A Long Rainy Season

Looking at Women in Japanese Poetry & Short Stories

5.04.2006

Way back when...

...remember Child's Play? Of course. Let's dredge up those memories, because here is another lovely tanka to consider:

Gently tying
and untying a ribbon--
why could I tie it
so well before?

--Amari Hayashi


This poem brings to mind the loss of innocence. It also has other, more concrete parallels--the ribbon in the poem and the new hairstyle Midori must wear in the story.

This trying to do something that one could do before with ease...well, to me that sounds like some sort of change happened in the individual. A certain loss of grace and poise comes with the onset of puberty; that gawky, awkward, liminal phase. This is what occurs in Child's Play, isn't it?

4 Comments:

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Eschewing any symbolism or other meanings, the very first thing this makes me think of is losing the ability to do something, or trying to replicate something that happened just by chance.

How many times has it happened to you - you do something without really thinking about it (such as tying a ribbon!), and find the result aesthetically pleasing. And then, no matter how hard you try or focus, you absolutely cannot replicate the simple perfection of the first. The harder you try, the worse the result seems to be.

 
At 7:16 PM, Blogger Roxy said...

I guess your comment also brings to mind the feelings I had of going through puberty--I felt so graceful before (without even thinking about it!) and then suddenly I had to try to move with any charm at all.

Thanks for commenting, by the way!

 
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