To C. H. P.

Cross-legged in pyjamas on the floor at one A. M.
Under an electric light
I was enjoying some Japanese poetry.
Suddenly the light went out:
Through the tracery of the oak tree
I saw the old moon rising,
One burning star balanced in a cool chink,
Heard the steady thrill of the crickets—
A hokku, a very hokku!
There, unguessed and unregarded
Had been the perfect essence of what I was admiring
In mere paper and ink.
This is very important, I said,
As I stared at the fragile night.
The bulb went out on purpose to teach me
Not to take the translation for the original.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.