Sunday, November 18, 2012

Flowers of a late spring: the poetry of Toyo Shibata

I heard about this Japanese poet last week, when I was flying back from Hungary and I had to change the plane in Frankfurt. When I travel, especially if I have to change planes, I always buy some newspaper from the airport. I have this rituals that from Vienna I buy Surfers Mag or Surfing Europe (which ever had the latest edition), and from Germany I always buy something new what I have not heard about before.

In one of the newspapers there was an article about Toyo Shibata which I found really interesting and decided to write about her to you. Cause I am sure, many of you will fins her story inspiring and will may be look up her poems on the web as well.



Toyo Shibata

Source: livejourna.com



Toyo Shibata (born June 26, 1911) is a best selling Japanese poet, her first anthology Kujikenaide (Don`t Lose Heart) published in 2009 sold 1,5 million copies. (As a comparison poetry book sales of 10,000 are already considered as successful in Japan.) The anthology contains 42 poems.

Quite interesting story how all this started: at the age of 92 Shibata was forced to give up her hobby Japanese classical dance because of back pain. Her son advised her to try write poetry, she took the advice and well she became extremely successful in it as you can see. She published her second anthology on Sept. 13. 2011 with many poems focusing on the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11.


Poems

I found these two translations below on the From Tokyo to the World blog (I want to go to Tokyo!!!)

ぽたぽたと

蛇口から落ちる涙は

止まらない。

どんなに辛く
悲しいことがあっても

いつまで
くよくよしていては
だめ。

思いきり

蛇口を捻って

一気に涙を
流してしまうの。

さあ、新しいカップで

コーヒー飲みましょう。

Dripping
Water from the tap
Doesn't stop

No matter how hard,
Even if you are sad


No matter what
Brooding over it
Won’t do
With all your heart

Close the tap.

All at once, the tears
Will be shed.
Come now, let’s have some coffee

In a new cup.


Source: fanboy.com



九十を越えた今

一日一日が

とてもいとおしい

頬をなでる風

友からの電話

訪れてくれる人たち
それぞれが

私に

生きる力を
与えてくれる

Now I’ve passed 90
Each day is


So precious
The wind that brushes my cheek
A phone call from a friend

The people who come to visit
Each of them in their way
Give me

The strength to live.


Below some more translated poems from the blog Wednesday Afternoon Picnic


「返事」My Reply


風が 耳元で       
「もうそろそろ      
あの世に      
行きましょう」   
なんて 猫撫で声で 
誘うのよ      

だから 私     
すぐに返事をしたの 
「あと少し     
こっちに居るわ   
やり残した     
事があるから」   

風は        
困った顔をして   
すーっと帰って行った 

In my ears the wind
Invites me
In intoxicating tones
"Shall we go now
To the other side?"
So, I
Quickly replied
"I'll stay here
Just a bit longer
There are still some things
Left undone"
The wind
With a pout on her face
Swiftly returned from whence it came



「秘密」A Secret

私ね 死にたいって   
思ったことが      
何度もあったの     
でも 詩を作り始めて  
多くの人に励まされ 

今はもう         
泣きごとは言わない     

九十八歳でも       
恋はするのよ      
夢だってみるの     
雲にだって乗りたいわ  

You know, I've thought
So many times
That I wanted to die
But I started writing poetry
And have been encouraged by so many people
So now
I won't complain anymore
Even at 98
I love
And I dream
I want to ride on a cloud 

Tokyo suburb, Source: pocko.com

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