Japanese Modernist Poet Nishiwaki Junzaburō, Ambarvalia



O rose, thy color is sorrow.

The hair trembles.

In this sun-drenched noontime, a breeze flutters.

A starry ring trembles in the wind.

My heart also trembles to an invisible star.

Kalos tethnake meliktas.1

Red lilies, tamarisk, blue violets, Aetnean smoke:

Asteria’s island waves must adorn the altar.

This sunny neck, this summer sleep,

This Ptolemy breathes among summer flowers and grass.

His dream blows a note that bends as it touches the sound

Echoing from the Triton’s shell.

Eyelids trembling with dream,

The spirit breathes in the golden climate.

O season of mists and mellowing fruit, return again to summer

And cast marigolds wet with frosty stars on lips

Numbed by slumberous eternity and dolphin murmurings.

His silent yearning, like a silent gem,

Silently plays the pipe from the Dorian Sea.

The sound of his pipe is a silent gem.

His thought is a silent gem.

His sleep is a silent gem.

Leaving Albion and the raucous Hibernian Sea,

He still lives in this Dorian Sea.

This morning, I mourn this sea.

1. Transliterated Greek for “The beautiful singer has died,” referring to Keats.

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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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