Poems from Japan

Last Poems of Yukio Mishima

Who committed hara-kiri
at the headquarters
of the Eastern Corps
of the Ground Self-Defense Forces,
Ichigaya, Tokyo, Nov. 25, 1970.


For many years
he knew restraint,
the warrior with
the restless sword.
But now the time
has come to rise.


The night winds
whispered to me:
Falling petals
find a truth
denied to blossom
on the bough.

Translated from the Japanese.
First published in Second Aeon.
Republished in St. Andrews Review.