Koi are unusually beautiful creatures. Perhaps because of their unusual beauty, koi have inspired a variety of legends. The recurrent theme in these legends is that koi, because of their endurance and perseverance, have become symbolic of overcoming adversity and fulfilling one's destiny. In one of the more celebrated versions of this legend, koi are rewarded for their endurance and perseverance by being transformed into dragon fish.
In their book KOI, Margery and Sheldon Harnick have created their own version of this legend in photographs and verses. In their version, koi are rewarded for a reason other than endurance and perseverance. Though the years, the gods have noted how much pleasure men and women have derived simply from observing the
prismatic beauty of the koi. For this gift to mankind, the gods decided to transform the most beautiful koi into majestic and powerful dragons.
Margery Harnick's photographs not only show this transformation taking place but also capture the remarkable beauty of these creatures in ways that most people have never seen. (Additional photographs by Matt Harnick portray the gods and the dragons.) And since koi are Asian in origin, Sheldon Harnick has chosen to deliver the narrative in the form of haiku verses. The union of photographs and verses makes a charming and artistically satisfying combination.
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