Saturday, August 20, 2005

"Poetry in Motion"

Komo to yu mo                      You Say, "I Will Come"

Komo to yu mo                      You say, "I will come."
Konu toki aru wo                  And you do not come.
Koji to yu wo                          Now you say, "I will not come."
Komu to wa mataji               So I shall expect you.
Koji to yu mono wo              Have I learned to understand you?

~Lady Otomo No Sakanoe (eighth century)
Translated from the Japanese by Kenneth Rexroth

One of the more pleasant aspects of riding a bus with clients is that I get to look for various works that were included in "Poetry in Motion"- a series of inside the bus placards that Los Angeles MTA has been using for several years. Apparently started in New York, most Los Angeles buses have at least one placard. Some are by modern poets, some are older ones I know, and some are new to me. Most are wonderful, some leave me pondering the poet's meaning, and a few just leave me shaking my head. "You say, I Will Come" by Lady Otomo No Sakanoe is one of those delightful finds. A Google search turns up more examples of her work on the internet and in print.

More about Poetry in Motion:

MTA: The Poetry Society of America
Poetry in Motion-Mapsite
Poetry in Motion for New York City which not only has titles, but has the poems in full as used on the transit system.
Poetry in Motion for Portland
Poetry in Motion for Los Angles

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