Is That a Human Voice? (after Toshikazu Yasumizu)

jm 2a right blk s

Mountains circle a city
of women dancing like feathers.
Mountains circle a city
of women dancing like feathers.
Silence embraces the flowing.
Silence embraces the flowing
patterns, bending with the wind.
Turning, repeating, transforming, rising–
silence follows.

jm 2a right close up s

Bending with the wind, turning.
Where are the birds?
Repeat and follow.
Bending with the wind, questing.
Opening, questing–
repeat and follow.

jm 2a left close up s

Embrace these wings, bending with the wind.
Turning, repeating, transforming, rising–
silence follows.

jm 2a close up mid s

The NaPoWriMo prompt for day 5 was to take an untranslated poem, pair it with a photo, and make a poem referring to both.  I chose to use one of the artworks I did for this month instead of a photo, and I used a Japanese poem by Toshikazu Yasumizu, “Is That a Human Voice?”, partly because I love the title.  You can see the poem and the translation (which works well with my embroidery also) here.

jm 2a blk s

The embroidery is once again based on a painting by Joan Mitchell.  The calligraphic nature of Japanese writing reminds me a lot of the marks of stitching.


I’m also linking to dVerse open link night.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

23 responses to “Is That a Human Voice? (after Toshikazu Yasumizu)”

  1. Jane Dougherty says :

    The whole thing is just lovely! The Japanese characters do recall your embroidery stitches that in turn recall the prints of bird feet, or feathers or leaves, all swirling in the wind!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennifer G. Knoblock says :

    I love the repetition. The colors in your artwork are so delicate and made me think also of flower petals.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill Kuhn says :

    Wow! This is so beautiful Kerfe! 😃 I love the embroidery on the fiber paper. It pairs well with your poem. And reminds me of feathers also.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. merrildsmith says :

    This is so beautiful, Kerfe. The poem is like a folk song. I love the repeated words/phrases, and the hypnotic rhythm, like a dance. Your artwork and poem match perfectly.
    I just didn’t get this prompt–but your result is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • memadtwo says :

      Thanks Merril. I think some prompts resonate more than others. Maybe the abstractness of Japanese script to one who doesn’t understand it made it easier to abstract images from it. There was a lot of repetition in the Japanese text , so I tried to echo that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Feelings and Freedom says :

    I loved the flow of your words. Very nicely written!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sharon Mann says :

    The repetition of the words and stitches is like dancing. Handmade paper has so much to offer. Love your post, Kerefe

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Grace says :

    I get the power of silence, and that the cycle continues on and on ~ Enjoyed your photos too ~ Good luck with the writing challenges ~

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sarah Russell says :

    This is so well done, Kerfe. Love your artwork as well. I was just thinking today that I should get back into embroidery. You inspire me!

    Liked by 1 person

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