling, mere light.