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Black Dog and Boat

18th century
Ike Taiga, (Japanese, 1723–1776)
This pair of haiku poems describes scenes that Taiga could have observed directly from nature. The first poem pictures a winter scene: a black dog appears even blacker as it passes a glittering white, snow-laden fence. The second poem is more abstract and describes a rainy spring day at the Fushimi harbor, a station along the busy river route that connected Kyoto with Osaka. The boat for hire, it seems, is so drenched by the rain that it becomes a rain boat:

The black dog becomes
     Even more black:
A snowy fence


At Spring; Leaving Fushimi


Leaving the spring behind
     Now, let's rent
A boat of rain!

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Object Details

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