White Snakes by Oguma Hideo (白い蛇 / 小熊秀雄)

Oh,
On a saccharine, oppressive night in a thicket
Two white snakes
Entangle each other
And fall asleep in their embrace
One happy snake.
One jealous snake

ああ
あまつたるい重くるしい夜のくさむらで
白い蛇が二匹
こんがらかつてくるまつて
だきあつてねむつてゐる
しあはせな蛇である。
うらやましい蛇である

NOTES:

Oguma Hideo (1901-1940) was a Japanese poet, critic, children’s writer and manga author from Hokkaido. After working several odd jobs, including being a watchman at a poultry farm, Oguma started working as a newspaper reporter in 1922. It was around this time that he started writing poetry. He became established as a poet in 1935 with the publication of his collected poems.

In 1940, under the name Asahi Tarou (旭太郎), he wrote an early science fiction manga entitled Mars Expedition (「火星探検」), a work that had a great influence on Tezuka Osamu (Astro Boy), Komatsu Sakyo (Japan Sinks), Tsutsui Yasutaka (Paprika) and Matumoto Reiji (Galaxy Express 999).

Oguma died that same year at the age of 39.

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