Twisted Ring

I think this is the best poem I’ve written, even though it’s very different from the rest. I think it’s the deepest and most meaningful of them, and also by far the hardest to understand:

<u>Twisted Ring</u>

<i>Kagayaku kisetsu ga eien ni kawaru made</i>

Ah, the little thing often piques my fancy.
I follow all the colors speckling it; it distracts me from my idleness
Turning the thing till I tire - the twisted ring.

The changes from blue to red and red to blue are simply delightful!, on this twisted ring.

Half the thing gazes at itself, and
The other half gazes outward.
The shift from one perspective to the other turns pain to sweet pleasure,
As, between my fingers, I turn this twisted ring.

Sometimes I am inclined to turn it faster, the twisted ring.

The pleasure of changing colors increases
With the speed of turning
As does the pain.
Sometimes I tire, and sleep, and dream.
I only dream after turning the twisted ring.

There is an art to turning the thing quickly.
I exhausted myself over and over,
Turning it slower than I can now.
The pain and pleasure are what drove me to continue
Till I could turn it this fast.
They still drive me: more than ever.
So I turn the thing ever faster,
Till the muscles in my hand spasm madly, and
My heart spasms with the pain and pleasure of the twisted ring.

Ah, to truly live is to turn the thing; and
Intensely, vibrantly, I feel the contrast of colors on the twisted ring!

Indeed, it is sweet bliss that only increases;
So my pace quickens.
I almost have trouble following the colors now,
Amidst this unequalled pain and pleasure.
The colors are beginning to blur,
On this speckled, many-colored, and twisted ring.

As the colors blur, as blue and red turn to mere violet,
I feel the pain and pleasure start to fade.
Desperately, I do as I have always done, and
Turn the ring faster: my bliss trickles out faster,
And I am left empty, turning my twisted ring.

Ah, I want to stop turning the thing; my hand aches numbly.
Yet, if I try, try so hard to look closely, I think I can see red and blue.
Will I still dream, if I stop turning my twisted ring. . .?


That’s one helluva metaphor. I think I understand the general idea, but as I’ve said before, I’m not to good with symbolism. It’s a wonderful poem; just reading it produced strong emotions.
What does that first line translate as, if I may ask?
And thank you for sharing such beautiful artistic talent with us.

Thanks. . .I’m glad to post these poems, and that you like them. I’ll give a basic commentary on this - [edit: I replaced the commentary with the next post].

I was just reading my commentary here - and it wasn’t very good, so I’m deleting it. I’m replacing it with my reply to someone else who read this, and interpreted it as being about masturbation:

That’s kind of funny. . .I expected that interpretation to come up, but that’s not it. Read the details closely, especially the ending. There’s a buildup of intensity, but no release, except by stopping. A twisted ring has one side that faces both directions: it goes on forever. It’s the opposite of a release. Then there are the colors. The speaker says the changes from “red to blue” and “blue to red” are delightful; so there’s a significance to contrast. Contrast brings “pain and pleasure”. Turning the ring faster, as the speaker is viewing it, causes the colors to pass by more quickly, generating more contrast in less time. Also, the ring faces both inward and outward at different points: introspection and extrospection.

The poem is about experiencing life, and experiencing emotion. Have you ever tried to be happy for a long time? It’s not enjoyable. The pleasure is in the change from sadness. There’s pleasure in changing from being happy to being sad, too: think about when you’re trying hard to be happy about something, but it’s just feeling terrible. Isn’t there pleasure in letting yourself become sad? Does it feel better to hold back your tears, or let them out?

Turning the ring is moving from one emotional state to another, with all its pain and pleasure. To turn it quickly is to experience life, its pain and pleasure, intensely.

Near the end, the colors, the emotions, are passing by so quickly that they begin to blur into violet, eliminating the contrast. Then the speaker doesn’t feel anything. In the end, he questions whether he should stop turning the ring, or stare harder at it and try to see contrasting colors again.

The first line translates as, “Until the shining seasons pass on into eternity.” It makes some sense by itself, but it’s really a reference and a response to something.

The speaker mentions dreams a couple times; that’s a little harder to explain. . .