Akimoto Fujio (秋元不死男) Revisited

ねたきりのわがつかみたし銀河の尾

Bed-ridden for life
Wishing I could grab
The galaxy by its tail

橋に乗るかなしき道を道をしえ

Crossing a bridge
On a lonely road
A tiger beetle

終戦日妻子入れむと風呂洗ふ

The day the war ends
I will wash out the bath tub
For my wife and child

獄を出て触れし枯木と聖き妻

Released from prison
I touch a withered tree
And my saint of a wife

春惜しむ白鳥の如き溲瓶持ち

Sorrow at spring’s end
Holding a bed pan
Shaped like a swan

NOTES: Translated by Alex Fyffe and Yumiko Hori.

These poems were first posted on March 15th, but several of them have been improved with the help of my friend Yumi, so I am re-posting the corrected, final versions now.

All poems taken from the Gendai Haiku Association Database. Please visit their wonderful site at www.haiku-data.jp.

2 thoughts on “Akimoto Fujio (秋元不死男) Revisited

  1. More marvelous Haiku. I hope you will traslate more by Fujio, as the man is an absolute genius whose work deserves to be better known in the English-speaking world. By making and sharing these translations you are doing a great service to literature. Thank you for this. I always look forward to your blog posts, which just seem to get better every day. Have you considered including biographical information for the poets you are translate? I believe the reader’s appreciation of the poems would be increased by a knowledge of the poets’ vital dates, if nothing else, since they sometimes contain references which are unclear and liable to misunderstanding outside of a historical context.

    • Thank you for your kind comment. I think I’ll take your advice to heart and start providing some biographical information in my future posts, even if only the most basic details.

      Many of the poets I’ve translated here have little to no presence in the English-speaking world, which is a shame, since there is so much talent out there that we’ve been missing out on. I’d like to continue to develop as a translator so that I can bring their works to light. I only hope I can do justice to the original words.

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