Sonnet 58 | Shuntaro Tanikawa, 1953

Herbert List, Park of the Palazzo Orsini, Bomarzo, near Rome, Italy, 1952

It’s distance that makes
mountains mountains.
Looked at closely,
they start to resemble me.

Vast panoramas stop people in their tracks
and make them conscious of the engulfing distances.
Those very distances make people
the people they are.

Yet people can also contain distances
inside themselves,
which is why they go on yearning…

They soon find they’re just places violated by distances,
and no longer observed.
They have then become scenery.

Shuntaro Tanikawa, From 62 Sonnets, 1953

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