Saturday, September 15, 2012

Takahashi teardrops

I don't know if it's a great poem, but it's a poem I have loved for over 30 years since I first read it, a poem I still am moved and awed by and envy each time I read it——

by the great Japanese poet Mutsuo Takahashi——

in English translation by the brilliant Hiroaki Sato——

(so many of the poems I wrote in my life were influenced by reading Sato's translations, I owe him a great debt)——

the poem:


May I have the dove, he said
You may, I replied

Oh he's so sweet, he said and held him in his arms
Listen, the way he coos, I added

I like his eyes, he said and touched them
I like his beak too, I said and touched it

But, he said and looked at me
But what, I said and looked at him

But you even more, he said
Oh no please, I said and looked down

I love you, he said and let the dove go
He's gone, I murmured
In his arms


Typing it up now and proofing it, it made tears come to my eyes (again), I find this poem so incredibly poignant——

The book it's from, "Ten Japanese Poets" edited and translated by Sato, was published by Granite in 1973 . . .

There are photos of and bio notes on each of the ten poets——

One of the books listed for Takahashi's biblio has as its title:

"You Dirty Ones, Do Dirtier Things" . . .

Incidently there have been two or three books of selections from Takahashi published in English translation——

The first, "Poems of a Penisist" was trans. by Sato, and includes

a thousand-line ode to fellatio—

ah: Takahashi—



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