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Translated version ( Hayes, 1996, p. 33):

Sakutarō Hagiwara   
   In “Howling at the Moon”
 

THE ROTTEN CLAM

Half its body buried in the sand
and still its tongue rolls in and out.
Shingle and the salt tide wash grittily, grittily
wash grittily, grittily
over the head of this soft -bodied creature
Ah! the washing tide’s so quiet-like a dream.
 
Into the crevices between the rasping grains of sand
yet again the clam flashes out its lambent tongue
-it flickers redly.
The clam is terribly gaunt
its squelchy entrails already rotting
so when the melancholy evening falls
hunkered down here on this pallid beach
fitfully-fitfully-it exhales a rotten breath.

 

Original version:

萩原朔太郎
『月に吠える』より
 

くさつた蛤

半身は砂のなかにうもれてゐて、
それで居てべろべろ舌を出して居る。
この軟體動物のあたまの上には、
       しほ
砂利や潮みづが、ざら、ざら、ざら、ざら流れてゐる、
ながれてゐる、
ああ夢のやうにしづかにもながれてゐる。
 
ながれてゆく砂と砂との隙間から、
蛤はまた舌べろをちらちらと赤くもえいづる、
                や つ
この蛤は非常に憔悴れてゐるのである。
みればぐにやぐにやした内臓がくさりかかつて居るらしい、
それゆゑ哀しげな晩かたになると、
靑ざめた海岸に坐つてゐて、
ちら、ちら、ちら、ちらとくさつた息をするのですよ。
 
Notes:
 
Note 1: The title of the poem is written in ‘ancient language’. In modern day Japanese the title would be: 腐った蛤 (くさったはまぐり)
 
References:
 
Hayes, C. (1996). A Stray Dog Howling at The moon: A Literary Biography of Hagiwara Sakutaro (1886-1942). Doctoral dissertation. Volume 2.

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