A Postcard for the Multilinguals

Just in time for National Poetry Day, I’m told.


Japanese Poem

hic, haec, hoc
“what is it, teacher?”
“a Japanese poem”
“do not confuse は and ほ,
ま is also similar”
“and も too, sensei!
we’ll never get it right!”

in broken syllables,
we learned the spells
“dative, ablative plural?”
his his his
“remember, は, not わ”
if they were poems then,
we did not know them.
now we can beat them
into shape, but where
is the magic?

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