Thursday, April 15, 2010

Growth - Shuntaro Tanikawa

age three
there was no past for me

age five
my past went back to yesterday

age seven
my past went back to topknotted samurai

age eleven
my past went back to dinosaurs

age fourteen
my past agreed with the texts at school

age sixteen
I look at the infinity of my past with fear

age eighteen
I know not a thing about time


(translated from the Japanese by Harold Wright)

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Shuntaro Tanikawa (b.1931) is one of Japan's preeminent poets. He is the author of more than sixty books of poetry, the lyrics to the theme song for the movie Howls Moving Castle and he has translated Charles Schultz's Peanuts into Japanese.

2 comments:

  1. too true which evoked a chuckle - thanks

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  2. I loved the thought behind this poem - that the older we get the more that we understand that we know nothing. At least if we're smart.

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