Thursday, 21 May 2015

Looking at Japanese Poetry

In due course I will be running a workshop as part of the Whitleigh Words Festival 2015 on Japanese Poetry.  Below is a poem which caught my eye several years ago and was written by Tamura Ryuichi, Japan's most popular modern poet:

A Man Who Writes a Poem

A man who writes a poem
floats in space
No one can tell
where the buoyancy comes from

A man who writes a poem
is like a pianist
whose hands are already moving
before the key's been chosen consciously
His hands precede him
His hands caught by the sound cannot escape
which is why they struggle

The sound guides the hands
and the hands
trying to escape the sound
drag him along


To see the shape
of a man writing a poem

Jump off the highest place in the world
upside down

And then your falling eye the wrong way up
might catch a glimpse
of a man writing a poem
floating in space
inside the gloom


We will look at this and more traditional styles of Japanese Poetry.  Workshop details available through the Whitleigh Words Festival website.

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