She’s a Poet and I Didn’t Know it

The other day an official-looking letter arrived for Lilia.  I figured it was something complicated about laws pertaining to the disabled or a reminder about some piece of equipment that we haven’t yet paid for, or maybe news of a conference.  I left it for my husband to open. 

“Lilia has received a citation for a work called ‘Hana’ (Flower),” he said.

He showed me a list with names of students at various schools for the disabled all over Japan.  Lilia was the only one mentioned from her school.

At first I thought she was being honored for a painting.  She once won a citation for a work of art in a prefecture-wide competiton.  But no.  This was an award for poetry – the Osamu Yazawa Prize.  My daughter, who could barely write a sentence on her own up until last year, wrote a poem good enough to gain her national recognition.   As you can imagine, I am busting my buttons.


4 thoughts on “She’s a Poet and I Didn’t Know it

  1. My thoughts exactly! Let’s have the goods, Suzanne!
    And congratulations to your girl. I have lots of images of Lilia.
    They are always very powerful. Excellent, excellent news.

  2. She composed this poem in second grade. I didn’t even know that her teacher had submitted it. Lilia seems to remember most of the poem. It goes:

    Hana wo akai (Flowers are red)
    Hana wo kiiro (Flowers are yellow)
    Hana wo murasaki (Flowers are purple)

    and then she signed that she couldn’t remember the last line…

    You translators might do it differently. “A flower is red?”

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