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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Issa: Do not kill the fly!


A female mosquito of the Culicidae family (Culiseta longiareolata), about 10 mm in length, Lisbon region, Portugal: photo by Alvesgaspar, November 2007

.....Mosquitos in the day-time;
Buddha hides them
.....Behind him.

.....A matter for congratulation!
I have been bit
.....By this year's mosquito too.

.....A glimpse of a mosquito:
From now on
.....An old man's world.

.....The bean-curd of last night
Gleams whitely:
.....Striped mosquitos hover.

.....Do not kill the fly!
See how it wrings its hands,
.....Its feet!

Issa: haiku translated by R. H. Blyth in Haiku, Volume 3: Summer-Autumn, 1952

Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation advertisement: Fortune, August 1943 (via full table)

Union Carbide Corporation advertisement
: Saturday Evening Post, June 1949 (via full table)

Black fly: photo by Mark Span, 19 May 2011


Anonymous said...

These are extremely wonderful.

"The bean-curd of last night
Gleams whitely"

My determination to buy nothing until the depression has lifted and dispersed has broken down and I must now begin purchasing Blyth.



Johnny says that the mosquito's nose makes it look like an aardvark. . . .


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, green motion of leaves on branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

system which had been space
of objects in it, and

as object, present as thing,
actual subject matter

silver of sunlight in fog against ridge,
wingspan of gull gliding across channel

TC said...


Blyth's books are the only ones I can think of that provide an effective antidote to the Depression.

(While selecting and posting these, I thought -- What a rare sense of humour, both on the part of the poet and on the part of the translator.)

Steve and Johnny,

actual subject matter

for the day was a meditation upon Johnny's observation, intuitively brilliant as usual.

I did learn (or perhaps imagine?) that there is not only a certain strange resemblance but a curious sympathy, perhaps bred of affinity, between these two wondrous creatures.

For example:

An Aardvark having a nap while scratching his elbow after a visit from his friend Mosquito.



Johnny wonders how the aardvark could have a mosquito friend if the mosquito is biting it. . . .

TC said...

The aardvark wonders that too, Johnny, when he wakes up.

aditya said...

Pardon me while I dilute the element of joy .. well Tom you did that in the place, by posting the Union Carbide pictures. But that is as the saying goes.. Both the beauty and the misery of it. It sends jitters down my spine every single timeto think of the havoc caused in Bhopal. And to think their CEO escaped scot free.. continuing to live his American dream.


And here

By the way there have been a million mosquitoes in our room all through the summer.

early morning mosquitoes-
  fifty folded knees
all of them Buddha

aditya said...

The keyboard and the screens in this 'cyber cafe' belong tot he stone age. No wonders ..

Skip Fox said...

I was told the mosquito's "note" is a high-C.

TC said...

A Stone Age high "c" --

skeeter jitters on

the Buddha's folded knees.

aditya said...

Oh this is lovely!