Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

I grope for sadness as for the breast

And if I let the sadness go, I will die

Yagi Jūkichi

From Mazushiki Shinto(The Poor Biliever,1928). The poet Yagi Jūkichi died at the age of 29, having published while alive only one book of poetry, Aki no Hitomi(Autumn Eyes). Mazushiki Shinto was the first of several posthumous books compiled from the manuscrips he left behind. Today he is a popular and widely read poet. Many of his poems,like this two-line one, “Saddnes,” are very short, but his thought is rich in seeming paradoxes which suddenly and surprisingly reveal the truth. In this poem, we have the naked human heart.

かなしみを乳房のようにKanashimi wo chibusa no yo niまさぐりmasaguriかなしみをはなれたらKanashimi wo hanaretara死のうとしているShino to shite iru