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Gedicht

Kiji Kutani

The End of Summer

As I stared helplessly
at the reflection of my own face
in the large curved bowl
at the end of a spoon,
summer vacation
drew fully to an end.
A warmth precisely like that
in a television just switched off
lay in my belly
as I stood up, swaying.
Walking over the scraps of paper
my little sister left scattered under the table,
the memory of dizziness I felt while traveling
came rushing lightly back.
Holding my head,
heavy now as a wet rag,
I lay myself down for a last time
on the old tatami mats.
Gradually I fill with quiet,
as I do when some work given to me to do in this world
is taken away.
Surely
I must have aged thirty years
this summer vacation:
gently applying a sweat-soaked fingertip
to the corpse of a bumblebee
lacking one wing,
I murmur this to myself.
The chorus of cicadas vibrating the screen door
suddenly picks up in intensity —
as if to transport me
back to the entrance to summer.

THE END OF SUMMER

Kiji Kutani

Kiji Kutani

(Japan, 1984)

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THE END OF SUMMER

The End of Summer

As I stared helplessly
at the reflection of my own face
in the large curved bowl
at the end of a spoon,
summer vacation
drew fully to an end.
A warmth precisely like that
in a television just switched off
lay in my belly
as I stood up, swaying.
Walking over the scraps of paper
my little sister left scattered under the table,
the memory of dizziness I felt while traveling
came rushing lightly back.
Holding my head,
heavy now as a wet rag,
I lay myself down for a last time
on the old tatami mats.
Gradually I fill with quiet,
as I do when some work given to me to do in this world
is taken away.
Surely
I must have aged thirty years
this summer vacation:
gently applying a sweat-soaked fingertip
to the corpse of a bumblebee
lacking one wing,
I murmur this to myself.
The chorus of cicadas vibrating the screen door
suddenly picks up in intensity —
as if to transport me
back to the entrance to summer.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère