Cat Town (NYRB Poets) by Sakutaro Hagiwara, Hiroaki Sato

By Sakutaro Hagiwara, Hiroaki Sato

Modernist poet Sakutarō Hagiwara's first released publication, Howling on the Moon, shattered traditional verse kinds and reworked the poetic panorama of Japan. of its poems have been got rid of on order of the Ministry of the internal for "disturbing social customs." in addition to everything of Howling, this quantity contains all of Blue Cat, Hagiwara's moment significant assortment, including Cat city, a prose-poem novella, and a considerable choice of verse from the remainder of his books, giving readers the total breadth and intensity of this pioneering poet's striking paintings.

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Sample text

My boots become untied. My coat unbuttoned. My education gone. I don’t care anymore how the world thinks. I only know that the snow Has reached my knees. A Note to My State-Appointed Job Counselor I’m a lousy escapist. Troubles of the world roll off my back. I lose my hearing During job interviews. I walk around in a daze And pretend to know something. The only talent I have Is to be able to smell each new season Before it comes In the hair of women. from Looking into the Weather (1983) Before a Rain in Spring The willow Has a black trunk Sticking up into the lifeless branches.

In the early morning I’ll hang Over evergreen branches My ear lappers down As lights go on In the bedrooms Alarm clocks ringing words Of the first awake. Almost frozen I drift sideways Across the sky Rain turning to snow. Looking at the Windmill My kids come back from the long walk With their hands full of stones. They sense that my foundations Are shaky. They stay up late To play with me And humor me While all night not talking I duck in and out of air caves. I am the distant windmill they know to look at Moved by the least breeze.

They explain How to go for miles between towns Without warming up. Summer Night Air Night doesn’t fall It rises Out of low spots Tree trunks And the back Of the old cow I’m bringing home to milk. Cold in the Trees The hoot Of the owl Is large enough To carry off a whole sheep. Farm on a Winter Morning All I can see are Cows And five am Milking machines Hanging On big teats. The woman who hanged herself Before breakfast With a halter. The price of oats dropping On the way To the house. Me And my father Trying to break the ice Between us.

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