River of Stars: Selected Poems of Yosano Akiko


Hair in morning tangles,
perhaps I should comb it out
with spring rainwater
as it drips from the ink-black
feathers of swallows’ wings.

Testing, tempting me
forever, those youthful lips
barely touching the
frosty cold drops of dew
on a white lotus blossom.

I say his poem,
propped against this frozen wall,
in the late evening
as bitter autumn rain
continues to fall.

A long, restless night,
now my tangled hair
sweeps the strings of my koto.
Three months into spring
and I’ve not played one note.

some of my favorites from Sam Hamill and Keiko Matsui Gibson’s translations of Akiko Yosano’s poetry

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