Sakutaro Hagiwara

Sakutaro Hagiwara Poems


Black-as-can-be cats arrive a-pair,
Up on a rooftop, a plaintive eve,
And on the tips of their pointed tails hung

An upright thing of green sprouts out of the ground,
A bladed thing of green springs out of the ground,
Piercing the iced-over winter,

I rouged my lips,
And kissed the white birch bark.
Even if I were thought handsome,
I have no rubber bouncing ball-like swelling of the bosom,

O woman,
With the firm hard teeth of yours,
How dainty [to watch you] chew the grass.
With the dilute herbal ink,

Drat that snatch-thief dog,
He howls at the moon from the rotting pier.
When the soul pricks up its ears,
It hears the shrill girls choiring,

You, in the hill country, out there on the red clay earth,
You, sleeping away in a desolate cave.

From a violent toothache,
I was holding a swollen cheek,
As I dug near the jujube tree,
Wishing to plant some seeds.

I always want the city,
want to be inside the lively crowds of the city.
Crowds are things like huge waves with emotions.

A frog is killed.
A gang of kids in full circle throw their hands up in the air.
All together,
They hold their cutesy little,

On a far night, the glinting pine needles
Accepted lettings of remorseful tears.
On a far night, the skies were frosty-white,

I fear the farm country,
I fear the farm country's unmanned rice-paddies,
Where the quaking rice stalks grow row by row.

The post office is, like harbors and parking lots, a sad nostalgic place which touches off feelings of life's long

The Hirose River runs all white,
As time wiles away, so too disappear all fanciful thoughts.
Hoping to bait life on hook and line,

I'd like to be off to France,
But France is so frightfully far,
At the least though, I'll pick out a brand new suit,

Let us go across the road-bridge,
Like black, swirling sewer water
Treading the viaduct, over criss-crossing paths.

At dawn's light, the skies were lit pale,
On the window, the imprint of fingers, cold,
The high peaks, whitish-turning, stood

Like a reed that sways with every breeze,
My heart is feeble; it cowers in constant fear.
Dear woman,


From the bed of earth I'm staring at,
Wondrous queer hands jut out,
Feet jut out,

A frog was killed.
A circle of children raised their hands.
All together

Creak whisper-quiet, four-wheeler coach,
The sea brightens ever so dimly,
The wheats swept away to the distance,

Sakutaro Hagiwara Biography

Sakutarō Hagiwara (1 November 1886 - 11 May 1942) was a writer of free-style verse, active in Taishō and early Showa period Japan. He liberated Japanese free verse from the grip of traditional rules, and he is considered the “father of modern colloquial poetry in Japan”. He published many volumes of essays, literary and cultural criticism, and aphorisms over his long career. In 1913, he published five of his verses in Zamboa ("Shaddock"), a magazine edited by Kitahara Hakushu, who became his mentor and friend. He also contributed verse to Maeda Yugure's Shiika ("Poetry") and Chijō Junrei ("Earth Pilgrimage"), another journal created by Hakushū. The following year, he joined Muro Saisei and the Christian minister Yamamura Bochō in creating the Ningyo Shisha ("Merman Poetry Group"), dedicated to the study of music, poetry, and religion. The three writers called their literary magazine, Takujō Funsui ("Tabletop Fountain"), and published the first edition in 1915. In 1916, Hagiwara co-founded with Murō Saisei the literary magazine Kanjō ("Sentiment"), and in the following year he brought out his first free-verse collection, Tsuki ni Hoeru ("Howling at the Moon"), which had an introduction by Kitahara Hakushū. The work created a sensation in literary circles. Hagiwara rejected the symbolism and use of unusual words, with consequent vagueness of Hakushū and other contemporary poets in favor of precise wording which appealed rhythmically or musically to the ears. He later wrote additional anthologies, including Aoneko ("Blue Cat") in 1923 and Hyōtō ("Icy Island") in 1924, as well other volumes of cultural and literary criticism. He was also a scholar of classical verse and published Shi no Genri ("Principles of Poetry",1928). His critical study Ren’ai meika shu ("A Collection of Best-Loved Love Poems", 1931), shows that he had a deep appreciation for classical Japanese poetry, and Kyōshu no shijin Yosa Buson ("Yosa Buson—Poet of Nostalgia", 1936) reveals his respect for the haiku poet Buson, who advocated a return to the 17th century rules of Bashō. His unique style of verse expressed his doubts about existence, and his fears, ennui, and anger through the use of dark images and unambiguous wording.)

The Best Poem Of Sakutaro Hagiwara


Black-as-can-be cats arrive a-pair,
Up on a rooftop, a plaintive eve,
And on the tips of their pointed tails hung
A wispy crescent-moon, looking hazy.
'O-wah, good evening,'
'O-wah, good evening.'
'Waa, waa, waa.'[*infant crying]
'O-wah, the man of this household is bedridden.'

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