March 11 marks the first year anniversary of the disastrous earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan. One event that will commemorate the disaster as well as raise funds for ongoing work in the area for teenagers particularly, is the launching of the Tomo anthology (Stonebridge Press) on March 10. The Tomo anthology was conceived of by writer Holly Thompson of Japan as a fundraiser for teens in the Tohoku region. An array of writing was assembled and edited by Thompson, the result of which is a beautiful collection of writing aimed at young adults. Recently, on the Tomo blog, interviews with some of the writers/translators have been appearing and one such translator is David Sulz, who translated the well known Kenji Miyazawa poem Ame no Mikazu (“Be Not Defeated by the Rain.”) A deceptively simple poem, “Be Not Defeated by the Rain,” is a manifesto of sorts, oddly humble and defiant at the same time. Its message speaks deeply of a man’s singular determination to overcome the vagaries of nature by being the best he can be to others in his community. I have loved this poem since I first read it, and it seems an appropriate poem for this anniversary. I’m glad to see it included in this anthology.
Poetry Friday this week is hosted by Myra at Gathering Books.