A Child's Sky

after Kotaro Takamura

That isn’t sky in Tokyo, you tell me –
How you long to see real sky.

I look up, surprised.
There, beyond the cherry leaves,
In the pale morning overcast,
Is the sky I’ve always known.

But your eyes have a faraway look.

There, where every day the sky is blue, you say –
Gazing in the direction of Mount Adatara –
There’s the real sky.

Wistful, your words. As if you were
A child again.


  1. This is the latest in my attempt to interpret the work of Kotaro Takamura through the sensibilities of a writer who is first a poet.

    My hope is that this effort will complement the translation work done by talented scholars such as Leanne Ogasawara, Paul Archer and John G. Peters, as well as help introduce Takamura to more readers.

    The Chieko poems trace Kotaro Takamura's life with Chieko Naganuma, an iconoclastic woman artist - their attraction, separation, marriage, his coming to terms with her illness and death, and the power of love.

    Short link - http://bit.ly/s4childsky

  2. Nice. Crisp as if coming into focus of the realization.

  3. Thank you, I do appreciate you taking the time to read. I'm glad the poem found a way to connect with you.

  4. Anonymous10:12:00 PM

    Really beautiful!

  5. A bit of a sad feeling of finality in this one, really beautiful Sam.

  6. Chieko Naganuma, the woman in Takamura's poem - and his wife - was born on May 20, 1886 in Fukushima Prefecture, where her childhood was spent under the blue skies not far from Mount Adatara.

  7. The structure and pace here clearly mirror the up-front simplicity of Japanese verse. Nothing hidden in the open palm of the master!

  8. A fascinating read to say the least. Very precise yet delicately crafted.

  9. I interpret something beautiful about this poem. It presents a call to look beyond the veneer of the poem, and "see" its deeper meaning. Metaphorically speaking, look for the "real sky" in the poem. A Child's Sky speaks to me.


Thanks so much for visiting my site, I'm grateful you've taken the time to read. If you liked this selection, you can download a sampler of (or buy!) my books at the following links...

- Sonata Vampirica
- Sonnets from the Labrador
- How More Beautiful You Are
- Tango Desolado
- War and Ablution

...And, if you can, please leave a rating at Amazon.com. It's easy, and it does help a lot.

...Thank you!