Andrew Soye

To my father’s fountain pen

Andrew Soye

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It is told in Japanese folklore

that after 100 years service tools

acquire a spirit and deceive people’s hearts.

So too, containers and instruments receive

souls, arms & legs, faces with growing teeth.

We find, for instance, in the literature

possessed sake jars, mirrors, kettles;

animated gongs, umbrellas, clocks.

The critics comment that Tsukumogami are

by and large, harmless enough, though sometimes

they band together to take revenge

on the wasteful or those who throw things away

thoughtlessly. To this day, ceremonies are performed

to console broken and unusable articles. 

Andrew Soye

Andrew Soye is studying part-time for an MA in Poetry at Queen’s University. He has had poems published in Abridged, Honest Ulsterman, Blackbird, Bangor Literary Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The North, Magma and elsewhere. One of his poems won the 2014 Kent & Sussex Poetry Competition and another was shortlisted for Poem of the Year in the 2016 Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards. He was a featured poet with Poetry Daily in July 2018. His “Picture Poems” are now available at Blackwells in Belfast and online at

 Photo by Ger Holland.