japonisme: is it wise, or is it nothing at all?

04 February 2012

is it wise, or is it nothing at all?

yoso kara wa sazo kono shima wo tsukimi kana

elsewhere, no doubt
someone's viewing this island
this moon


how many moon stories would you tell
if you told all of your moon stories?
have you watched its flirtations?
has it laid balm to your loneliness?

has it been prominent in your arts?
un chien andelou? moonstruck?
is it a symbol, or are you?
was it your only light?


The last full moon of February
stalks the fields;
barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly,
a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position

until now, in the small hours,
across the snow
it advances on my pillow
to wake me,
not rudely like the sun
but with the cocked gun
of silence.

I am alone in a vast room
where a vain woman once slept.
The moon,
in pale buckskins, crouches
on guard beside her bed.

Slowly the light wanes,
the snow will melt
and all the fences thrum
in the spring breeze
but not until that sleeper, trapped
in my body, turns and turns.

Jane Cooper

from The Flashboat: Poems Collected and Reclaimed.
Copyright © 2000 by Jane Cooper.

think of everyone watching
as you do tonight.

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Blogger namastenancy said...

This is so beautiful - both the poem and the images you've chosen to illustrate it. I had never heard of Jane Cooper; now I've got another writer to investigate.

05 February, 2012 11:34  
Anonymous evan said...

favoring no team
intervals between the plays
ah, the commercials


05 February, 2012 13:03  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

oh, what a great reaction, nancy! and the dance goes on, changing partners.

i can't let go of the fact that i do have a relationship with the moon, this unresponsive lump of rock, reflecting the sun.

05 February, 2012 16:24  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

evan -- that's deep.

05 February, 2012 16:26  
Anonymous Evan said...

The images of the moon are stunning, but as suits my particular mind, I picked up on the idea of the shared experience (Issa)- that idea that even as I gaze (howl?) at the moon, all around the world other people might be doing the same thing...

...or laughing at a superbowl commercial...

06 February, 2012 10:50  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i seemed to manage a pretty near 100% ignorance of the superbowl, and judging by the lack of screaming coming from neighboring houses, i wasn't the only one.

and as to your first thought -- yes, i think you got it. it's such an important relationship for everyone -- does anyone not look at the moon?

06 February, 2012 13:13  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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