Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Poetry in Motion, Day 11 (Lady Otomo No Sakanoe, trans. Kenneth Rexroth)

This is another poem from the Chicago transit system, although the same poem appeared in New York and Portland, as well. The New York posters all "classic" in style, but pale in color and creativity to those in other cities.

Komo to yu mo

You Say, "I Will Come"

Komo to yu mo You say, "I will come."
Konu toki aru wo And you do not come.
Koji to yu wo Now you say, "I will not come."
Komu to wa mataji So I shall expect you.
Koji to yu mono wo Have I learned to understand you?

Lady Otomo No Sakanoe (eighth century)
Translated from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth

"You Say 'I Will Come'" by Lady Otomo No Sakanoe from 100 Poems from the Japanese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth.
Previous BillyBlog Poetry in Motion posts:

from "My Grandmother's New York Apartment" by Elizabeth Alexander (Day 1)
from "A Bouquet" by Bei Dao (Day 2)
"Separation" by W.S. Merwin (Day 3)
"The Groundfall Pear" by Jane Hirshfield (Day 4)
"For Friendship" by Robert Creeley (Day 5)
from "Crazy Horse Speaks" by Sherman Alexie (Day 6)
"Hunger" by Billy Collins (Day 7)
from "Little Man Around the House" by Yusef Komunyakaa (Day 8)
"The Loon on Oak-Head Pond" by Mary Oliver (Day 9)
from "I Am Vertical" by Sylvia Plath (Day 10 - part 1)
"Two Haiku" by
Kobayashi Issa (Robert Hass, trans.) (Day 10 - part 2)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many other superb Rexroth translations (and poems and essays) are online at