Monday, 12 July 2010

yosano akiko

From The Channel Boat

What shall I wear to sleep alone?
An under-kimono of silk crepe
dyed the hushed red of dawn.
It touches the skin
like the heavy mist falls on flowers.
Every time I wear it I’m glad
I was born a woman.

In the candle’s glowing flame
its smallest motion
has a beauty hat makes me catch my breath
even in this bedroom without you.
It’s strange but
as I slip under the quilts
in the cold February bed
my heart returns to the days
when I was a girl and first loved you.

My husband traveller
are you sleeping now in France?
If a bird of paradise comes into your dreams
it is me.

trans Janine Beichman


Roxana said...

where did you find her?! :-) i didn't know this one!
she's one of my favourite, you know?

now i remember:

and also your lovely quoting of Baudelaire :-)

swiss said...

i did not know that - thought you'd like it tho. and i forgotten about thhe baudelaire. what a coincident reminder! thanks for that!

Dominic Rivron said...

What a good poem! It could have so easily slid into markishness - but cleverly just avoids doing so.

swiss said...

river of stars, her selected poetry in english would seem to be the book to look out for