TranslatingRitaSophie

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The Sumida

Icebox

River, river, river (lifelong familiarity with a language lures us into hearing onomatopoeia). We look out on the Sumida River where it goes past the southern end of Tokyo’s Taito ward, and are just a couple of hundred meters upstream from the confluence with the Kanda (which I once lived alongside in Nakano ward).

A river—or any body of water for that matter—is a view that you can wholly rely on to be different every day. The color, texture, play of light on, speed of flow, traffic on, even the apparent width of a river change like the weather, like the mood of a creature you’ve been staring at for too long. In other words, a river is one of the most iron-bound promises against boredom, a lifetime guarantee of (at least) subtle surprises.

Windless
the grasses
bend forward

In anticipation
the gulls bob and wheel
at the mouth of…

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2 thoughts on “The Sumida

  1. Thanks for the repost, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Am loving your writing!

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