The Keepsake

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 175th birthday.

Yone Noguchi
Japanese
1875 – 1947

 

Love faded away, the keepsake she left me is these children, three or four.
I eat, I sleep… it’s all the same today as yesterday.
The clock strikes one at midnight,
I spring up, I straighten a quilt over the sleeping children by my side.

Love faded away, true love will return to me never again…
Love faded away before I grasped her tight.
But what’s that ?—the clock goes on striking.

Love faded away, the rats in the ceiling gnaw a pillar,
My life too is bitten by a tough chap called Time…
There’s tomorrow, there’s tomorrow, things will be done tomorrow…
I ask myself, what’s that tomorrow you speak about?

The houses stand like the teeth of a comb,
I build in one of them my own nest,
And gaze at the keepsake Love left me.

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