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Mutsuo Takahashi, from We of Zipangu

On the Shore

On the Shore, by Matsuo Takahashi (in Japanese)

On the Shore

at the grave of Ezra Pound
Rather than talk about your grave where laurels are planted
on the island of graves encircled by this tall stone wall
I want to talk about the tides encircling this island of graves
and the tides of time flowing beyond
the fig trees, the elder trees, the sorrels.
You are a man who came to this shore
from other shores beyond
even while you were alive
you were a man who could never stop thinking
of the shore on the other side of
the shore on which you were standing.
People cannot choose between the shore on the other side
and the shore on this side.
All we can do is just think of the other shore
from one of the other shores.
Even if we reach one of those shores
we will have just drifted there by accident.