Tuesday Poem

Lives of Great Men (Selected)
Inuo Taguchi


Lenin is relieved
that the bronze statue of himself was taken down.
In fact for half-a-century
he has wanted to lie down in Red Square
and listen to the Beach Boys,
on some fine Sunday afternoon, for instance,
with his family and close friends, of course.
But he could not confess this sort of thing to anyone,
so he has kept standing as a bronze statue.
Imagine yourself a bronze statue.
Just standing watching history
would wear on him.


Under an apple tree
Newton encountered the Law of Universal Gravitation
and instantly fell in love with her.

Ah, she was indeed his eternal lover –
the universal love and the universality which was love.
That night he applied all his skill
to the writing of a love letter
'On the Law of Universal Gravitation and Her Passionate Function.'

The Law of Universal Gravitation, however,
didn't give a damn about Newton,
because she was crazy about the quadrille
which was popular at that time.


Superman is strolling the garden
in his wheelchair.
Life is cruelty itself,
though sunlight falling down at this moment
is grace itself.

When I was flying the sky
I was still very young.
I was flying, surely,
but I still didn't yet know
what it meant
to be flying the sky.

But now it's different.
To fly the sky is,
as it were,
to move your little finger,
and even at that no more than half-an-inch.

Life is like a sublime joke.
But it's funny,
isn't it? You have to get a wheelchair
and then you can become superman.