Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


In the Happo-En Garden, Tokyo

The way a birthmark  
on a woman’s face defines 
rather than mars
her beauty, 

so the skyscrapers—
those flowers of technology— 
reveal the perfection 
of the garden they surround.        

Perhaps Eden is buried 
here in Japan,
where an incandescent 
koi slithers snakelike 

to the edge of the  pond; 
where a black-haired
Eve-san in the petalled
folds of a kimono 

once showed her silken body
to the sun, then picked a persimmon
and with a small bow
bit into it.

Credit


Copyright © 2014 by Linda Pastan. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 25, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

About this Poem


"For years I have been obsessed with Eden, and with Eve in particular. So perhaps it’s not surprising that while visiting a very different, very beautiful, garden in Japan, Eden and Eve came immediately to mind."
—Linda Pastan

Author


Linda Pastan

The author of many collections of poetry, Linda Pastan's book Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998 was nominated for the National Book Award

Date Published: 2014-04-07

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/happo-en-garden-tokyo