12 January 2024

Ebisu Catching a Goldfish

But perhaps   the heart

Does not want   to be understood. 

Your shadow   falls on its pond

and the small fish   hurry away.

They have   their own lives,

not yours, which they love.

And if to you   it is anger,

bewilderment,   grief,

to them   it is simply life:

their mouths   open and close,

their gills,   they are fed,   they breathe.

The gods   are not large,

outside us,   they are the fish, 

going on   wit their own concerns."

"The Gods Are Not Large" by Jane Hirshfield, from The October Palace, New York, Harper Perennial: 1994.

Image: Katsushika Hokusai - Ebisu Catching a Goldfish, circa 1830, Museum of Asian Arts, Berlin.


Classical music blog -Sokwon Kim said...

Hi, Jane. Thank you for your posting and picture. Have a good week.

Jane A. Librizzi said...

Sokwon Kim, I loved this print by Hokusai that I had not seen before.