Archive for August 13, 2010

The first memorial service

Posted in Japanese Modern, Summer, Tanka with tags on August 13, 2010 by Nori

My father passed away last August and my family had the first memorial service the day before yesterday. My mother, who is a poet, selected 66 tanka related to her husband, composed during those four last years when she had known about his disease, and compiled them into a handmade booklet. In Japan, it is customary to offer a gift to participants at the service. So the booklet was added to a box of sweets, without any special word.

I don’t write tanka or haiku that much. So I tried a little translation instead.

子育ての頃のごとくに看取りゐる夫ねむる間買い物に出づ

Just like I used to do / all those decades ago / when child-raising, / I go out to the grocery / leaving an invalid sleeping inside

ふるさとの球児ら躍動する映像夫見てゐき死の四日前

He was watching a broadcast / of the high-school baseball tournament, / his hometown players darting around: / this, only four short days / before his end

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