Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Shuntaro Tanikawa

stone axes and the like
lie quietly beyond the glass

constellations rotate endlessly
many of us become extinct
many of us appear

comets endlessly miss collision
lots of dishes and the like are broken
Eskimo dogs walk over the South Pole
great tombs are built both east and west
books of poems are often dedicated
the atom’s being smashed to bits
the daughter of a president is singing
such things as these
have been happening

stone axes and the like
lie absurdly quiet behind the glass

Shuntaro Tanikawa

from The Selected Poems of Shuntaro Tanikawa, Translated from the Japanese by Harold Wright. North Point Press, San Francisco 1983.

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