Sunday, September 9, 2012

illustration friday (imagination)

The word "imagination" immediately calls to mind Misuzu Kaneko (1903-1930), the beloved Japanese writer of poems and songs for children. This is the fifth poem I've translated for my on-going series of etegami illustrating Kaneko's poems. It seems especially appropriate for this week's topic.

The Stars and the Dandelion

In the deepest part of the blue sky,
like small stones that sink to the bottom of the sea,
the stars wait until nightfall
the eye cannot see them by daylight

though you cannot see them, they are there
things you can't see are still there

The wilted dandelion, bare of fluff
in a crack of the riverbank, silent
concealed, waits for spring
its powerful root hidden from the eye

though you cannot see it, it is there
things you can't see are still there

by Misuzu Kaneko


  1. Beautiful, but especially the second one! I am in love lately with earthy colors and the subtle changes in the greens and browns is really lovely! Wonderful poem with a great message, too.

  2. This is lovely.

    I am celebrating my father's life these days on the 7th anniversary of his death. It reminds me of the poem I read aloud to family and friends just moments after he passed away. He had been ill for several years and my mother had carried the poem in her purse all those years.

    The first verse goes:

    Death is nothing at all.
    I have only slipped away to the next room.
    I am I and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other,
    That, we still are. (H.S.Holland)

    Though you cannot see it, it is there is comfort.

    Thank you!
    Laura B

  3. What a lovely poem, & the illustrations capture it so well, with the flowing lines embracing the stars & flowers.

  4. I love both the etegami and the words. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. いつも、いろんなアイデア満載で、あきないわねー。