Notes On Attention Paid

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The Haiku of Issa

… less progress on actual unraveling of meaning in these haiku today, but, several books on the subject, one of which i have ordered for my library… one thing that i knew, but which is confirmed in my exploration today, no single translation can transmit all the meaning possibilities packed into a great haiku… numerous translations are required…

  • on turning fifty: from this day on, it’s all profit…
    • was fifty the life expectancy when Issa was alive?, that would seem to be the implication…
  • a butterfly flitting, a child crawling, repeat…
    • another one of those ordinary moments
    • but also, butterflies are symbols of rebirth and transformation and are thought to be the souls of the departed… so the image of child and butterfly is one of a conversation between a new being and an old soul…
  • on sea slugs not seaming Japanese…
  • writing poems to please the rich is not art…
    • i can relate to this… art is too much driven by wealth now as it was then…
  • envy of the child being scolded, end of the year…
    • to be a child again?, from the vantage point of old age?…
  • cuckoo singing, nothing special to do, even for the burweed…