|My Cy in the Peace Park, Nagasaki.|
He is one of my Martian children.
It's Poetry Friday.
Today I would like to share one poem in two translations.
The poet is Shuntaro Tanikawa. A poet who was, himself a translator of Mother Goose rhymes and the Peanuts comic strip. The act of translation fascinates me. I think it is fundamental to communication: translation reminds us of what we do not, and cannot, know about another.
If you enjoy these poems, please seek out his books.
TWO BILLION LIGHT YEARS OF LONELINESS
On a small sphere
Earthlings sleep, wake, work
Once in a while they wish they had friends on Mars
I have no idea
what Martians do on their small sphere
(maybe they sleep'eep, wake'ake, work'ork)
But once in a while they wish they had friends on Earth
That's for sure.
|Poetry Friday is hosted by|
Teaching Authors this week
The universal force of gravity is
the mutual attraction of loneliness
The universe is warped
That is why we are drawn to each other
The universe keeps on expanding
That is why we all feel anxious
with two billion lights years of loneliness
facing me, I sneezed.
(Translated by Takaka U. Lento)
TWO BILLION LIGHT-YEARS OF SOLITUDE
Human beings on this small orb
sleep, waken and work, and sometimes
wish for friends on Mars.
I've no notion
what Martians do on their small orb
(neririing or kiruruing or hararaing)
But sometimes they like to have friends on Earth.
No doubt about that.
Universal gravitation is the power of solitudes
pulling each other.
Because the universe is distorted,
we all seek for one another.
Because the universe goes on expanding,
we are all uneasy.
With the chill of two billion light-years of solitude,
I suddenly sneezed.
(Translated by William I. Elliott and Kazao Kawamura)
Edited to add the poem in Japanese. (Thank you, Shannon.)
（或はネリリし キルルし ハララしているか）
Bonus: Tanikawa wrote the lyrics to the theme song of Howl's Moving Castle.