Category Archives: (Ryokan’s scroll)

Louis Zukofsky: (Ryokan’s scroll)

I love this poem. So simple, beautiful, peaceful. It only is what it is: nature, orderly. I could live here.

The words drip down the page just like a traditional Japanese scroll, except here we can read the language, unlike the mysterious Kanji. The words seem to drip from being words and into the snow itself, in a simple line down the page. Even time passes patiently “a long while” as we imagine snow piling up silently. and this white contrasts beautifully with the blue sky that “sees”, “spies”, “eyes” the cherry tree petals and in a clever indentation, makes a detour to the pink petals of the cherry tree.

I love minimalist language, flowery language always feels to me is if the author is just showing off their vocabulary. I love simple, but powerful language that works overtime to tell the story and paint the picture. With just a few brush strokes, like a master calligrapher, we get an entire image in our mind that is unique for all of us because the author didn’t try to overdo it.