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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sometimes they're just good words

“The problem with themes is that writers don't realize they are themes until someone points them out." –Tobias Hill

Earlier this week I wrote about Tobias Hill, poet and novelist from London.  Hill read English at Sussex University and spent two years teaching in Japan prior to starting his exemplary writing career, which also includes many novels and short stories.
He is the author of four collections of poetry – Year of the Dog, Midnight in the City of Clocks, Zoo, and Nocturne in Chrome & Sunset Yellow – for which has won numerous awards.  One London critic said of his work, “It’s rare to read something for the first time and know that you’re going to be reading it over and over for decades to come.”  

Here for Saturday’s Poem is Hill’s,
 from “A Year in Japan”

She meets the train
at Burning Stone station,
red leaves in her pocket
and the river from the mountain
green as an eye. 

The sun keeps rhythm
through the pines. The train beats time. She tells me that
her names translate as Three Eight Sweet One,
Sickle-Hand, and that her town
is famous for carrots, and that

the moon has no face in Japan,
but the shadow of a hare, leapt
from the arms of a god.

Later, under the sod-black trees
she hides her face against the wind
and asks me to teach her to kiss.

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