Ernest Fenollosa

Sonnet: Fuji at Sunrise (1893)

Startling the cool gray depths of morning air
She throws aside her counterpane of clouds,
And stands half folded in her silken shrouds
With calm white breast and snowy shoulder bare.
High o’er her head a flush all pink and rare
Thrills her with foregleam of an unknown bliss,
A virgin pure who waits the bridal kiss,
Faint with expectant joy she fears to share.
Lo, now he comes, the dazzling prince of day!
Flings his full glory o’er her radiant breast;
Enfolds her to the rapture of his rest,
Transfigured in the throbbing of his ray.
O fly, my soul, where love’s warm transports are;
And seek eternal bliss in yon pink kindling star!





Ernest Fenollosa’s role in the transmission of understanding of Japan to the United States, Britain, and Ireland is well known. See the Bibliography, particularly D10, for a critical discussion of this as it relates particularly to the emergence of understanding of Japan in English-language verse. ‘Fuji at Sunrise’ appeared in The Discovery of America and Other Poems (New York: Crowell, 1893).

Fenollosa work in print includes Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art (available in the US here, the UK here) and volumes finished by Ezra Pound, Noh or Accomplishment (BK24, available in the US here, the UK here), Classic Noh Theatre of Japan (in the US here), and The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry (BK32, in the US here).

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