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Kurihara Sadako was born in Hiroshima in 1913, and she was there on August 6, 1945. Already a poet before she experienced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, she used her poetic talents to describe the blast and its aftermath. In 1946, despite the censorship of the American Occupation, she published Kuroi tamago (Black Eggs), poems from before, during, and immediately after the war. This volume includes a translation of Kuroi tamago from the complete edition of 1983.
But August 6, 1945, was not the end point of Kurihara’s journey. In the years after Kuroi tamago she has broadened her focus—to Japan as a victimizer rather than victim, to the threat of nuclear war, to antiwar movements around the world, and to inhumanity in its many guises. She treats events in Japan such as politics in Hiroshima, Tokyo’s long-term complicity in American policies, and the decision in 1992 to send Japanese troops on U.N. peacekeeping operations. But she also deals with the Vietnam War, Three Mile Island, Kwangju, Greenham Common, and Tiananmen Square. This volume includes a large selection of these later poems.
Kurihara sets us all at ground zero, strips us down to our basic humanity, and shows us the world both as it is and as it could be. Her poems are by turns sorrowful and sarcastic, tender and tough. Several of them are famous in Japan today, but even there, few people appreciate the full force and range of her poetry. And few poets in any country—indeed, few artists of any kind—have displayed comparable dedication, consistency, and insight.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page
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  1. Frontispiece
  2. p. ii
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Epigraph
  2. p. v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-xii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xiii-xv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Translator's Introduction
  2. pp. 1-38
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  1. PART ONE Black Eggs
  2. p. 39
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  1. Foreword 1983
  2. pp. 41-43
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. Free Verse
  2. p. 47
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  1. Black Eggs
  2. p. 48
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  1. War Close Up
  2. pp. 49-50
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  1. Starry Autumn Sky
  2. p. 51
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  1. The Fox's Gold Coins
  2. p. 52
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  1. What Is War
  2. p. 53
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  1. From All the Battlefronts
  2. p. 54
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  1. Once More, the Sun
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. Thinking New Year's Thoughts
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  1. On a Day of Powdery Snow
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  1. Basking in the Sun
  2. p. 59
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  1. Rivalry
  2. p. 60
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  1. Fever
  2. p. 61
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  1. The Silkworm
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  1. Day after Day
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  1. Letter—To Peter Kropotkin
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  1. Love
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  1. Spring Green
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  1. Let Us Be Midwives!
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  1. Not the Season
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  1. The Children's Voices
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  1. Do Not Open
  2. p. 70
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  1. Reconstruction
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. Passion
  2. p. 73
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  1. Handshake
  2. p. 74
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  1. Overgrown Garden
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  1. Handing On Dreams
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  1. Fatigue
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  1. The Vow
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  1. The Vine
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  1. Tanka
  2. p. 81
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  1. The Day of the Atomic Bomb
  2. pp. 82-85
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  1. Nightmare
  2. pp. 86-90
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  1. The Surrender
  2. p. 91
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  1. City Ravaged by Flames
  2. pp. 92-95
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  1. Newspaper Articles
  2. p. 96
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  1. Snowy Night
  2. pp. 97-98
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  1. Language
  2. p. 99
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  1. Late at Night
  2. pp. 100-101
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  1. Sad Tales From Demobilized Soldiers
  2. pp. 102-103
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  1. To a Friend, Evacuated
  2. pp. 104-105
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  1. Tomato Songs
  2. pp. 106-107
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  1. Last Effects
  2. p. 108
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  1. Elegy
  2. pp. 109-110
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  1. First Letter
  2. p. 111
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  1. The Birth of Junko
  2. pp. 112-113
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  1. New-Soldier Brother
  2. pp. 114-117
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  1. Miscellany
  2. pp. 118-120
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  1. Love of Self
  2. pp. 121-122
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  1. The Fall of Paris—Hitler
  2. pp. 123-125
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  1. Respect for Humanity
  2. pp. 126-127
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  1. Memories
  2. pp. 128-129
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  1. Paddy Field
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  1. Pollinated by the Wind
  2. pp. 131-132
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  1. Record of My Passion
  2. pp. 133-135
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  1. Love
  2. p. 136
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  1. My Friend Gives Birth to a Son
  2. p. 137
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  1. Father, Mother
  2. p. 138
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  1. Anesthetic Injection
  2. p. 139
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  1. Cactus Flowers
  2. pp. 140-141
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  1. Korean Maiden
  2. p. 142
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  1. To a Friend
  2. pp. 143-144
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  1. Waking from a Nap
  2. p. 145
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  1. Elegy
  2. p. 146
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  1. For Ms. Takemoto Kikuyo
  2. pp. 147-148
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  1. Hijiyama in Budtime
  2. pp. 149-150
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  1. Afterword 1983
  2. pp. 151-153
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  1. PART TWO Selected Later Poems
  2. p. 155
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  1. The Poet
  2. p. 157
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  1. I'll Always Keep Singing
  2. pp. 158-159
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  1. I Bear Witness for Hiroshima
  2. p. 160
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  1. Lost Summer
  2. pp. 161-162
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  1. Beached
  2. pp. 163-164
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  1. Love and Death
  2. pp. 165-166
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  1. Words—Come Back to Life
  2. p. 167
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  1. Words Died
  2. p. 168
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  1. Frozen Eyes
  2. p. 169
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  1. Leaves Blowing in the Wind
  2. pp. 170-171
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  1. Exposure
  2. pp. 172-173
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  1. In Memoriam
  2. pp. 174-177
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  1. The Gilded Hearse
  2. p. 178
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  1. Life and Death
  2. pp. 179-180
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  1. Hiroshima
  2. p. 181
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  1. Sachiko, Dead in the Atomic Bomb
  2. pp. 182-183
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  1. City under Ground
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  1. Ruins
  2. pp. 185-186
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  1. Hiroshima: Three Poems
  2. pp. 187-189
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  1. The Green of Hiroshima
  2. p. 190
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  1. The Hiroshima No One Serenades
  2. pp. 191-192
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  1. Dialogue
  2. pp. 193-194
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  1. Painting
  2. pp. 195-196
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  1. Void
  2. pp. 197-198
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  1. River
  2. pp. 199-203
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  1. Our City
  2. pp. 204-205
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  1. Door to the Future
  2. pp. 206-207
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  1. I Saw Hiroshima
  2. p. 208
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  1. Prayer for a Nuclear-Free Tomorrow
  2. pp. 209-210
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  1. Japan
  2. p. 211
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  1. The Flag, 1
  2. pp. 212-213
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  1. Peace Education Arrested
  2. pp. 214-215
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  1. River of Flames Flowing through Japan
  2. pp. 216-220
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  1. Beneath the Same Sky
  2. pp. 221-222
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  1. Question
  2. p. 223
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  1. No Resting in Peace beneath the Flag
  2. pp. 224-225
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  1. When We Say "Hiroshima"
  2. pp. 226-227
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  1. Indictment of Japan
  2. pp. 228-230
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  1. The Flag, 2
  2. pp. 231-232
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  1. The Flag, 3
  2. p. 233
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  1. Yasukuni
  2. pp. 234-235
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  1. February Eleventh, 1984
  2. pp. 236-237
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  1. Spring Has Come to Europe...
  2. p. 238
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  1. What Did They Fight For?
  2. p. 239
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  1. Words Are Where It Starts
  2. pp. 240-241
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  1. Change
  2. pp. 242-243
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  1. Emperors, Prime Ministers, Mayors
  2. p. 245
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  1. Human Emperor, Meek and Mild
  2. pp. 246-247
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  1. Nippon: Piroshima
  2. pp. 248-251
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  1. The Naked Emperor
  2. pp. 252-253
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  1. His Majesty Has Donkey's Ears
  2. pp. 254-256
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  1. Hiroshima and the Emperor's New Clothes
  2. pp. 257-258
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  1. Gold and Nukes
  2. pp. 259-260
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  1. The Day the Shōwa Era Ends
  2. pp. 261-263
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  1. The World
  2. p. 265
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  1. The Crow
  2. p. 266
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  1. Nevada 1
  2. pp. 267-268
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  1. Semipalatinsk 2
  2. p. 269
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  1. Whom Did They Fight For?
  2. p. 270
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  1. Don't Go to the U.S.A.!
  2. pp. 271-272
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  1. American Pigweed
  2. pp. 273-274
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  1. Vietnam, Korea, Hiroshima
  2. pp. 275-276
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  1. America Don't Perish by Your Own Hand!
  2. pp. 277-279
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  1. America: World's Best In Everything
  2. pp. 280-281
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  1. May
  2. p. 282
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  1. Out of the Stone
  2. pp. 283-284
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  1. Refugees
  2. pp. 285-286
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  1. American Tragedy
  2. pp. 287-289
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  1. May in Beijing
  2. pp. 290-291
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  1. Hiroshima, Auschwitz: We Must Not Forget
  2. p. 292
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  1. Rain
  2. p. 293
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  1. Rather than Weapons, Roses
  2. pp. 294-295
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  1. The Nuclear Age
  2. p. 297
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  1. "You're Next!"
  2. p. 298
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  1. Hiroshima
  2. pp. 299-300
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  1. Twentieth-Century Sailing
  2. p. 301
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  1. Japan's Winter of 1961
  2. p. 302
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  1. Ravished City
  2. pp. 303-304
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  1. The Enterprise Goes Up in Flames
  2. pp. 305-306
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  1. The Cherry Trees of Hiroshima
  2. pp. 307-308
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  1. Shades: the Post-Doomsday World
  2. p. 309
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  1. Concentric Circles
  2. pp. 310-312
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  1. The Future Begins Here
  2. pp. 313-315
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  1. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Harrisburg Aflame
  2. pp. 316-318
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  1. The Other Clock
  2. p. 319
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  1. Let the Sun Shine on the Children
  2. pp. 320-321
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  1. Women's Principles: Life and Peace
  2. pp. 322-324
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  1. Alphabetical List of Poems by Titles in English
  2. pp. 325-329
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