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Poems from Japan

Many thanks to Mr Tanaka Yasuyuki and the students of Shiraume-Gakuen College, Tokyo, for the following:

11. September 2007

Dear War Poetry Web Site,       

My name is Tanaka Yasuyuki, Tokyo, Japan.  I am a reader of your site.  Here
I send you 'On a fine morning in September' - REN-SHI (A Chained Poem)
written by my students and me.  I'd like it to be read by you and your site

Tanaka Yasuyuki

How these poems were written

REN-SHI (A Chained Poem)
by the students of Shiraume-Gakuen College

 On a fine morning in September

 On a fine morning in September
 In the beautiful streets of New York,
 People were hurrying to their working places,
 They were innocent and without any fear,
 Some were already there at their desk.

 Under a cloudless sky in September
 In the tall twin buildings in New York
 People were greeting cheerfully, 'Hi, there!'
   Smiling to their working fellows,
   Some were enjoying morning coffee.
   Suddenly, two planes slammed into their buildings.
   People panicked, shouted and screamed:
   Papers, glasses, coffee cups
   and many things were flown away.
   Some people were also flown away alive
                (Naoko & Yu)
   In the clear blue sky of New York
   Dark clouds blew up;
   Tall buildings collapsed by the terrorists' attack.
   Everybody cried in sorrow,
   Many people lost their most important persons,
   The moment when the peaceful morning
        changed into the hell's morning.
   Two black clouds appeared on one fine morning,
   They were terribly big and very dark.
   They crashed into the twin buildings in New York
   And blew up black smokes.
   The buildings burnt up and collapsed soon.

   The rain of human beings fell from those black clouds.
   This rain rose high up into the sky and disappeared.
   Ashes fell from the black smoke,
   Covering the town in deep grey,
   Turning the town into the hell.
                (Saori Y)
   The news of this incident spread all over the world.
   Watching air bombing in Afghanistan,
   A new big sensation of fear struck the world.
      Under the night sky of September
   Eating dango dumplings by the window,
   People enjoy viewing the full moon:
   A rabbit is making rice cake on the face of the moon.
   But the rabbit doesn't seem happy any more.

  The rabbit is weeping over the war waging earth.
   Nothing can be gained through war.
   Only hatred and sadness will be left.
   All living things get hurt --
   People, animals and plants - every thing.
   So, make peace quickly!
   Give back to us "peace!" "peace!"
                (Saori K)
   People must not kill other people.
   It's very hard for everygody
         to lose his/her important persons.
    People just feel very hard
        when they do such hard things to others.
  Under the cloudy sky in September,
   From the tall twin building windows
   People were seeing a lot of rain.
   Suddenly the rain changed to snow.
   It became very cold.

   Under the snowy sky one morning in September,
   In the beautiful streets of New York,
   Cold and dark winter came suddenly..
   When will spring come here again?
   Spring, come back soon.
                (Saori Y)

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Supplementary poem
   DORAEMON is a very interesting robot
   Nobita likes DORAEMON.
   Nobita's father, mother trust DORAEMON.
   DORAEMON likes Nobita's father, mother and Nobita.
   DORAEMON's tools are interesting.
   DORAEMON likes Dorayaki.
   DORAEMON doesn't like mice.
   DORAEMON looks like a raccoon dog.
   Children like DORAEMON's TV.
   I like DORAEMON's TV too.
   I like DORAEMON's tools.
   I think DORAEMON is a wise, clever robot.
   DORAEMON loves peaceful people.
   I want DORAEMON to help us stop wars.
   I want DORAEMON to help us make peace.
   Snoopy loves US.
   Snoopy loves NYC.
   Snoopy loves peace.

   Snoopy hates war
   Snoopy hates violence
   Snoopy hates terrorism

   Snoopy loves hope
   Snoopy loves justice
   Snoopy loves dream
         (Snoopy's friend, Saori)


How these poems were written
This Ren-shi poem was written at the end of October, 2001.  In our class we
read the 9.11 news on class newspaper; "The Real Times", and thought about
the people who were killed and hurt there and how to make peace in the
We decided to write our thoughts and wishes in a group poem - Ren-shi (a
chained poetry form). I began with the first two stanzas, and the students
followed to write other stanzas.
After collecting the whole poems we discussed to arrange them into a chained
poetry. The students were very creative and had rich imagination. Some wrote
visually and others animetic.
In those days, however, there were atmospheres to forbear free expression of
our minds, especially about 9.11 incidents  both in the US and Japan.  I was
advised not to make this Renshi poem public by several people.
After 6 years, I decided to publish this poetry that poetry has its own
power to forsee the truth and warn us not to use violence to solve problems
and thought poets should speak out the truth.


(Mr) Tanaka Yasuyuki

Tokyo, Japan

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