Where Is The Snow?

A hushed cityscape
under a blanket of snow
gift from unseen moon

NYC is on track to break the record for the longest stretch without snow.

This is unsettling, and so disappointing. There’s nothing like a winter wonderland in the city, especially when it reaches snow day level measurements. You get to hunker down, breathe a little easier, be grateful for the the cozy warmth of shelter, cook up a feast of soup, or chili, or whatever else may take a good long time on top of the stove, and drink an excessive amount of coffee in the morning / wine late into the evening. It’s a day for reading, watching a classic movie, sitting in front of the window and watching the soft landing of snowflakes. The length of the day relaxes and stretches itself, allowing you to embrace the slow tick of the minutes — and when the middle of the night finally arrives, you get to witness the light of the unseen moon reflect off the snow, illuminating the hushed cityscape for as far as the eye can see. Bring on the snow, and let the snow days roll!

My photo above was featured in the “Blizzard” issue of Nightingale & Sparrow.

Jeffrey Yamaguchi | @hiddenexhibit

Yone Noguchi’s “Japanese Hokkus”

Haiku is a form of poetry I return to again and again. Deceptively simple to write, I enjoy the challenge. I’ve written hundreds — maybe thousands. Most are… just okay, if not downright terrible. Some are, well, not bad, but not really hitting the mark. A rare few, if I dare say so myself, are meaningful and resonant. Haiku need to deliver a startling image and an emotional wallop in just a few beats. I’m not a stickler for the 5/7/5 syllable form, but do consider it a helpful and challenging framework to work within.

I swing into the habit of writing haiku as part of my routine — it helps me get started not just with putting something down on paper, but taking an emotional concept or image and describing it with words. The brevity of this particular poetic form helps me distill what I am trying to convey through story, whether that be a chapter in a novel or a longer form poem.

The above images are from Yone Noguchi’s Japanese Hokkus, published in 1920. Noguchi was the first Japanese-born writer to publish poetry in English, and is credited with introducing haiku to America, influencing the Imagist poets of the early 20th century. Here’s a great essay on Noguchi posted at the The Huntington library’s website: “Yone Noguchi and Haiku in the United States.”

Reading Noguchi’s “hokkus” and writing this short entry has inspired me to get back into haiku, as part of a daily creative ritual. Stay tuned!

Jeffrey Yamaguchi | @hiddenexhibit

“The Mystic Blue” by D.H. Lawrence

Fascinated by the way the last line, and only the last line, of the last poem (The Mystic Blue) is changed in the London and New York editions of Amores by D.H. Lawrence. Amores was published in 1916.

London Edition: “Of midnight and shake it to fire, till the flame of the shadow we see.”

New York Edition: “Of midnight shake it to fire, so the secret of death we see.”