A Poem by Misuzu Kaneko

Kaneko Misuzu

One of my good friends told me to check out this poem by Kaneko Misuzu [wiki] quite some time ago, and I finally got around to it. The poem is short and sweet, and not too difficult, so you can use it as a study tool as well. I have provided a simple translation below.

金子みすゞ

わたしが両手をひろげても
お空はちっともとべないが、
とべる小鳥はわたしのように、
地べたをはやくは走れない。

わたしがからだをゆすっても、
きれいな音はでないけど、
あの鳴るすずはわたしのように
たくさんなうたは知らないよ。

すずと、小鳥と、それからわたし、
みんなちがって、みんないい。

My weak translation. I have paid little attention to style. I have no skill in poetry, that’s my excuse.

Even if I spread wide both my arms
I cannot fly in the sky at all
but, that little bird that can fly
cannot run quickly on the ground like I can.

Even if I shake my body,
I cannot make it produce a pretty sound.
But that ringing bell
doesn’t know a lot of songs like I do.

The bell, the little bird, and then me.
We’re all different, but we’re all wonderful.