Notes On Attention Paid

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02 Haiku of Basho

… i learn about… Risshaku-ji, a mountain temple, an unusually well kept quiet place1… i morning-dream of going there… i know i am unlikely to, would be a cool adventure though… the more i read the Haas translations, the more i think they might not be so good… the first Haiku i read this morning …

Stillness—

the cidada’s cry,

_drills into the rocks.

… i have no knowledge of the Japanese, but i would never think of the noise cicadas make as a cry, is that really the best translation of the Japanese?… it is loud and i can imagine it drilling rocks… it’s a high pitched washboard sound, that’s how i’d describe it… or, simply, cicada noise, most of us know it… still, i do get the image…

… the next one, fifth month rains swell a local river… as they do Fishkill Creek at home, something i have photographed many times… Haiku strike me as minimalist notes on attention paid… can i replicate this in a photograph?…


  1. Basho, translation Robert Hass, The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson and Issa, The Echo Press, 1994. [return]