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This poem is taken from PN Review 19, Volume 7 Number 5, May - June 1981.

Eight Poems Minoru Nakamura
[Minoru Nakamura was born in 1927. He studied at the Law Faculty of Tokyo University, receiving his degree in 1950 and has practised Law since 1952. He has published five volumes of poetry, the earliest in the mid-50s, the most recent in 1980. He has also published critical books. He is now widely recognised as among the finest poets of his generation.]

Eight Poems
translated by Dennis Keene


Parched towns, parched hills and these parched islands;
I breathe and look up at the dusty sky.
A kite drifts on slow wings, a yellow sun
Enters the spaces of the shrivelled heart.

That was last year, perhaps the year before,
When all seemed moist and dark; the place I set
Two or three stones, relationships at home,
Even the way chairs were arranged at work.

No need to share this sun with anyone.
The spaces of the shrivelled heart seem filled
With the wild roar of motors as they pass.

Have we then lost so much that we have come
All the long way to this far place? I feel

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