Shuntaro Tanikawa

(1931 / Tokyo City, Japan)

Nero - Poem by Shuntaro Tanikawa

Nero
another summer is coming soon
your tongue
your eyes
your napping in the afternoon
now clearly live again before me.

You knew but about two summers
I already know eighteen summers
and now I can remember various summers
both of my own and not my own:
the summer of Maisons-Lafitte
the summer of Yodo
the summer of the Williamsburg Bridge
the summer of Oran
so I am wondering
about the number of summers
that humanity has already known.

Nero
another summer is coming soon
but it's not a summer when you were here
a different summer
a completely different summer.
A new summer is coming
I'll be learning various new things
beautiful things ugly things
things to cheer me things to sadden me
and so I ask -
what is it?
why is it?
what must be done?

Nero
you have died
without anyone being aware
you have gone far away alone
your voice
your touch
and even your feelings
now clearly live again before me.

But Nero
another summer is coming soon
a new infinitely vast summer is coming
and then
I'll probably be walking on
to meet the new summer
to meet autumn
to meet winter
to meet spring and
to expect a new summer again
in order to know all the new things
and
in order to answer
all my questions
myself.

(Translated by Harold Wright)


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Poem Edited: Wednesday, July 27, 2016


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