By Eric Ekstrand Eric Ekstrand
Difficult shacks of Kushiro, too far afield, at least theirs are not
our roofless griefs even farther in the marshes that are huge buckets
of green tea in the rainy season—you glisten as you go, Bashō,   
wring out your sleeves. Frog keeps its knees in its armpits on plant flotilla   
and Duck of all the birds is shaped most like a canoe. We were not built   
for this and anyway, standing smack dab in no-man’s-land you can stop   
and say, Here is a place made famous in poems. Aren’t you such a place?

Each “Appleblossom” is a verse translation from the Japanese of a short selection from the notebooks of Chiri, Bashōs traveling companion during the years between Withered Chestnuts and Travelogue of Weatherbeaten Bones.

Source: Poetry (October 2008).

 Eric  Ekstrand


Eric Ekstrand lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with his husband, Danny, and his father, Ken. He teaches writing at Wake Forest University. He is the recipient of a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship awarded by the Poetry Foundation and graduated from the University of Houston with an MFA in creative writing in 2010. His first full-length collection, Laodicea, was selected by Donald Revell for the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Book Prize and . . .

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