Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



To A Woman

I can't bear
Your leaving -

Like fruit before the blossom,
Like green shoots before the seed,
Spring after summer,
It's unnatural, senseless,
Please don't go!
Just imagining
You with your curly writing
Taking an old square for a husband
Makes me want to weep.
You, who can be as tremulous as a small bird
As willful as a stormy wind,
Going off to get married!

I can't bear
Your leaving -

How can you,
Without any second thoughts,
Well, how can I put this nicely..?
Sell yourself,
Yes, you're selling yourself,
Going from your own world
Into the world of others,
To be subservient to men,
To utter nonsense.
It's as horrible
As putting a Titian
For sale in a flea market.

I feel so lonely and sad
It's hard to put into words...
You know that gloxinia you gave me,
It's like watching its huge petals fade,
Withering in front of my eyes,
Or like seeing a bird disappear
As it travels far across the sky,
Like a wave breaking, that sad despairing feeling,
Hopeless, lonely, burning,

And yet this isn't love
Heavens, no!
I don't know what it is,
But I can't bear
Your leaving
Not only to leave, but to get married,
To be in the hands of a strange man.

The Chieko
by Kotaro

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