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Tanikawa Shuntaro / 谷川俊太郎 – Ⅶ





I can’t avoid forgetting

the defiant red of the maple leaves that are now before me

and the expression in your eyes looking at it,

trying to find something that isn’t there.

Surely you, too, are forgetting

each moment in this world which is, after all, nothing but details.

And all we remember is only one thing –

the fact that we are born and will one day die.

That fact, like a child’s first drawing of a crayon line,

gets crooked, bends, blurs and fades to an end.


But what’s so bad about forgetting anyway?

That delicate pleasure in growing bored and forgetting

so vivifies the morning light!


I can’t avoid forgetting

even the fact that only memories make up humans.

So actually people are not living in history.

The endless blood-shedding won’t make people any wiser

and only there where forgotten things accumulate like rubbish

can you and I begin to talk.