Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Geese in the Spring Night

Read "Geese in the Spring Night" at The Eldritch Dark:

This haiku from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) calls to mind a beautiful woodblock print from Katsushika Hokusai (as shown above).  The English title of the print has been rendered variously in English as "Full Moon", "Descending Geese and Full Moon" or "Geese, Reeds and Full Moon".

I have no evidence that CAS was familiar with Japanese prints in the ukiyo-e style with which Hokusai is strongly associated, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was, given that these works had become well-known in Europe and North America by the late nineteenth century.  There is a definite aesthetic sympathy between the haiku poetry form and contemplative images rendered in the ukiyo-e style, a combination which would seem to have a strong appeal to someone of CAS' artistic temperament.

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