Monday, June 20, 2011

Sky-blue Flowers - World of Misuzu Kaneko

nemophila "insignis blue"

Sky-Blue Flowers
(Misuzu Kaneko/translated by D.P.Dutcher)

Listen close, you little flowers,
Color of the blue, blue sky.
Around here there used to be
A pretty black-eyed girl,
Always looking at the sky
Like I was just doing now.
Dawn to dusk the blue sky
Shining in her eyes,
They turned one day to little flowers
That even now watch the sky.

If what I say is right, why,
Flowers, you must know
More about the real true sky
Than wise professors do.

I’m always looking at the sky
And thinking lots and lots
But what’s real and true I don’t know.
I bet you see it all and do.

Wise flowers don’t say a thing,
Just keep looking at the sky.
Those blue eyes, sky-dyed,
Still aren’t tired of watching.

(Original Japanese  空色の花 here)

 Blue lobelia in my garden, don't they look like blue butterflies?

Misuzu Kaneko’s poetry collection has been selling well since Higashi Nihon Earthquake.  For a month right after the earthquake and tsunami, almost all the advertisements by private companies on TV had been replaced by the ones by AC Japan, a non-profit organization, of which advertisements have promoted virtue and social manners.  Kaneko’s poem is used in one of them.  This is it.

Is it an Echo?

 When I say “Let’s play.”
I hear “Let’s play.”

When I say “Dumb!”
I hear  “Dumb!”

When I say “I won’t play with you any more.”
I hear “I won’t play."

Later I feel lonely and say “I’m sorry.”
I hear “I’m sorry.” 

Is that an echo? 
No, true to anyone. 

(Original Japanese  こだまでしょうか here)

The words we give come back to us like echoes.

Misuzu Kaneko wrote poems for children. Her poems are Japanese nusery rhyme: they are melodious and  rhythmical written in simple and gentle Japanese language spoken by young children.   She showed affection and sympathy toward things both animate and inanimate and looked at the world with child’s innocence and bright-eyed alertness like Sky-blue Flower.

Another post about Misuzu Kaneko and her poems:  Stars and Dandelions

To learn more about our world, click on the picture of My World on the sidebar.


  1. To me, these flowers seem optimistic as well as wise and silent!

  2. Oh, how lovely. Very enchanting pictures... Stardust, your blue flowers are lovely, so pretty and delicate. There are so many wonderful poems. Thank you...

  3. I like the poem with the Echo, I often heard it on TV, but didn't know it was a poem...took it just as a very inspired add (because not many are that inspired!) It's like playing a game...
    The blue flowers in Japan, whether big or small, they all have something special, something that jumps into the're almost pushed to say "I've never seen such a blue"!And....every time I see blue flowers I tend to think that they are The Blue Eyes of the Earth!

  4. The flowers are a treat for the eyes. The first pic is especially stunning, loved it.
    Have a wonderful week:)

  5. Misuzu's words are fairy simple and unforgettably inspectional.

    These traslatios are so lovely that fit with the photos well.

    Thank you for sharing the poems.

  6. What a lovely post! I love blue flowers, and I love the poems.
    Have a nice week ahead!

  7. very beautiful 'butterfly' flowers. so pretty.

  8. Hello,Stardust.

  9. What a pretty poem that so imaginatively illustrates why the flowers are sky-dyed blue. And the Echo poem is brilliant showing how the words we utter and our attitudes towards others reverberates in our own minds and can come back to haunt us. The author you speak of is to be admired for her ability to express complicated issues with such poetic purity and simplicity. Thanks as always, stardust, for sharing your fascinating world.

  10. What delightful verses! Love the shots of those blue flowers - so pretty.

  11. Gorgeous flowers beautifully photographed.

  12. Stardust, hello!

    beautiful poem, beautiful flowers!All the best.

  13. Beautiful blue flowers and the poems are beautiful to. Have a nice week!

  14. Wonderful words, gorgeous, colorful flowers and what a talented and gifted writer Kaneko is! Thank you, as always, for sharing the beauty with us!


  15. Lovely poem and very delicate flowers.
    I visited Kobe a few years after the big earthquake and was absolutely amazed at the resilience of the Japonese people. The city was rebuilt, and apart from the memorial wall by the wharf nothing could tell us that a tragedy had happened. I also visited the Earthquake Museum, it was a fascinating experience, I was very touched by all the personal items collected from the devastated homes, objects of the everyday life...We have to admire your nation! Kind regards, DeeBee

  16. "the words we give come back to us like echoes"....great words!!!

    i LOVE the blue lobelia from your garden...they really do look like blue butterflies!!!

  17. Children's poems hold such simple truths and gentle teachings...we all should revisit them often. Along with your lovely flowers, I loved 'Sky-Blue Flowers' and 'Is it an Echo?'

  18. These are beautiful pictures. Love the poems.

  19. Hi, Stardust.
    What a beautiful blue flowers at the title they are! They refresh me like Kaneko Misuzu's poem. Thank you for refreshment by eyes and emotion.
    I could put my comment at last.

  20. Stardust, those are lovely flowers! They look like fairies, to me :) Thank you for introducing us to Kaneko Misuzu's poem. Perfect accompaniment to the blue flowers. Does it grow in hot climate? Would love to grow some in my garden hihihi

    Inside Cambodia

  21. My beloved friend Stardust
    I was moved by the beautiful words and wonderful photos of blue!!!!
    I wish you a very nice summer!!!
    Many greetings and kisses

  22. Misuzu Kaneko's words are beautiful! I loved the echo poem. So true! Reading these words in the original must be such a joy!

    Your blue flowers are exotic! The lobelias do look like butterflies and the last star-shaped flowers are absolutely gorgeous!!

  23. The flowers are heavenly, as are the words. so gentle and delicate, so calm and peaceful.

  24. Beautifully photographed blues! I love it! :)

  25. the pretty blue flowers look like tiny little faires dancing. They have pretty blue dresses on and twirling around. It reminds me of my little princess granddaughter!

  26. Lovely,sensitive poetry complemented by your subtle choice of images. The blue flowers are exquisite,I especially like the nemophila,they look like fairy lights.
    Thank you Stardust.

    Enjoy your day!

  27. How lovely those flowers are and so are the poems of Kaneko Misuzu!

    I used to grow nemophila and lobelia, especially I like their sky-blue color. Hananira or ipheion is perennial, so without any care they flower my garden with their lovely pale blue.

  28. Nice pictures, great detail of these beautiful flowers. Superb definition. Full of poetry.

  29. To Sreissat

    Since nemophila are native to the western United States, though some species are also found in western Canada and southeastern United States, they will grow well in temperate climate zone. I think you can grow them if your place is "not too hot". I'm glad you like it.

  30. How beautiful phrase and photos.
    I didn't know Misuzu Kaneko.
    I could understand that she was famous after I searched her.

  31. Such fragile, lush, lovely's almost as if they are floating in the air. Beautifully done!

  32. The overlap of the color is fantastic.
    purity space. . .

    The place is a precious treasure.

    Thank you.

  33. I very much like the poems you chose to accompany these lovely photos. I had a delightful visit here. Thank you.

  34. hi stardust,
    the flowers are just pretty. ^0^
    very inspirational poems too, i'm learning a lot from them certainly. ^0^
    although, i can read some japanese, the Kanji's are tough to decipher.

  35. A delightful post and poetry to accompany the photos. Such lovely flowers to appreciate when all else in the world is crazy.

  36. Thank you, each and every of you, for taking time and the nice comment. I'm glad you liked the poems along with the photos of sky-blue flowers.

    Truth would be a simple thing that can be understood by everyone despite individual differences and can't be conveyed in complicated expression, I think. To children, the poems become gentle teaching and to adults, they give more depth than to children who know little about life.

  37. the first pic is amazing, I dont think i know these flowers...domo arigato for the lovely poem too:-)


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