Selector’s Comments for Lyric Award
Yuriko Matsumura (Poet)

There were many image expanding lyrics depicting the everyday life of the visually challenged people like Braille, Braille blocks, and guide dogs, described using sense of touch, smell, and hearing. Lyrics submitted by elderly participants had good rhythm using seven-and-five syllable meter and lightness. And young participants’ lyrics had freshness to their expressions. I enjoyed them both. In the Lyric Award winning “Yellow Line,” Ms. Fujimori dramatically expressed her will to live positively with anxiety and despair in her heart. The title brings to mind the Braille blocks, and the poem appeals to the public about its importance. Also, her adventurous spirit is shown where she writes about how she wish to go off the guiding yellow line sometimes. I believe these lyrics are a piece that give courage and hope to non-visually impaired readers as well.
I was very moved by Ms. Sugimoto's “Footprints,” the winner of the Encouragement Award. In it, she beautifully expressed how her guide dog was a great encouragement and support to her and her deep appreciation for it. Also, the theme “escort runner” for Mr. Takenami’s poem “Together Someday” was very new to me. I was fascinated by his power striving towards the future with his belief that if volunteer activities like escort running become more active, he'll be able to run the mountains without any limit.

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