On the tips of twigs
green buds carry mounds of snow—-
a calendar page

of Hokusai? No.
Time’s complications as my
life’s dialectics

stall. However I
take the hint from Hokusai.
Great Wave, Mt. Fuji,

the perfect image
is possible, possible,
in our little life.

Author: Tom D'Evelyn

Tom D'Evelyn is a private editor and writing tutor in Cranston RI and, thanks to the web, across the US and in the UK. He can be reached at tom.develyn@comcast.net. D'Evelyn has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley. Before retiring he held positions at The Christian Science Monitor, Harvard University Press, Boston University and Brown University. He ran a literary agency for ten years, publishing books by Leonard Nathan and Arthur Quinn, among others. Before moving to Portland OR he was managing editor at Single Island Press, Portsmouth NH. He blogs at http://tdevelyn.com and other sites.

One thought on “Buds”

  1. Hokusai’s Great Wave image seems to organise the poem. Of course the poem itself seems to refute this–‘No’–yet ‘life’s dialectics// stall’ seems reflected in the cresting wave which never quite breaks completely into foam, the Mount Fuji somehow reaching from sea skyward yet suspended as it reaches. So the final three lines suggest a way in which a life’s stalled dialects may still be the site for delight. The image fit to the proportions of our little lives; it is the moment, the image in which we may dwell. Its perfection is not so much idealized or abstract but sufficiency embodied, a completeness of flowing. The wave surges towards the shore.


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