At the end of the 9th century, the Emperor Daigo published the Kokin Wakashū, an anthology of Japanese poetry that’s considered to be the ancestor of the haikai tradition. It was the first book of poetry that included a section devoted to the seasons. The Kokinshū, as it’s called, shaped the form, structure, and aesthetic of Japanese poetry for hundreds of years.

But what does a 9th century book of Japanese poetry have to do with this photograph? A poem, of course. One written by an anonymous poet whose mood is perfectly illustrated by the photograph.

Winter’s haze
Mutes the sound
Of the departing geese.
How lonely the shore now.
I almost see your face.

Blog photograph copyrighted to the photographer and used with permission by utata.org. All photographs used on utata.org are stored on flickr.com and are obtained via the flickr API. Text is copyrighted to the author, greg fallis and is used with permission by utata.org. Please see Show and Share Your Work