Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions of the images.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Unfolding Bud

(Water Lilies, watercolor by Beatrix Potter, 1866-1943,
English writer, illustrator, sheep breeder, conservationist,
and creator of Peter Rabbit, among many others)

Naoshi Koriyama is a Japanese poet and translator, born in 1926, who works in both Japanese and English. He was interviewed in 2008 by Tim Newfields of Toyo University, Tokyo.

Newfields: Are you active in any poetry groups?

Koriyama: Well, I'm a member of the Poetry Society of Japan, a small group of mostly Japanese poets writing in English, and the Gerard Manley Hopkins Society of Japan. I admire the sonnets of that 19th-century English poet. That group has a New Year meeting and it’s my habit to read a poem about the new Chinese zodiac sign each year there. It has become a ritual for me to write a poem on January 1st and to drink an extra amount of sake that day.


One is amazed
By a water-lily bud
With each passing day,
Taking on a richer color
And new dimensions.

One is not amazed,
At first glance,
By a poem,
Which is tight-closed
As a tiny bud.

Yet one is surprised
To see the poem
Gradually unfolding,
Revealing its rich inner self
As one reads it
And over again.


Charles Van Gorkom said...

Well Put! Exactly the kinds of poems I try to plant and grow in my little window-box on the world!

Thank-you for all your input!

jama said...

Absolutely lovely! Love that Koriyama likes Hopkins :). Potter's water lily painting is the perfect match.

jama said...

Forgot to mention how much I love Tissot's Letter A. *swoon*