Japanese Modernist Poet Nishiwaki Junzaburō, Ambarvalia

Thy hand is reflected on every window:

Bliss Carman.

The woman of delight walks

Thy words,

A shuttered May morning.

The Head of Callimachus and Voyage Pittoresque


To the sea to the sea, and the land of Tanagra!

But finding myself exhausted,

Like a jewel thief I stealthily

Put in to an unknown land and rested.

My smoke rose up

And trailed into a garden of blooming amaryllis.

A native’s dog shook its ears violently.

This is a lonely region of crying plovers and dogs.

Water mists over gemstones,

Remembrance and sand undulate.

Call it the land of terracotta dreams.


Pursuing the eternal light that runs along gemstone angles,

Reading Aeschylus in search of gods and heroes,

Forgetting the “cycle” of months and years,

Playing neither flute nor pipes, for a long time

I climbed the tree of knowledge in a fishy classroom.

I set off for a town, passed through a town,

Went to a forest where nightingales once sang,

Wandered far with heavy heart and legs.

Leaves woke up like amaryllis,

And brushed their fingers on my shoulder as if to whisper.

My heart moved sinuously as a tiger.

Ah, it’s autumn, isn’t it Callimachus!

Thou, woman of candle, with thy flame and fragrance

Swellest the hazelnuts and the shepherd’s cheeks.

When a golden wind shakes thy stone,

Bless me.

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One Response to Japanese Modernist Poet Nishiwaki Junzaburō, Ambarvalia

  1. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    “O rose, thy color is sorrow”
    An interesting line. Quite a contrast to Persian/Middle Eastern poetry on roses and nightingales.

    Ishmael Zechariah

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