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Friday, 7 January 2011

Refraction


.



Fishing boats at Choshi in Shimosa
: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) from the series One Thousand Pictures of the Ocean, c. 1833-1834 (Art Institute of Chicago)




Caught up in the Great Wave
for a little while

you can have the moment, but then
it turns

here is the crest
here the refraction

it turns, you can have the moment
again, but not the same

the wave breaks back
the carp can't leap back up the falls





File:Carp leaping up a cascade.jpg

Carp leaping up a cascade
: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), n.d.



Kohada Koheiji
: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) from the series One Hundred Stories, c. 1831-1832 (Art Institute of Chicago)


Ono Falls on the Kiso Kaido Road: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) from the series Tour of the Waterfalls in Various Provinces, c.1833 (Art Institute of Chicago)

Mino no kuni yōrō no taki

Yōrō waterfall in Mino Province: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), from the series Visiting famous waterfalls of Japan, between 1790-1840 (Library of Congress)

Shimotsuke kurokami-yama kurifuri no taki

Kirifuri Falls at Mount Kurokami in Shimosuke: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), from the series Visiting famous waterfalls of Japan), between 1790-1840 (Library of Congress)


The Great Wave off Kanagawa: Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, c. 1830-32 (Art Institute of Chicago)

5 comments:

TC said...

For those who may fancy the spooky Kohada Koheiji, seen here in one of the Hokusai prints: he is the main character of a famous Edo-period novel by Santo Kyoden, published in 1803.

In the story, after Koheiji is killed by his wife and her lover, his gangly ghost returns to haunt them by peeking through the mosquito netting surrounding their bed.

He is, one might say, a classic Peeping Koheiji.

Here's another Hokusai view of The Ghost of Kohada Koheiji.

(I thought the mosquito netting looked a bit like seaweed, so...)

curtisroberts said...

This is terrific in so many ways -- poetically, visually, as a reflection of what I think I've learned in life and believe to be true -- that I can hardly find the words to respond. It reminds me a little, if you don't mind me saying so, of the Gene Clark song Full Circle, which may be his best (which is saying a lot).

"you can have the moment, but then
it turns

here is the crest
here the refraction

it turns, you can have the moment
again, but not the same"

No extra words, no missing words, full of feeling.

TC said...

I certainly don't mind your saying so, Curtis. That's an honour.

The waves keep coming in, turning, breaking back.

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom and Curtis,

what an arrangement of beautiful visions (Johnny and I have just been looking, and looking, and iyes --

here is the crest
here the refraction

it turns, you can have the moment
again, but not the same

curtisroberts said...

I keep coming back to this with great pleasure on all levels in every way.