Ishigaki Rin’s poem “Gake (Cliff)” in translation:

Rin, Ishigaki. “Cliff.” Ed. Makoto Ooka and Shuntaro Tanikawa. Modern Japanese Poetry: One Hundred Years (n.d.): n. pag. Cirje: Centre of International Research on the Japanese Economy. Web.

“Change” and “progress” work on a number of different levels with this RLE:

  • The movement from Japanese poets’ reliance of traditional forms to poetry to more modern forms. Some view the move away from tradition as both change and progress. The conservative / traditionalist point of view might argue that the change to more modern poets ignores the Japanese literary tradition.
  • The poet has artistic license to alter historical events to fit her goals in the poem. These changes from the actual events are not necessarily progress.
  • The translated version of the poem has been changed a a few unusual ways. The translator has added important indentation to the second stanza and has also added ellipses near the end of the poem. These changes are significant but go beyond what most translator do. This may or not be progress depending on your view of the role of a translator.