#WomenReadWomen2019 Award-Winning Books Genre Nonfiction Picture Books Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

This post is an appreciation for the beautiful poetry of Misuzu Kaneko.

Fats here.

Happy Friday! Last week, I was in Sanibel Island, Florida for a week-long, much-awaited vacation. Huzzah! It was my second year in Sanibel with Daniel and his parents.

Initially, I wanted to share poems about the beach or the sunrise, but I could not find one that I liked. I gave up on that idea and decided to read the two children’s poetry collections that I borrowed from the library. I found the perfect poem in the book, Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko.

Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko
Amazon | Book Depository

I like anything that relates to Japan, so you can imagine the excitement when I discovered this book. It was noted in the foreword that Misuzu Kaneko’s poems are included in every curriculum at elementary schools in Japan. Unfortunately, when Tokyo was bombed during WWII, the only copy of her poems was destroyed. When an aspiring poet named Setsuo Yazaki came across Kaneko’s poem, Big Catch, Yazaki begun researching about Misuzu Kaneko.

Image courtesy of Playing by the Book.

Published in 2016 and available for the first time in North America, Are You an Echo?* is a labor of love that not only highlights the lost poems of Misuzu Kaneko but also provides an insight into her life. This collection is made possible by Chin Music Press, with narration by David Jacobson and translation by Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi. Coming back from vacation, I think that my poem is very fitting. It’s also one of my favorites from the collection.

Please check out other poems this week at Reading to the Core!
Thank you for hosting the round-up, Catherine!

This is one of my favorite photos that I took from our trip last year.


Waves are children
laughing and holding hands.
Together, they come.

Waves are erasers
wiping away wounds
written on the sand.

Waves are soldiers
advancing from the open sea,
firing their guns.

Waves are forgetful,
leaving pretty, pretty shells
behind on the sand.

*In 2017, Myra also shared an excerpt from this book. You can read it here.

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