Transcendent

after Kotaro Takamura

You fix your eyes on someone who isn’t there,
Tilt ear to voices I cannot hear.

You flee. Ravines and cliffsides beckon,
While you stretch your arms, as if to fly.

I cry out, you turn. But I am invisible,
You step through me, embrace my shadow.

Was your suffering in this world so much,
You had to throw off its yoke,

Make your escape into your vast, transcendent
Fukushima sky? Now and again

I hear my name, from someone, somewhere
Else. Not you, not here. Anymore.


18 comments:

  1. An adaptation of one of Kotaro Takamura's poems, written for his wife Chieko, from a celebrated collection that evidences the power of love over a descent into madness, and even death.

    As always, my hope is that this effort will complement the work of talented translators such as Leanne Ogasawara, Paul Archer and John G. Peters, and help introduce Takamura and his celebrated poems to more readers.

    Short link - http://bit.ly/s4transcend

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  2. Thank you. It's beautiful and moving. Without your work I'd remain ignorant of these lovely poems, and I'm glad indeed to experience them this way.

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  3. Thanks so much, I can't tell you how good it is to have someone appreciate the labour.

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  4. Compelling and strong piece... I especially like:

    I cry out, you turn. But I am invisible,
    You step through me, embrace my shadow.

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  5. From Facebook

    Samuel Peralta:
    Francis, Tanya, thanks very much. This one is from the serites sadness where his wife is in her descent into madness.

    Jenne R. Andrews:
    Beautiful, Sam. xxj

    Tanya Nicole Kearns:
    Eerily beautiful.......

    Samuel Peralta:
    ‎Jenne, Tanya - thank you for the kind words. I chose to depart from exact translations to make the actions of the one going mad more specific, more immediate and personal.

    Pris Campbell:
    Beautiful!

    Samuel Peralta:
    Here is an exceptional direct translation of the original - http://www.paularcher.net/​translations/​extraordinary_chieko.html

    Leanne Ogasawara:
    yes, eerily beautiful--exactly! wonderful, Sam! Finally had a minute to sit down with it...

    Samuel Peralta:
    You have to really put yourself in a different frame of mind for these 'madness' poems, I'm a little scared tackling the set leading to'Lemon Dirge'.

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  6. Thank you for the interesting post.
    I enjoyed reading it.
    Peace,
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

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  7. beautiful...you have captured the essence of love beyond the barriers of madness and death with clarity and warmth.

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  8. the third and sixth stanza bear much of the weight of emotion for me...very well done sam...

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  9. Sam your adaptations take poetry exactly where I want mine to go. Each week I try, but sometimes I feel I miss the mark. It requires such purity of language and vision to get this clarity, this depth of emotion in the simplest, cleanest language. Always excellent, sir.

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  10. I cry out, you turn. But I am invisible,
    You step through me, embrace my shadow...this gave me shivers...thanks for the footnotes sam..makes it even deeper

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  11. The longing, the wondering, the missing...a stunning, emotional write, a gorgeous read a loud (office share of the day! I'll enlighten the haters!) Wow...I leave your space both inspired and intimidated...this was beautiful!

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  12. This is so moving; beautiful wording too.

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  13. This may deal with madness, but I think it also deals with a common alienation, an escape into fantasy and a denial of reality that is present in all of us, and which makes the poem even more chilling as who knows where to draw that line? Fine work, Sam.

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  14. excellent - this is a lesson in structure

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  15. Thanks for your work. I enjoyed the poem.

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  16. A lovely piece..thank you for introducing me to Takamura...I cry out, you turn. But I am invisible,
    You step through me, embrace my shadow...so haunting

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  17. The sixth stanza takes my breath away!

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