Morning Glories

Utagawa Hiroshige Japanese

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This poem is signed “Gyokō,” a name used by the female poet Sonoda Suejo (ca. 1818–1888). The evanescence of the morning glory (asagao) blossoms, which open in the morning and wither by night, is suggested by this haikai poem:

見るうちの 寿命のばしや 艸の花

Miru uchi no
jumyō nobashi ya
kusa no hana

Even as we watch,
their entire lives transpire—

the flowering plants.
—Trans. John T. Carpenter

Morning Glories, Utagawa Hiroshige (Japanese, Tokyo (Edo) 1797–1858 Tokyo (Edo)), Woodblock print, Japan

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