Daichi Ishikawa

At Home

We cannot choose our birthplace,
but we can choose our home, which
can be more than one and we need
no proof for it but the feeling
in our heart. Nothing prevents me
from being both Japanese and Asian
and being British and European
at the same time. Feeling is being,
just as believing is a way of seeing.

It is above all a cosmopolitan state
of mind which makes me feel so very British
when ensconced in a cosy pub, and so Italian
when dining with you at Saizeriya in Yokohama
just like Goethe and Byron at Caffè Florian.
Reading Plato’s dialogues makes me
not only Socratic but also both democratic
and demotic, perhaps even despotic sometimes.

Earth is round and we are on the same ground,
even though the surface is often bumpy
and people are almost always grumpy. Where
there is uncertainty, there may be
anxiety, and when there is anxiety, there
is hope for happiness. January is always
Janus-faced, so is the first of February.

Daichi Ishikawa was born in Japan and read English at university while in
Tokyo, where he acquired an incurable habit of book-collecting as well as a
taste in cosmopolitan aestheticism through reading Walter Pater’s The
Renaissance. His first poem in print, ‘Art’, was in Acumen. He was a founding committee member of the University of
London Society of Bibliophiles. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Queen
Mary University of London. He lives in Yokohama, Japan.