October 12, 2004


Here is my first translation of a Japanese poem, with the help of my English conversation students, Mami and Keiko. It was written by the Meiji era poet Shimazaki Toson.

First Love

At the time when you first drew up your hair
and I met you beneath the apple trees,
you were beautiful--like those flowers
on the face of your haircomb.

You gave me an apple,
in your soft, white hands
the autumn fruit's faded crimson--
this was the beginning of love.

I sighed once, thinking of nothing, through your hair.
We drank in joy and surrender
to each other each other's lips.
I was in rapture.

And now as I look back down this narrow path,
the one leading through the apple orchard,
and think upon the hands of its maker,
I remember you, yearn for you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff, this is a gorgeous translation. Please do more.
-- Diana

10:16 AM  

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