A Long Rainy Season

Looking at Women in Japanese Poetry & Short Stories



Here's a very chilling poem. I feel that there are many ways to read this tanka, although I am not sure if the poet intended for there to be a "correct way." Does anyone think this calls to mind one of the stories we've read? And why?

I'll turn to water--
that's when
the blood of my parents
will come to an end.

--Motoko Michiura

I think this is a fun way to get some comments going and see if anyone has remotely the same thought-track about these poems as I do!! If nobody posts in a few days I'll edit this with my thoughts on it!


At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Bryce said...

I think it might be talking about how when she has children, that she will truly be a woman. Perhaps "water" is a reference to birthing somehow. Maybe in her mind, child birth is a time when a basic change in a woman's person takes place. I don't know...that's my first impression.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Ava said...

This is one of those poems that can be interpreted in two directions: forward or backward. Birth to death, death to birth. Or, it could be circular...

Perhaps the poet has a paralyzing phobia of water, or has had a vision of drowning.

At 11:55 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

I think you are right about the themes of the class with this poem Roxy. It reminds me of the inheritability of the parental problems to their children. I also think it has a definite quality to it like impermanence. Something you've already mentioned on your blog earlier, as well as it was mentioned in class.

At 1:34 AM, Blogger adrienne said...

Oh yeah - Tsushima Yuko and her dad, Nakagami Kenji, Kôno Taeko's "Snow," and probably danged near everything we read. Maybe "Chino" even if we extend parents to national/racial identity.

I'll vote for "Snow" though.

Andy's right.

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site »

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me this means about connection. The blood connection with her parents. When they die she will be an orphan and her tie to her ancestors will be like water. She could also be saying that the line will end with her as she has or plans not to have any children.


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