A Long Rainy Season

Looking at Women in Japanese Poetry & Short Stories

4.27.2006

Pregnant realizations?


Ah, women

walking with ovaries
hanging inside--
the wind blows, the bamboo groves
cry from within.

-Ei Akitsu

This poem realizes the female's sexuality and reproductive capability. It demonstrates a strange awareness of reproduction, since obviously one cannot witness the ovaries in passing women.

I'm posting this poem because of the opposite-but-equal strangeness that occurs in "Pregnancy Diary," with the expecting woman as well as the narrator seemingly unable to acknowledge or realize that there is a budding human life in that belly. Perhaps this poem, with its "Ah" at the opening, is a flash of realization on the poet's part?

In a poem of such brevity, it is essential to analyze each word. I'd like to talk about the symbolic significance of bamboo. Bamboo, being hollow internally, could symbolize emptiness. However, it is also very hardy and durable--powerful on the outside but incomplete on the inside? Shinto shrines are also sometimes bordered by a bamboo grove to ward off evil.

What on earth could the bamboo grove in the poem refer to? Not sure yet...



1 Comments:

At 9:12 PM, Anonymous Bryce said...

Perhaps this poem, with its "Ah" at the opening, is a flash of realization on the poet's part?

It would be interesting to know if the author had had children when she wrote this poem.

 

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