I have three poems in Issue 10 of Sundog Lit, out today!
My sonnet The Unseen Line: 東北 is about the 2011 tsunami in Touhoku, from my perspective as a responder. It is only by chance that it comes out on the anniversary of the triple disaster. I wrote it during and immediately after the response, still feeling the stab wound of the devastation.
Because the coast was destroyed, we had to stay inland, which meant driving an hour or so each way every day to get to the affected areas. It was still winter in Touhoku, or felt like it, even in March and April, and as we drove I stared at the sharp line on the hills where conifers ended and bare-branched deciduous trees began, an echo of the line where crumbled debris ended and untouched buildings began, an echo of another line, unseen, somewhere far away and all too close.
I wrote War Poem while I was at Harvard. It engages with Wallace Stevens’ Examination of the Hero in a Time of War. Strangely, I haven’t been able to find the full poem online (what? Internet fail?) but War Poem quotes everything you need from it.
Sonnets Google-Translated from the Japanese I is a playful love poem. The title is a reference to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets Translated from the Portuguese (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonnets_from_the_Portuguese). I didn’t actually write it in Japanese and google-translate it (anyone who has tried google translate from the Japanese can guess how well that would work out) but the alternative translations in brackets are legit from the Japanese perspective, and so is the directly translated idiom about walking while drunk.