Upon the maple leaves The dew shines red, But on the lotus blossom It has the pale transparence of tears.(1912 - 1919)
Free Fantasia on Japanese Themes
All the afternoon there has been a chirping of birds, And the sun lies warm and still on the western sides of swollen branches. There is no wind; Even the little twigs at the ends of the branches do not move, And the needles of the pines are solid Bands of inarticulated blackness Against the blue-white sky. Still, but alert; And my heart is still and alert, Passive with sunshine, Avid of adventure. I would experience new emotions, Submit to strange enchantments, Bend to influences Bizarre, exotic, Fresh with burgeoning. I would climb a sacred mountain, Struggle with other pilgrims up a steep path through pine-trees, Above to the smooth, treeless slopes, And prostrate myself before a painted shrine, Beating my hands upon the hot earth, Quieting my eyes upon the distant sparkle Of the faint spring sea. I would recline upon a balcony In purple curving folds of silk, And my dress should be silvered with a pattern Of butterflies and swallows, And the black band of my obi Should flash with gold circular threads, And glitter when I moved. I would lean against the railing While you sang to me of wars Past and to come - Sang, and played the samisen. Perhaps I would beat a little hand drum In time to your singing; Perhaps I would only watch the play of light Upon the hilt of your two swords. I would sit in a covered boat, Rocking slowly to the narrow waves of a river, While above us, an arc of moving lanterns, Curved a bridge, A hiss of gold Blooming out of darkness, Rockets exploded, And died in a soft dripping of colored stars. We would float between the high trestles, And drift away from other boats, Until the rockets flared soundless, And their falling stars hung silent in the sky, Like wistaria clusters above the ancient entrance of a temple. I would anything Rather than this cold paper; With outside, the quiet son on the sides of burgeoning branches, And inside, only my books.
Impressionist picture of a garden
Give me sunlight, cupped in a paint brush, And smear the red of peonies Over my garden. Splash blue upon it, The hard blue of Canterbury bells, Paling through larkspur Into heliotrope, To wash away among forget-me-nots.From 'Pictures of a Floating World'
You are like the stem Of a young beech-tree, Straight and swaying, Breaking out in golden leaves. Your walk is like the blowing of a beech-tree On a hill. Your voice is like leaves Softly struck upon by a South wind. Your shadow is no shadow, but a scattered sunshine; And at night you pull the sky down to you And hood yourself in stars. But I am like a great oak under a cloudy sky, Watching a stripling beech grow up at my feet.
1919 - From 'Pictures of a Floating World'
* Amy Lowell’s ‘Lacquer Prints’ began appearing in journals
as early as 1912, and appeared together, in increasingly
larger numbers, in the March 1917 'Poetry', 'Some Imagist
Poets', and 'Pictures of the Floating World'.