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Thread: Kazuko Shiraishi - The Tale of a Certain Fairy

  1. #1
    in a blue moon amuse's Avatar
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    Kazuko Shiraishi - The Tale of a Certain Fairy

    used an excerpt earlier for my sig: this is the complete poem.
    from Let Those Who Appear, 2002
    i posted it earlier on The Crossed Keys, so have included a bonus track for those of you who've read it.


    THE TALE OF A CERTAIN FAIRY

    A man - has a strange - clairvoyance - that finds a fairy
    He lives in the woods - with his wife and seven cats - always
    Simmering - something that can't be put into words
    A delicious soup - no way to tell how it was mixed
    There - many dead - become ghosts
    Sobbing laughing with the sleepwalking souls of the living - sometimes
    You can hear the song of the bubbling - coming from the soup
    Where did you find - a joke - that good?
    Where did you gather - the mushrooms? - quick, tell me!
    If you don't - I'm not going to tell you the secret - of the game of chess

    How is it that the man came to find a fairy - for that matter
    It's as though a tape of the memory of history - was erased on purpose...

    No one has ever gone near the swamp deep in the woods
    Cats - sometimes - hear - the sound of
    The fairies - continuing to wash the aprons of the dead fairies - on a day like that
    The wife - takes a pleasant nap
    The man takes out his eyeballs - and polishes them more carefully than usual



    FROM THE PRECIOUS TEARS OF THE DONKEY

    One day - I asked the donkey - where are
    Your tears - she did not tell me
    I went out - to Malacca
    To meet the spirit of Malacca - but the moon shines
    Fish and birds do not answer - sleep deeply
    No one - knows where the spirit is
    I too - sleep deeply
    At dawn - a carpenter bird sings - Malacca - Malacca
    If I were a tree, I would answer
    Malacca's soul lives inside my seed
    Because Malacca is the name of a tree
    You don't have to know that
    It doesn't necessarily have to be a tree
    Moon or - bird or fish would be fine
    Malacca's sand - is wet with the tears - of a thin sea shell
    Last edited by amuse; 03-25-2004 at 02:29 AM.
    shh!!!
    the air and water have been here a long time, and they are telling stories.

  2. #2
    smeghead
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    I like from the precious tears of the donkey. And I get the feeling there's a lot of deep meaning in it I'm too tired to think about....
    Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
    (Mark Twain)

  3. #3
    fated loafer
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    I don't understand the donkey tears one, what is it talking about?

  4. #4
    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    Either it's lost in translation, or it meant nothing to begin with. Or I'm just less of a fan of the abstract than I realized.
    If you had to live with this you'd rather lie than fall.
    You think I can't fly? Well, you just watch me!

    ~The Dresden Dolls

  5. #5
    in a blue moon amuse's Avatar
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    One day - I asked the donkey - where are
    Your tears

    I went out
    To meet the spirit of Malacca

    No one - knows where the spirit is

    Malacca is the name of a tree
    You don't have to know that
    It doesn't necessarily have to be a tree

    Malacca's sand - is wet with the tears - of a thin sea shell
    well...i think the spirit of malacca, and the [donkey's] tears are in the sea [shell], also that this sums the natural world's message and loss up, but i can't put my finger on it either.

    her poetry is definitely surreal; her first book was titled The Town that Rains Eggs.
    from this book's intro: "the strong voice that speaks out for those who are oppressed extends to all living things, condemning man's cruelty to animals and even insects, as well as of the disastrous effect of the encroachment of civilization on the environment."

    i am pretty sure it wasn't lost in translation; her first seven years were spent in vancouver, b.c., and she's been a guest lecturer at the intn'l writing program at univ. of iowa. she spoke english at the reading in s.f., and i'm pretty sure she's multi-lingual. don't know re: her fluency.
    my guess is that she trusted others to translate the japanese into english more than she did herself, but that's debatable, and i'm not positive on that.

    she uses donkeys in other poems from this same book:

    THE DONKEY SPECULATES (also in "regarding the future...the donkey")

    Shoud she call...or not
    Even though she wants to call...the donkey...wonders
    As if she had become a nation
    The line might be tapped
    It's dangerous...to leak information...and
    She thinks of the cute...mountain girl Heidi
    Surrounded by sheep...mountain sheep...running through the green fields
    Heidi...of the sweet...lips
    Isn't she...too unsuspicious...too innocent...passionate...tossing
    An ideal ball...to this side of the telephone
    The donkey...like a housewife knitting...speculates
    On this and that adding stitches...changing stitches


    *i use ellipses because the comp doesn't accept her spaces - they are the size of a short word where ellipses appear between words/phrases
    btw, em, i finally understand what you mean re: posts per page.
    Last edited by amuse; 06-13-2004 at 09:57 PM.
    shh!!!
    the air and water have been here a long time, and they are telling stories.

  6. #6
    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amuse
    btw, em, i finally understand what you mean re: posts per page.
    Oh, cool.

    I didn't write that other post to be b****y, btw. I had the intent of discussing it, but instead found myself mystified, and for some reason I posted the fact. I'm too dizzy to think tonight.
    If you had to live with this you'd rather lie than fall.
    You think I can't fly? Well, you just watch me!

    ~The Dresden Dolls

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