Aki no ki no…Autumn begins…Стихи про осень…Autumn poems…

Марина Ивановна Цветаева  (1892-1941)


Солнцем жилки налиты — не кровью —

На руке, коричневой уже.

Я одна с моей большой любовью

К собственной моей душе.


Жду кузнечика, считаю до ста,

Стебелёк срываю и жую…

— Странно чувствовать так сильно и так просто

Мимолётность жизни — и свою.


Marina Tsvetaeva  (1892-1941)


My veins are filled with sun –

Not blood –

Brown is a hand – already like straw.

Alone I am with this strong love,

With love to my own wandering soul.


Waiting for a grasshopper

I count to ten,

Gathering flower-stalks to taste it…

– Feeling so simple, feeling so strange

The transience of life –

And me.




А́нна Андре́евна  (1889-1966)


Есть в осени первоначальной

Короткая, но дивная пора —

Весь день стоит как бы хрустальный,

И лучезарны вечера…


Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966)


At the beginning of autumn

There is a short but wondrous time

When days seem made of crystal

And evenings are radiant…




Александр Блок  (1880-1921)


Медлительной чредой нисходит день осенний,

Медлительно крутится желтый лист,

И день прозрачно свеж, и воздух дивно чист –

Душа не избежит невидимого тленья.


Так, каждый день стареется она,

И каждый год, как желтый лист кружится,

Всё кажется, и помнится, и мнится,

Что осень прошлых лет была не так грустна.


Alexander Blok (1880-1921)


In slow motion an autumn day is coming,

A yellow leaf is spinning tardily,

The day is quite fresh, the air divinely clear –

My soul shall not avoid its unseen fading.


Thus, one grows older with every day,

And every year spins like a yellow leaf,

As I enliven memories, it seems to me

That autumns of years past were not so sad…




Goethe (1749-1832)



Fetter grüne, du Laub,

Am Rebengeländer

Hier mein Fenster herauf!

Gedrängter quellet,

Zwillingsbeeren, und reifet

Schneller und glänzend voller!

Euch brütet der Mutter Sonne

Scheideblick, euch umsäuselt

Des holden Himmels

Fruchtende Fülle;

Euch kühlet des Mondes

Freundlicher Zauberhauch,

Und euch betauen, ach!

Aus diesen Augen

Der ewig belebenden Liebe

Voll schwellende Tränen.


Goethe (1749-1832)

“Autumn Emotion”


A fuller green, you leaves,

up here to my window, along the grape trellis!

Swell more crowdedly,

indistinguishable berries,

and ripen more quickly

and more fully gleaming!

On you broods the mother sun’s parting glance,

all around you rustles the lovely sky’s fruitful abundance;

you are cooled by the moon’s kindly and magical breath,

you are bedewed


by the tears overflowing from

these eyes of eternally enlivening love.




Pablo Neruda  (1904-1973)

“Te recuerdo como eras…”


Te recuerdo como eras en el último otoño.

Eras la boina gris y el corazón en calma.

En tus ojos peleaban las llamas del crepúsculo.

Y las hojas caían en el agua de tu alma.


Apegada a mis brazos como una enredadera,

las hojas recogían tu voz lenta y en calma.

Hoguera de estupor en que mi sed ardía.

Dulce jacinto azul torcido sobre mi alma.


Siento viajar tus ojos y es distante el otoño:

boina gris, voz de pájaro y corazón de casa

hacia donde emigraban

mis profundos anhelos

y caían mis besos alegres como brasas.


Cielo desde un navío.  Campo desde los cerros.

Tu recuerdo es de luz, de humo, de estanque en calma!

Más allá de tus ojos ardían los crepúsculos.

Hojas secas de otoño giraban en tu alma.


Pablo Neruda  (1904-1973)

“I remember you as you were…”


I remember you as you were that final autumn.

You were:  grey beret, still heart.

In your eyes the flames of twilight fought on.

And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.


Clasping my arms like a climbing plant,

Leaves harvested your voice slow, at peace.

Bonfire of awe where my thirst was burning.

Sweet blue hyacinth twisted upon my soul.


I feel your eyes traveling, and the autumn is far off:

grey beret, voice of a bird, heart like a house,

towards which my deep longings migrated

and my kisses fell, happy as embers.


Sky from a ship.  Field from the hills:

Your memory is made of light, of smoke, of a still pond!

Beyond your eyes, farther on, the evenings were blazing.

Dry autumn leaves revolved in your soul.




Robert Louis Stevenson  (1850-1894)

“Autumn Fires”


In the other gardens

And all up the vale,

From the autumn bonfires

See the smoke trail!


Pleasant summer over

And all the summer flowers,

The red fire blazes,

The grey smoke towers.


Sing a song of seasons!

Something bright in all!

Flowers in the summer,

Fires in the fall!









aki tatsu hi yomeru

aki kinu to me ni wa sayaka ni mienudomo

kaze no oto ni zo odorokarenuru


Fujiwara no Toshiyuki  藤原敏行

(10th century,  Japan)


“Composed on the first day of Autumn…”

That autumn has come is not obvious to the eye,

rather, I was surprised by the sound of the wind.

Kaya Shirao (1738-1791, Japan)

Aki no ki no / Autumn begins


Aki no ki no
Aka tombo ni


The start of Autumn
Is always decided by
The red dragonfly.


Special thanks:

David Bentley Hart (German, Spanish translations)

+  Yelena (Russian translations)

The Face of Summer: ひまわり Tornasol Sunflower Tournesol Girasole Girassol ひまわり


Mang Ke (1950 – )

Sunflower in the Sun (Excerpt)
















やはり光の束を輝き放っている ….. …..




Mang Ke

Sunflower in the Sun (excerpt)


Do you see?

Do you see that sunflower in the sun?

You see, it didn’t bow its head

But turned its head back

As if to bite through

The rope around its neck

Held by the sun’s hands.


Do you see it?

Do you see that sunflower, raising its head

Glaring at the sun?

Its head almost eclipses the sun

Yet even when there is no sun

Its head still glows. …..  …..





Invocación (un extracto)


Quédate bajo el brillo tornasol

o arrástrame

a tu sombría transparencia

Murciélago de luz

que sabe tanto de volar

como de sueño


del techo

y de cabeza hacia la oscuridad.

Quédate bajo el brillo tornasol y arrástrame

a tu sombría transparencia

Soy sólo yo, a contracorriente

sólo mi corazón,

piedra vertiginosa

que rueda.




Dale Harris (New Mexico, USA)

Manzano Sunflowers


You missed Indian Market

And of course the sunflowers.

As usual they swept across August

At first a few, a yellow trickle along the fence line

Then more, making pools in the pasture

And splashing down into the “arroyo”

Then, incredibly many more,

Dappling the distance,

As though a giant hand had buttered the land.


Yet with the entire prairie to expand into,

They prefer crowds of themselves

They mass along the roadside,

Lined up as though a parade were about to pass.

Here and there one stands alone,

But not for long.

Soon his kin will come

And there will be sunflower squalor,

There will be sunflower squalor, a floral slum.


Once they are out,

They will not be ignored.

Stretching their skinny stalks,

They top our roof-line,

Press against the window screens,

And peep in at the door.

Familiar foot paths to the out buildings are obscured,

And from the road we seem afloat,

Our cabin, an odd tin boat

In a sea of sunflower faces.


They are the most staccato of flowers.

I catch them humming snatches of polkas

And John Philip Sousa marches,

Bobbing in the wind to the Boogaloo,

The Boogie Woogie and the Lindy Hop.

I call their names,

Clem, Clarissa, Sarah Jane

To try and tame them.


My neighbour comes by.

She has a field full

They’re useless, she complains.

Her horses can’t eat them.

I should hope not!  I exclaim,

After she’s gone.


I don’t remember if you even liked sunflowers

But you liked Life

And they are all about that.

Today I wrote to your family, finally.

I expect they are occupying themselves,

With beautiful gestures

In order to get over the grief of you.

As for me, I have sunflowers…



Michèle Corti



Vieille fleur du Pérou au bel astre pareil,

Sunflower, Sonnenblume, Girasol, Girassole

L’oiseau trouve un abri sous ton grand parasol,

Au plus chaud de l’été, éclosent tes merveilles.


“Hélianthus annuus” ou même “grand soleil”

Tu envahis les champs de mille têtes fières

Qui rebrodent d’or pur notre dame la Terre

Frissonnante d’azur, émeraude et vermeil.


De ton coeur irradié par l’astre solennel

Va couler la douceur d’une huile flavescente

Radieux tournesol, sur ta tige puissante

Tu règnes glorieux, et parais éternel !


La folie de Vincent a cru, dans tes pétales

Entrevoir les grands feux d’un lointain paradis

Tu as su fasciner le grand peintre maudit

Qui, au milieu des champs recherchait les étoiles…




Eugenio Montale (1896-1981)

Portami il girasole ch’io lo trapianti


Portami il girasole ch’io lo trapianti

nel mio terreno bruciato dal salino,

e mostri tutto il giorno agli azzurri specchianti

del cielo l’ansietà del suo volto giallino.


Tendono alla chiarità le cose oscure,

si esauriscono i corpi in un fluire

di tinte: queste in musiche. Svanire

è dunque la ventura delle venture.


Portami tu la pianta che conduce

dove sorgono bionde trasparenze

e vapora la vita quale essenza;

portami il girasole impazzito di luce.




Lô Borges e Márcio Borges

Um Girassol da Cor do Seu Cabelo

(Letras cantada por Milton Nascimento)


Vento solar e estrelas do mar

a terra azul da cor de seu vestido

vento solar e estrelas do mar

você ainda quer morar comigo.


Se eu cantar não chore não

é só poesia

eu só preciso ter você por mais um dia

ainda gosto de dançar, bom dia,

como vai você?


Sol, girassol, verde vento solar

você ainda quer morar comigo

vento solar e estrelas do mar

você ainda quer morar comigo.




芝不器男   Fukio Shiba  (1903-1930)

Sunflower Haiku



Looking into the sunflower’s centre,

the sea has disappeared.

The Voice of Summer: セミ Cigarra Cicada Cigale Cicala Cigarra セミ

Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)







iwa ni shimiiru

semi no koe

utter silence

penetrating the rocks

the cicada’s voice




María Elena Walsh (1930-2011)

Como la Cigarra


Tantas veces me mataron,

tantas veces me morí,

sin embargo estoy aqui


Gracias doy a la desgracia

y a la mano con puñal

porque me mató tan mal,

y seguí cantando.


Cantando al sol como la cigarra

después de un año bajo la tierra,

igual que sobreviviente

que vuelve de la guerra.


Tantas veces me borraron,

tantas desaparecí,

a mi propio entierro fui

sola y llorando.

Hice un nudo en el pañuelo

pero me olvidé después

que no era la única vez,

y volví cantando.


Tantas veces te mataron,

tantas resucitarás,

tantas noches pasarás


A la hora del naufragio

y la de la oscuridad

alguien te rescatará

para ir cantando.




Roderic Quinn (Australia, 1867-1949)

The Song of the Cicadas


Yesterday there came to me

from a green and graceful tree

as I loitered listlessly

nothing doing, nothing caring,

light and warmth and fragrance sharing

with the butterfly and the bee,

while the sapling-tops a-glisten

danced and trembled, wild and willing

such a sudden sylvan shrilling

that I could not choose but listen

Green Cicadas, Black Cicadas,

happy in the gracious weather,

Floury-baker, Double-Drummer,

all as one and all together,

how they voiced the golden summer.


Stealing back there came to me

as I loitered listlessly

‘neath the green and graceful tree,

nothing doing, nothing caring,

boyhood moments spent in sharing

with the butterfly and the bee

youth and freedom, warmth and glamour

while Cicadas round me shrilling,

set the sleepy noontide thrilling

with their keen insistent clamour.


Green Cicadas, Black cicadas,

happy in the gracious weather

Floury-bakers, double-drummers

all as one and all together—

how they voice the bygone summers!




Marcel Pagnol (1895-1974)

La Cigale


Le soleil fendille la terre,

Aucun bruit ne trouble les champs;

On n’entend plus les joyeux chants

Des oiseaux qui chantaient naguère.

Tous par la chaleur assoupis

Sous les buissons se sont tapis.

Seule une cigale est sur l’aire.


Son ventre sonore se meut;

Sur une gerbe elle est posée;

Seule elle n’est point épuisée

Par l’astre à l’haleine de feu.

Et la chanteuse infatigable

Jette dans l’air brûlant et bleu

Sa ritournelle interminable.




Francesco Fabris Manini

La Cicala


La cicala del mattino frinisce

E mi sveglia su una tazzina di caffè

Bisbigliando gracili parole su ascolti assonnati

Di spettinati pensieri.

L’uscio s’apre al giorno con forzati ardori

Che dissolverà la sera sui passi

Di un solitario ritorno.




Olegário Mariano (1889-1958)

A Última Cigarra


Todas cantaram para mim. A ouvi-las,

Purifiquei meu sonho adolescente,

Quando a vida corria doidamente

Como um regato de águas intranqüilas.


Diante da luz do sol que eu tinha em frente,

Escancarei os braços e as pupilas.

Cigarras que eu amei! Para possui-las,

Sofri na vida como pouca gente.


E veio o outono… Por que veio o outono ?

Prata nos meus cabelos… Abandono…

Deserta a estrada… Quanta folha morta!


Mas, no esplendor do derradeiro poente,

Uma nova cigarra, diferente;

Como um raio de sol, bateu-me à porta.



正岡 子規   Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)



tsuku tsuku boshi / tsuku tsuku boshi / bakari nari

nothing but



Jakuren: The First Day of Winter


Poems of Mediaeval Japan by

Jakuren (Buddhist monk and poet:  1139-1202)

* Transliterated Japanese on the left *



yomosugara                               throughout the night

kusa no iori ni                                      we kept the brushwood burning

shiba taite                                   in my lowly hut,

katarishi koto o                          and the words that we exchanged

itsuka wasuren                                     I never shall forget


*     *     *


miyamabi ni                               deep in this mountain

fuyugomorisuru                         I keep the winter indoors:

oi no mi o                                  who would care to call

tare ka towamashi                      on so aged a body,

kimi naranaku ni                        were it not for you?


*     *     *


izukuyori                                   you found a path in my dream

yoru no yumeji o                       the mountain

tadorikoshi                                 is deeply in snow now

miyama wa imada

yuki no fukakini


*     *     *


ikanishite                                   wondering how you

kimi imasuran                                      have been of late, as the breath

konogoro no                                        of snow in the wind

yukige no kaze no                      blows colder every day

hibi ni samuki ni


*     *     *

Rin Ishigaki: “Myself: a far-off island”



The Economy


The phrase ‘economic animal’
I suppose is already fairly old.
Quite a gap exists between
The time when they said we seem that way
And now when we are that way.
Now then we economic animals
Will think about the economy.
From the time that I was born I’ve just been counting money.
That was what we were taught in the home
By the state.
People only count the time they have left
When it has started to run out.
We live terribly impoverished lives.
We die terribly lonely deaths.









At the Bathhouse



In Tokyo
At the public bathhouse the price went up to 19 yen and so
When you pay 20 yen at the counter
You get one yen change.

Women have no leeway in their lives
To be able to say that
They don’t need one yen
And so though they certainly accept the change
They have no place to put it
And drop it in between their washing things.

Thanks to that
The happy aluminium coins
Soak to their fill in hot water
And are splashed with soap.

One yen coins have the status of chess pawns
So worthless that they’re likely to bob up even now
In the hot water.

What a blessing to be of no value
In monetary terms.

A one yen coin
Does not distress people in the way a 1,000 yen note does
Is not as sinful as a 10,000 yen note
The one yen coin in the bath
With healthy naked women.












I am standing in a large mirror.
A solitary
Small island.
Separated from everyone.

I know
The history of the island.
The dimensions of the island.
Waist, bust and hips.
Seasonal dress.
The singing of birds.
The hidden spring.
The flower’s fragrance.

As for me
I live on the island.
I have cultivated it, built it.
It is impossible to know
Everything about the island.
Impossible to take up permanent residence.

In the mirror staring at
Myself: A far-off island.







Rin Ishigaki (Ishigaki Rin in Japanese name-order)

was born in Tokyo in 1920 and died in 2004.

She worked for four decades as a bank clerk, kept

house, cooked, and cared for ageing parents.

Her first book of poems was published in 1959.

Without pretension or preciousness, her poems

are well-liked by people who might normally

steer clear of poetry!

These are thoughtful statements about ordinary life

– written in simple, straightforward Japanese –

and are sometimes used to teach the language to children,

as well as to foreign students.




Translations from Japanese:

Leith Morton


Ishigaki’s original three Japanese poems are featured below.





Inuo Taguchi: “Morning Discussion”



Inuo Taguchi




I had a strange dream.
An airplane –
it doesn’t fall straight down
but crashes horizontally.
“Don’t ask me how.
It happened in my dream.”

Now, in this ‘modern’ world
it’s common for vertical things to change into horizontal.
So it’s nothing to make a fuss about
that a plane should crash horizontally.
“Why are you making such a big deal out of it?
Nonsense is commonsense nowadays.”

Don’t worry. If you tip over you glass, wine will spill out.
If you let go of a knife, it’ll fall straight down.
Our world, as ever,
obeys divine providence.
What doesn’t obey it is your dream and –
“No, don’t turn on the television.
It’s never told us good stories. It never will.”

I am listening to the morning discussion half-heartedly,
for I only want to think about poetry.
But my thoughts suddenly turn to the grasslands of

There, too, are things that should be floating in air

floating in air?

There, too, is what should be falling falling?
Do things never crash horizontally?
Is what should be landing landing
and what should be ascending ascending?

Suddenly I feel like confirming it
and begin to be restless.
The soul begins slowly spiraling.
A kitchen kettle
begins honking like a horn.


from:  Hush-a-bye


Translation from Japanese:

William I. Elliott and Kazuo Kawamura

The original Japanese poem is featured below.







Inuo Taguchi was born in 1967 in Tokyo, Japan.  His pen-

name, Inuo, means Dog-Man.  He began to write poetry

in his early twenties and his first book came out in 1995.

He has been described as having a “self-less voice” as a poet,

meaning he is off to the side, even out of the “story”

– and often his poems are little stories.

At festivals he reads his poems aloud – usually barefoot.

His poems have been translated into Turkish – among a bunch

of languages.

He muses:  “I feel that poetry must strive to open giant

air holes in human consciousness.”