Face at the Bottom of the World and Other Poems by Hagiwara Sakutaro

By Hagiwara Sakutaro

Hagiwara Sakutaro (1886-1942) is mostly well-known in Japan because the most sensible poet to have emerged considering touch was once re-established with the skin global. His paintings represents the fantastic fulfillment within the poetic box of normal Meiji recreation to mix "Western studying with the japanese spirit." He and maybe he by myself, have effectively mixed the lyric depth attribute of the quick different types of conventional jap poetry with the liberty of size, shape and rhythm which characterizes the poetry of the West. In him East and West, regardless of Kipling's dictum, have certainly met; and from him the long run poets of either traditions have a lot to learn.

For all of the startling attractiveness and originality of his paintings, Hagiwara continues to be a poet of the darkish; a local of that impressive global the place Dylan Thomas' query ("Isn't lifestyles a negative factor thank God") relatively wishes no solution. Shiveringly delicate to loveliness in all its million modes, he reveals it not just in its primary haunts yet even in such unforeseen matters as rotten calm or the useless physique of an alcoholic. a guy intensely acutely aware that the solar, that image of Japan, rises as a lot to solid shadows as to provide gentle.

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Sample text

Though the past is like a stone thrown into the lake, there but irretrievable, still, years later, stumbling in the gallery of pictures upon Souvenir de Mortefontaine, painted when we were children there, I got a chill up my spine as if, on the other side of the lake from where the boat drifts, we’re still tying flies or gutting the trout we caught. And standing there, a velvet rope delineating the distance between where I was and where I had been, I felt like the fish that went for the fake, its innards, its still-beating heart, tossed into the trees where the birds waited to feed.

I resolved then and there to leave the signs he would seek, looking for a way home: a red ribbon tied to a twig might catch his eye from a distance, and would be like the voice that calls out at dusk, Over here! 40 3. Sudden rain: there was nowhere to go but into the library, where the shelves bowed with the weight of old books. I pulled one down—a story in which the mother fails to come to the gate. The rhetoric was simple and struck me as dull, like vegetables grown in an overwatered garden. Whether the story mentioned her thwarted love didn’t matter: by tuberculosis or arsenic, the end was the same.

I follow the couple to where they glimpsed her; halfway through the tunnel I see her cowering, though I don’t think she sees me. I feign exhaustion, take my foot in my hand, drop something for her to eat, she’s so thin. She takes it, takes a long time to eat it—it’s a Jolly Rancher, a watermelon one. It’s a wedding but the children are dying; I’m trying to help but I haven’t a clue, I can’t keep them merry, can’t keep them from leaping. But this girl eats my candy; she’s scared but not of me. 21 WEST 12TH STREET He’s belly-down in the nest you’ve made on the floor in the add-on that was my room when I was small; the door is open so you can keep an eye on him.

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