Monday, April 30, 2012

Hokusai's "Great Wave"

Ever since I was exposed to Japanese woodblock paintings, most memorably at LACMA's wonderful Asian Art Wing, I've loved Hokusai.  I remember one time when I was watching a movie called "Pi" (I can't figure out how to make that mathematical symbol), I was captivated by a an image in the movie of a seashell, which illustrated the "Golden Mean," and when I looked up at the picture on my wall of "The Great Wave," it struck me that Hokusai's wave also seems to be in the same arc illustrated by that mysterious number.  So, in the peom below, I attempt to capture that connection by using the Fibonacci sequence (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13) to guide the syllables and rhythm of the meter.  With this tactic employed, it also became a "shape poem."  

“Hokusai’s Great Wave”

(       )   
The Foam
Circles Us.
The deep deathly blue
Looms like an enormous monster
Flaying out cat-like claws and ready to pounce on us.
We crouch in our boats like turtles
Thrusting forward on
Spearish points
Aimed at
(       )