from With Silence My Companion
I know how worthless this poem will be
under the scrutiny of daylight
and yet I cannot disown my words.
While others fill their baskets at market
I drink from a cup on the table,
I see through the trees, by the distant pool,
a white statue
its genitals exposed
It is I.
I am immersed
in the past
and have become a block of dumb stone
and not the Orpheus I hoped to be.
Translation from the Japanese by William I. Elliot & Kazuo Kawamura