Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ishihara Yoshiro: "Wheat"

Let a stalk of wheat
be your witness
to every difficult day.

Since it was a flame
before it was a plant,
since it was courage
before it was grain,
since it was determination
before it was growth,
and, above all, since it was prayer
before it was fruition,
it has nothing to point to
but the sky.
Remember the incredibly gentle wheat stalk
which holds its countless arrows fixed
to shoot from the bowstring—
you, standing in the same position
where the wind holds it.

"Wheat" by Ishihara Yoshiro, from Like Underground Water: The Poetry of Mid-Twentieth Century Japan. Translated from the original Japanses by Naoshi Koriyama and Edward Lueders. © Copper Canyon Press, 1995.  

Art credit: Untitled photograph of a stalk of wheat, by Todd Korol/Reuters (originally color).


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