Poetry - Astrid Cabral - Alexis Levitin
Hokusai and the Great Wave by Astrid Cabral translated by Alexis Levitin
Hokusai said to the wave:
quiet down, unquiet one.
Watery mare, restrain
your pawing thrust of hooves in air.
I want you to be an equestrian statue
with a crystal mane.
With the hands of a God, Hokusai
Places time behind bars
achieving the triumph of art.
Ink and paper tumble
in waves celebrating
his prowess all along the beach.
Devourer of trophies,
the sea goes on with its derision:
Oh, utopian presumption!
Oh, optical illusion!
Sooner or later, it will swallow up
these useless sheets of paper.