Observe how Miyanoshita cracked in two
And slid into the valley; he that stood Grinning with terror in the bamboo wood S
aw the earth heave and thrust its bowels through The hill, and his own kitchen slide from view,
Spilling the warm bowl of his humble food Into the lap of horror; mark how lewd This cluttered gulf,--'twas here his paddy grew.
Dread and dismay have not encompassed him;
The calm sun sets; unhurried and aloof Into the riven village falls the rain;
Days pass; the ashes cool; he builds again
His paper house upon oblivion's brim,
And plants the purple iris in its roof.
This poem is about a Japanese farmer who lost everything in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 then waits days for the ashes to cool, then “builds again." It's an example of optimism.
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