Mina Ishikawa  è nata nel 1980. È una poeta di tanka, un genere classico di poesie brevi composte da 31 sillabe divise in cinque versi. I tanka qui di seguito sono stati mina-ishikawapubblicati nel 2006 stampati su un mazzo di carta, un tanka per ogni carta. Il titolo originale (Monogatarishu) significa raccolta di storie.

Mina Ishikawa was born in 1980. It is a poet’s tanka , a classic genre of short poems consisting of 31 syllables divided into five lines. The tanka below were published in 2006 printed on a card deck, a tanka for each card. The original title (Monogatarishu) means the collection of stories.

Storia di una yamanba che
al pensiero delle braccia e delle gambe
che non era riuscta a mangiare
versò tante lacrime da formare uno stagno.

della piccola chiave
lasciata del direttore T
del museo
di belle arti.

di un vero tanuki
che vive
nella case degli spettri
di un luna park.

di un braccio sinistro abbandonato
che in una notte di pioggia
striscia sul terreno
e bussa a una porta.

dell’acino di uva selvatica
da me così distrattamente portato alla bocca
da pensare fosse
un tuo dito.

la cui conclusione
è affidata alle scimmie:
il globo terrestre nella mano destra
una mela in quella sinistra…

fastosa della strada malfamata
percorsa da due uomini
con gli occhiali
dalla montatura d’argento.

da raccontare
solo quando si è lontani
riportato sulla patente.

delle settecento pagine
divorate nelle due ore
all’inizio di una rissa.

di una vita persa sette volte
lungo il sentiero
percorso alla ricerca
delle parole perdute.

del soldato
che disegnò un cuore in miniatura
sul petto
di un soldato in miniatura.


di una persona
che osserva dalla finestra
la persona amata
che finge di vendere mele


della piccola chiave
da me tenuta al caldo nel mio cappotto
che consegno
il giorno in cui mi metto in viaggio


forse vera o forse falsa,
in cielo
da una nuvola.

Traduzione di Andrea Maurizi


A tale in which a Yama-uba cries a marsh of tears over the many arms and legs she failed to devour

A tale about the tiny key bequeathed by the late art museum director T.

A tale about a fairground haunted house inhabited by a real tanuki

A tale in which a discarded left arm creeps up to knock on its owner’s door one rainy night

A tale in which the wild grapes I absentmindedly pop into my mouth become your finger

A tale recounting the splendorous evil ways of a couple with silver-rimmed glasses

A tale in which the right hand carries the Earth, the left an apple… and how it ends is up to the monkey

A tale told far from the address on one’s driver’s license

A tale which spends seven hundred pages on the two hours before the brawl began

A tale of a life lost seven times on a quest for missing words

A tale about a desert where a child with a hole in his throat walks wheezing

A tale about the dreadful teeth of a maniacal baseball manager so ravenous he devoured his players

An ancient tale of cooking chopsticks used to deftly snare a red ogre

A tale of six people meeting in a lobby at 2:00 a.m., five lacking shadows

A tale of a young girl who turned into a mountain witch when the night rose in her mirror

A tale in which a conductor announces, “Although our departure is five minutes behind schedule…” and launches into a story of tragic love

A tale in which you share a pair of shoes with a bum in Ueno Park, only to bump into him again later

A tale that starts the day you stuff a clumsy letter into his shoe locker and go home

A tale full of vows so embarrassing discomfiting awkward they make you itch tingle cringe

A tale where a fresh sheet is ruined when someone smears your body with cocoa

A tale in which his outline faded fast and though I held him tight he disappeared

A tale listened to eagerly one winter night by burr-headed boys with mouths agape

A tale of a whole winter spent shaving one’s fast-growing mustache and beard

A tale in which Granny sees coffee for the first time and makes a terrible scene shrieking It’s poison goddamnyou

A forlorn tale rising from a piece of chestnut in the chestnut rice that turns out to be a folktale from home

A tale of ten boar babies boiled and eaten in a village without fairy tales

A tale in which soldiers steal biscuits commandeered by their officers under cover of darkness

A tale of a red ogre who cheers up after scarfing down eight portions of peach buns

A tale of wings that soar through a dog’s silent dream to cover the universe

A tale of soda water flowing down gullets at a banquet where hate trumps love

A tale of being annoyed when the snowball cookies you bought taste like blizzard balls

A tale in which you gaze from your window at your beloved pretending to be an apple seller

A tale of a letter that faded the moment you stopped trying to read it and now is totally illegible

A tale of a freight train crammed with damaged goods that ran westward ever westward

A tale of a black apple—doesn’t anyone know? Is there really no one who knows it?

A tale in which a painstaking investigation reveals the criminal to be a parfait freak

A tale of a hag gazing at the seething sky on the primates’ final evening

A tale in which every last book abruptly sprouts arms and legs and flees planet Earth

A tale in which a camouflage shirt sticks to your chest and you can’t go home again

A tale in which you wade a waist-deep bog leaving your precious biscuits soggy and unappetizing

A tale of a man who plunges into a ravine crying I never intended to cheat on you!

A tale where, on the day I leave, I give him a small key I’ve warmed in my coat

A tale where two continents quietly separate and cease to share a common civilization

A tale containing a beautiful passage about gloves put away that I kept reading over and over again

A tale about a young man who flees from a mountain witch only to trip a land mine and lose his leg

A tale of questionable veracity written by a cloud across a sweep of sky

translated by Motoyuki Shibata and Ted Goossen