Bathroom Poetry

Scrawled in magic marker on the wall of a bathroom stall at the the Thomas Edison Service Area on the New Jersey Turnpike was this beautiful piece of poetry. Ono No Komachi was a Japanese poet who wrote in the 800s, though not much else is known about her.

Three other translations of the poem are available on this page, which says this poem, KKS938, was written in response to a provincial official’s request that she join him for some sightseeing in the country.

The translation in the photo is uncredited, but may be an anime reference.

So lonely am I.
A floating weed,
Cut at the root.
If there was water to invite
I would follow
I think.

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5 Responses to Bathroom Poetry

  1. Wow, that’s a sighting-and-half, as far as bathroom scrawls go. It looks pretty big, too, so whoever did it must have been in love with the poem.

    The other translations are beautiful, too. A quick google search has that bathroom wall translation come up, but does not give the context for it, so I can’t confirm the source, either.

  2. bobhowe says:

    Going forward we are,
    A corporate entity
    Pithed by inanity.
    If there were someone to read it
    I would write a simple declarative sentence.
    I think.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bathroom poetry

    What a discovery in the ultimate of prosaic settings. The second of the three alternate translations brings vividly to mind the frail elderly sitting in wheelchairs whom one sees when visiting a nursing home. Then again, each of the four versions could as aptly fit that scene.


  4. umalrion says:

    i found that too and was moved by it 🙂 i snapped the pic around the same time you posted this, but couldn’t find anything else about it 🙁

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