Teiichi Suzuki (Japan)

a mackerel sky
scattered spiderworts
on the bank

Comment: spiderwort is a perennial species of wildflower that blooms continuously for several weeks till springtime. Its blue to violet purple flowers are very beautiful and can easily be found both in wooded areas and open fields. In this case the poet finds them scattered along the river bank (kawagishi 河岸) and he immediately juxtaposes them to the cirrocumulus that ripple the sky. This atmospheric phenomenon is called ‘mackerel sky’ (iwashigumo 鰯雲) because it creates a texture that is quite similar to the skin of a mackerel, offering to the viewer a suggestive, undulating celestial pattern. Sky and earth therefore seem to adhere to a harmonious and unitary movement, outlining an idyllic and almost imaginary landscape that cannot fail to fascinate the reader. The double hyphen () serving as a cutting mark perfectly aligns with this wavy and jagged scenery.

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