Stone Egg by Saijo Yaso (石卵 / 西條八十)

I cover my small, mysterious egg
In the tall grass,
And spreading my snow white wings
I fly into the blue, never to return.

My father, I’m certain
Must have been an unusual swan,
Or maybe he was an ugly duck
Born on a farm in Sagami.

Believing I could hatch my egg,
I resolved to stay with it until yesterday,
After worrying over it all through the night,
It turned to stone by morning light.

My sister passed away clutching a rose,
Her husband ate some blackberries and died,
For a long time I held my egg and sang
In the attic of an abandoned house.

In the end, I decided to leave it behind
See how I soar through the sky,
When the stars are clear and bright and the wild chrysanthemum fragrant,
A swan takes flight, over streets awash with pop music, ever higher,
   and far away.–

* * *

小さい謎の卵を
わたしはこの草むらに隠す、
わたしは雪白の翼をひろげて
二度と戻らぬ蒼穹(おほぞら)へ往かう。

わたしの父も、おそらく
奇異な鵠(はくてう)であつたのであらう、
相模の農家に生まれた彼は
醜い家鴨(あひる)であつたのかも知れない。

孵化(かへ)し得ると信じてゐた、
昨日(きのふ)までは、固く、  
だが苦しみぬいたあげく、
朝の光で、これは石卵であつたのだ、

姉は薔薇を抱いて逝つた、
義弟は黒苺を啖(くら)つて死んだ、
わたしは廃屋の屋根裏で
ずゐぶん永くこの卵を抱いて歌つてゐた。

いよいよ、この卵を置きざりにして
空へ飛ぶわたしの姿を見ろ、
星の光が冴え、野菊が匂ふころ、
鵠は飛ぶぞ、流行歌ながれる巷(まち)のうへを、高く、遠く。–

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