Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Plum Brandy

The plum brandy that Chieko made before she died
Shrouds the light in the murky dregs of ten heavy years,
Now in the glass is a concentrated gem-like amber.
Please help yourself in early spring
When the nights are cold and you're all alone
I think of the person who left it behind after her death,
Terrified by fears that her mind would give way,
Knowing that she would crack up before long,
Chieko sadly put her affairs in order.
Seven years of madness ended in death.
The fragrant sweetness of this plum brandy found in the kitchen
I savour quietly, quietly,
Even the howling raging seas of the world
Cannot intrude on this moment,
Confronting this one poor life
The world can only keep its distance,
The night wind too has died away.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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