Friday, November 4, 2011

Ban'ya Natsuishi / Poems



English translations by Ban'ya Natsuishi and Jim Kacian

Falling from a waterfall                
in the sky                                       
the Pope begins to fly                  
Out of an old pond                      
the Pope                                        
flies in the sky                               
The Flying Pope                           
stuck by                                          
a thousand needles                     
The Flying Pope                         
the ocean                                      
is a grave of pagan                      
Flying Pope                                    
visible only to children                
and a giraffe                                   
for the Flying Pope                       
on the cliff                                      
a long long letter                           
the Pope is flying                           
Flying Pope!                                 
The fire of war                             
is a jumping flea?                           
Aurora quakes                              
at the parting…                            
Flying Pope                                  
Spawning coral                         
in the sky                                       
the Pope flying                              
The Flying Pope’s                         
limestone caves                             
Flying Pope                                     
even coughs                                    
The Flying Pope                           
casts his shadow                           
on the White House                     
The Flying Pope                            
throwing gold coins                      
down to a wolf                                                                                                   

The Flying Pope                              
takes a transit                                  
on the whale’s back                        
the Pope flying                                 
with only one lung                           
the Pope flies                                    
faster than a bullet                         
by Arabic letters                               
the Pope flies on                             
Didn’t hear                                       
an explosion?                                    
Flying Pope!                                     
Barely touching the torch                
of the Statue of Liberty                     
the Pope flies                                       
In the sky                                           
between skyscrapers                        
the Pope flying                                   
Flying Pope!                                       
Your body almost turned                 
into a skeleton?                                  
Waving hands                                   
the Flying Pope                                   
The wind blows                                
Flying Pope                                       
looks like a fire                                  
The Pope                                         
flies to Iraq                                     
his head so enormous                    
Flying Pope!                                       
Are you a messenger                        
from the moon?                               
The Pope flies                                    
in the sky of the other world            
everybody forgets it                           
Flying Pope                                         
that cloud                                            
is your classmate?                               
Fallen asleep                                     
the Pope                                              
flying to the north                             
Fire on the back of                              
a gradeschoolboy                             
the Pope flying                                     
Never vanish                                        
the Pope is flying                                  
The reason why                                     
the Pope flies:                                        
a dewdrop                                              
His heart stopped
the Pope flying                                     
in the dark red sky                               
The Flying Pope’s                                  
best friend: an octopus                              
at the the bottom of the sea                
 “An election is an election”                 
The Pope flying                                       
In the gray sky                                          
In the palm of                                             
the Flying Pope                                           
a manhole                                                   
Tsunami toward an old woman               
deeply asleep                                                 
the Pope flying                                            
The Pope flying                                        
for all                                                           
the withered roses                                     
a sunspot                                                   
Flying Pope   

Tokyo Poetry Festival
Tokio, 2008

Ban'ys Natsuishi
Medellín, 2011
Photo by Triunfo Arciniegas


In 1955, born as Masayuki Inui, in Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He saw his first haiku selected by Tohta Kaneko in a monthly when he was fourteen. In 1975 met Avant-garde haiku poets Tohta Kaneko and Shigenobu Takayanagi in Tokyo. Studied French Literature and Culture at Tokyo University where he received an M.A. in Comparative Literature and Culture in 1981. In 1992 appointed Professor at Meiji University where he continues to teach. In the same year won the 38th Modern Haiku Association Prize. From 1996 to 1998 was a guest research fellow at Paris 7th University. In 1998 with Sayumi Kamakura, he founded international haiku magazine "Ginyu"(Troubadour), became its Editor-in-Chief. Secretary General and panelist of the 1st International Contemporary Haiku Symposium held in Tokyo, 1999. In 2000 co-founded the World Haiku Association with Jim Kacian and Dimitar Anakiev. Also he serves as Director of the Modern Haiku Association (Japan). Now he lives in Fujimi City near Tokyo.
             Published his 8 Haiku Collections including The Diary of Everyday Hunting (1983), Rhythm in the Vacuum (1986), The Fugue of Gods (1990), Opera in the Human Body (1990), Earth Pilgrimage (1998). English-language edition: A Future Waterfall (1999). Also edited Guide to 21st Century Haiku (1997), Multilingual Haiku Troubadours 2000 (2000) and Transparent Current (2000). Published many texts on haiku: Dictionary of Keywords for Contemporary Haiku (1990), Contemporary Haiku Manual (1996), Haiku is Our Friend (1997), etc.

               Ban'yaBlog (in Japanee only)

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