Ibaragi Noriko Poems

Ibaragi Noriko (1926-2006) is a Japanese poet known for her poignant and introspective works. Her poetry explores themes of love, loss, nature, and the human experience. With a unique blend of simplicity and depth, Noriko’s verses evoke emotions and offer profound reflections on life’s complexities.

When I Was Prettiest in My Life

by Ibaragi Noriko

‘When I Was Prettiest in My Life’ by Ibaragi Noriko is a powerful poem written after World War II that explores the juxtaposition between beauty and war. 

This poem showcases the poet's ability to delve into complex emotions and capture the contradictions of human experiences. Her poetry often explores personal beauty, societal turmoil, and the impact of war. Through her use of various literary devices, Noriko crafts evocative and thought-provoking verses that invite readers to reflect on the deeper meaning of beauty, the complexities of life, and the pursuit of happiness. This is one of her best, and better-known poems.

When I was prettiest in my life,

the cities crumbled down,

and the blue sky appeared

in the most unexpected places.

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