Fukushima Mon Amour

On  a carpet of leaves

Myriad of songs
From seeds of the human heart
Discordant chorus
Overheating the green globe
Then falling into silence

AGG20140131

Depth  charge:  The initial spark for this poem came from reading  the preface to the Kokinshū as quoted in Haruo Shirane’s  Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons:

“The songs of Japan take the human heart as their seed and flourish as myriad leaves of words. As long as they are alive in this world, the care and deeds of men and women are endless, so they speak of things they hear and see, giving words to feelings in their hearts. Hearing the cries of the bush warbler among the blossoms or the calls of the frog that lives in the waters, how can we doubt that every living creature sings its song? Without using force, poetry moves heaven and earth, makes even the unseen spirits and gods feel pity, smoothes the bonds between man and woman, and consoles the hearts of fierce warriors.”

Below is a lecture Haruo Shirane gave at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that summarizes his book:

To see all the Tanka, and writing about Tanka, on this blog please click here.

To read Songs about Sex, Death & Cicadas by Andrew Grimes Griffin, just click on the link. To download a pdf, right click on the link and select “Save link as…”

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