i have learned so much, and met so many fascin- ating people!
thank you all for the many treasures you've added to this blog.
it's also the 16th anniversary of beginning my 12-variety iris garden!
dead my old fine hopesand dry my dreamsbut still...iris, blue each springshushiri 1
kakitsubata yori ano niji wa okoriken
irises-- Issa imagines that the rainbow has arisen from blooming irises--the intense, showy colors of the flowers continuing in bold streks upward, into the sky, forming the rainbow. It's interesting that "iris" derives from the Greek word for "rainbow." Issa could not have known this, but he intuits the same connection that exists in many Western languages. The rainbow is a flower in the sky; irises are rainbows on earth.
where that rainbow
waga io ya hana no chiisai kakitsubata
at my hut
an iris with the tiniest
Issa bends down low to acknolwedge and appreciate a small flower. There is a world of meaning in this simple act of paying reverent attention to things that other people ignore. The tiny-petaled iris is as precious as the big, bold chrysanthemum. Issa's approach to the living universe is democratic.
sekirei wa kami no tsukai ka kakitsubata
running messages, wagtail The wagtail (sekirei) is a bird with long, wagging tail feathers. Though he doesn't say so explicitly, Issa implies that the setting of the haiku is a Shinto shrine. 2
for the shrine's god?