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Secrets of the Garden of a Vacant House Seen in a Dream
(translated by Hiroaki Sato)

Things planted in the garden of a vacant house are
_______pine trees and such
loquat trees___peach trees___black pine trees___sasanquas
_______cherries___and such
prosperous leafy trees___branches of leafy trees that
_______spread around
as well under the leaves of those swarming branches
_______the plants that luxuriate continuously
all in all___ferns___bracken___fiddleheads___sundews___and
all over the ground they pile up and crawl
the life of these blue things
the garden of the vacant house is always in the plants’
_______shadows and dim
only what faintly flows is a streak of rivulet water
the sound of the running water soughing sadly and
_______low day and night
as well somewhere neat the soggy fence
I see the uncanny muculent forms of slugs___snakes
_______frogs___lizards___and such.
And above this secluded world
pale moonlight illuminates the night
moonlight flows in mostly through the planted groves.
Heart intent on thoughts of this late night deepening
_______ever funereal
my heart leaning on the fence madly plays the flute
ah___this secret life where various things are hidden
a world where boundlessly beautiful shadows___and
mysterious forms pile up one upon another
illuminated in moonlight: ferns___bracken___branches of
_______pine trees
the eerie lives of slugs___snakes___lizards___and such
ah___how I miss the secrets of the garden of this
_______vacant house I often dream of___where no one
and its deeply suggestive seclusion its mystery ever


Born into a wealthy family, Hagiwara Sakutaro (萩原 朔太郎, 1886-1942) was able as a young man to devote himself to poetry. Although he did not finish college, he read Western authors, including Poe, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Dostoevsky. His major works of poetry, written in 1917 and 1923, were Howling at the Moon and Blue, both collected in this volume, along with a substantial selection of poems from other books and a complete translation of Cat Town, a prose-poem roman. These works transformed modern Japanese poetry, and changed forever the face of the future poetic landscape in Japan.

More of these translations are available here.

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Martin Rock is a poet, editor, and web-designer living in Houston. He is the author of the chapbook Dear Mark (Brooklyn Arts Press) and co-author of the chapbook Fish, You Bird (Pilot). His poems have appeared widely in journals such as Black Warrior Review, DIAGRAM, Conduit, & Best New Poets 2012. He holds an MFA from NYU and is a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at University of Houston. His website is and his design portfolio can be found at

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  • Gabriel Sylvian September 24, 2011, 5:05 am

    nice rendering of  early modern poet Hagiwara Sakutarou…ah, memories…

  • Gabriel Sylvian September 24, 2011, 5:05 am

    nice rendering of  early modern poet Hagiwara Sakutarou…ah, memories…

  • September 24, 2011, 6:42 pm

    Hey guys –
    I am an indecisive 21 year old looking for some reflective wisdom from older readers, writers, and thinkers of the world.

    My general question: what advice would you offer your 21 year old self? Money-wise, career, artistically, etc – What would you have done differently?

    Thanks all readers who can take a second to reflect. Feel free to email me at or briefly visit the survey

    I am going to compile some good quotes in an e-book “What Would You Do Differently at 21?” to distribute for free on my blog,

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