Iris blue each spring....
This photo taken June 3, 2009. (really?)
I took photos of this same iris yesterday, May 8, 2011. It's been a warm week; the apple trees and daffodils are done blooming, hawthornes (that dreadful weed) have started. This weekend it's been cool. This iris and one more on the South side (palest lavender-white, both shorter earlier varieties, are in bloom. Along with, around town, the deep red-violet shorter, antique, early-blooming one.
Taller types, and the ones on the other side of the house have not started yet.
The title is from a haiku.
Reminded of things Japanese by a visit yesterday to Kodo Arts, an ephemeral seller of Japanese antiques. Gorgeous furniture. I found a couple of little fabric stamps - probably destined to inspire virtual batiks.
Once, that haiku was the cause of my being locked into the college library just before Christmas vacation!
I had it only in translation - I wanted the original in Japanese. I was reading Tale of Gengi (translated).
So, searching for the Japanese original of the haiku, I was in a back aisle on the top floor of the college library in my home town, in the Japanese written in Japanese section. Since I don't read the language, this was not simple.
I had been there for a couple of hours, sitting on the floor. (Ah, youth.) I guess I had been pretty quiet....
But they didn't make an announcement, or even dim the lights, when they closed early and left. It was still daylight.
I came out of the stacks to find myself alone and locked in. The day before vacation.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The denouement was anticlimactic - there was a phone; I called Security.
Oh, the haiku? Slightly altered translation:
Dead my old fine hopes
And dust my dreaming . . . but still
Iris blue each spring.
(Shushiki? His name appears both ways.
I can't find the haiku book my Dad gave me, when I was in high school, before we went to Japan.)
see haiku - public domain file, trans. Peter Beilenson 1955, from http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/jh/jh02.htm