Yosano Akiko

Even at nineteen,
I had come to realize
that violets fade,
spring waters soon run dry,
this life too is transient

Swifter than hail
Lighter than a feather,
A vague sorrow
Crossed my mind.

You have yet to touch
This soft flesh,
This throbbing blood --
Are you not lonely,
Expounder of the Way?

Spring is short
what is there that has eternal life
I said and
made his hands seek out
my powerful breasts

Hair unbound, in this
Hothouse of lovemaking.
Perfumed with lilies,
I dread the oncoming of
The pale rose of the end of night.

A thousand lines
Of black black hair
All tangled, tangled --
And tangled too
My thoughts of love!

I say his poem,
propped against this frozen wall,
in the late evening,
as bitter autumn rain
continues to fall.

Come at last to this point
I look back on my passion
And realize that I
Have been like a blind man
Who is unafraid of the dark.

It was only
the thin thread of a cloud,
almost transparent,
leading me along the way
like an ancient sacred song.

Yosano Akiko