The Fragrance of Ink

Many years ago I saw a traveling¬†exhibit of literati paintings of the Choson Dynasty from the Korea University Museum. I was enchanted by the name of the exhibit – “The Fragrance of Ink.” Inspired by that evocative phrase, I wrote this haiku. (Is it cheating that I didn’t make up 1/3 of the poem)?

The fragrance of ink
Is subtle, but insistent
Lingers, and is gone.

This literati painting is my favorite work of art that I own. It was done for my father by his friend, a well-known calligrapher. The words are a description of my father’s character: ¬†“Deep thoughts, Great spirit”:

Detail:

I love how the vigorous characters boldly wriggle, leap, pirouette and undulate as if they were going to dance right off the paper.

May your weekend be filled with beauty.