Reading Keats in a Japanese Garden

 

“The bamboo plant, an essential element of Japanese painting, has a life span of only a decade, dying when it flowers.”
— Little History of Landscape Painting

Stand of green bamboo:
hollow-jointed flute whose leaves
are lances; stems, turtles

cowering, shell to
shell; blossoming white, world-wide,
then gone, in one

superlative spring;
o mother of paper, o father
of pen, o teacher

of all we need know
on earth — beauty’s the greatest
distance between faults.