Hoya

We present this work in honor of the Japanese holiday, Labor Thanksgiving Day.

Ryuichi Tamura
Japanese
1923 – 1998

 

Hoya is now
in the middle of autumn. I am now
in the middle of misery
The misery has deep origins
It has a deep-rooted history.

Blazing summer has finally ended
Autumn breezes pass from one end to the other of the Musashino plain
My small house sits on a spot
in dark Musashino, silent Musashino

In my small house
I have a small room of my own
In the small room I turn on a light
I labor, zeroing in on my misery,
until the deep-rooted misery in my heart
thrusts its roots into the earth, and
grows into that gigantic Zelkova tree
in my forsaken backyard

Translation by Takako Lento

At Night

We present this work in honor of the 75th anniversary of the poet’s death.

Yone Noguchi
Japanese
1875 – 1947

 

At night the Universe grows lean, sober-
faced, of intoxication,
The shadow of the half-sphere curtains
down closely against my world, like a
doorless cage, and the stillness chained by
wrinkled darkness strains throughout the Uni-
verse to be free.
Listen, frogs in the pond, (the world is a pond itself)
cry out for the light, for the truth!
The curtains rattle ghostlily along, bloodily biting
my soul, the winds knocking on my cabin door
with their shadowy hands.