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A Note on Method


Metaphor arises when fields collide.

One point pings in several planes at once--

A dust mite from one angle, from another, life.

These paintings sit where the Buddhist path

Crosses the floating world, this beautiful illusion.

Uki is floating, yo's the world, and this print, e,

One of the first consumer graphics, paid for

By merchants rising, daimyo's switching

From castle to inn or factory, and rich peasants.

Ukiyo-e!

In Hokusai, Chinese mists blot out

Landscapes so detailed and almost real

That tourists have looked for the spots he sat,

Just to compare the picture to the present.

Loyal and proud, he painted the national icon

In perspective borrowed from the Dutch. Trade

Opened his eyes, and earned his rice. Popular,

he fitted humans into a large, wet land--

Dots in the distance, each distinct.

Flat, but deep, his art quotes

Other art, but looks convincingly strange,

Like a photograph: then, as we examine

A tower, or tree, we see the real dissolve.

The print's an almost mechanical device

Switching us from one plane to another so fast

We become, stroboscopically, aware

Of all and everything, vibrating,

And we hear his voice, laughing like an angel,

Waking us from the nightmare of nationality and tribe--

Sheer soul sound, despite the Edo accent.

-- Jonathan Price


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