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HomePoems > Mount Fuji > 5. View from Surugacho in Edo                       

 

5.  View from Surugacho in Edo

So precise, these slats, you'd think you could pick out

Just where the bay emerges from the trees,

And where water, or is that fog? bumps

Into the bottom of that volcano, so big

It blocks our view of the horizon, and perhaps sea.

These workers at the peak toss rope and thatch,

Barely hanging onto these gray tiles;

One man balances on his big toe, arms waving,

Too far from the ladder to go down,

To skewed to flatten on the roof; in-between,

He pivots, like Hokusai, so adroit up front,

But a little iffy in the hips. We read the inn signs,

And our eye is led downhill to a white sea,

Expecting equal clarity, and not quite finding the fact,

Revising the vista, climbing back up,

And sliding down the snows of Mount Fuji.


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