Deep Night Snow

after Kotaro Takamura

The fire on the gas hearth
Murmurs to us its warmth,
And the lamp enfolded in the study
Whispers its light upon us, drowsy two.

In the dusk the clouds break up into snow.
A glance just now, outside the window,
And all the world is white,
A heavy, drifting, deepening white,
Covering the earth, the roof, our hearts.

The world holds its breath, a bright-eyed
Innocence at how such weight, such softness,
Can so easily enfold such joy.

‘See how deep it is already!’
Someone else’s voice from far away,
And the bustle of feet stamping away the snow.

The night grows quieter. 11 o’clock,
And our own conversation trails off with the tea.
Hand in hand, we cup our ears
To the world’s deep-chambered hush,
To this slow meander of hours,
Faces moist, opening our hearts
To the sum of human senses.

Another stamping of feet in the snow.
And something else, a car going by.
Then my own voice –
‘Ah, look at that snow!’

And, just as you are about to reply,
I see your face, lips parted,
Transfigure into enchantment,
Into magic, into a joy reflected by this
Deep night snow,
By these gathering, falling, crystal
Flakes, warming you with every
Frosted, pressed-against-you
Kiss.


9 comments:

  1. The Chieko poems chart the Japanese artist Kotaro Takamura's life with Chieko Naganuma, an iconoclastic woman artist - their attraction, separation, marriage, her illness and death, and ultimately, the power of love.

    This interpretation complements the work of talented translators - such as Leanne Ogasawara, Paul Archer and John G. Peters - to whom I owe my thanks.

    Short link - http://bit.ly/s4deepsnow

    ---
    This labor is also being done to highlight the relief efforts of the Red Cross, and other agencies, in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Please help if you can...

    • US - Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10
    • Canada - Text ASIA to 30333 to donate $5

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's funny how certain lines leap out of poems. For me it was this whole stanza:
    "Another stamping of feet in the snow.
    And something else, a car going by.
    Then my own voice –
    ‘Ah, look at that snow!’"

    I notice that many times there is a gem about 3/4 of the way through a poem---someone should develop an algorithm for this.

    Nice work here.

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  3. This is sublime- a moment captured so beautifully - I could see and hear you both

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  4. A lovely, lyrical poem love poem, Sam. I also especially like the 6th stanza; it captures the entire experience.

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  5. thank you for keeping the relief effort on our minds sam...lovely the kisses of snow...we cup our hands to the hush...my fav line...

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  6. Lovely, Sam-- I especially love these lines:

    Hand in hand, we cup our ears
    To the world’s deep-chambered hush,
    To this slow meander of hours,
    Faces moist, opening our hearts
    To the sum of human senses.

    Gorgeous language, unexpected...deep-chambered...slow meander...sum of ...senses... your work always makes me hear a litany of yeses...xxxj

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  7. We got to see a little snow this winter, and it was lovely!

    Lovely as this poem, and the kiss of frosty flakes.

    Wonderful words here. Thank you.

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  8. This poem takes me right into the hush of those first snowy moments and the lovely solitude shared with someone special. Beautiful!

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  9. I can feel the cool on my feet that spreads them wide with want in the southern heat. Wonderful lines:
    Another stamping of feet in the snow.
    And something else, a car going by.
    Then my own voice –
    ‘Ah, look at that snow!’

    ReplyDelete

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