Monday, May 09, 2011

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

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At 12/10/2011 8:28 PM, Blogger mucci blogging said...

Thank you for a wonderful welcome to your interests and activities. Your blog is quite entertaining, and I have read it twice over to more fully enjoy its many insights and revealed sensitivities. Your talents are many: writing, photographing design--and more. My blog is rather sterile in comparison! I had hoped to respond much earlier, but two art courses keep me busy 24/7 this Fall. (I lost my first message to you. So this is a rewrite. I always lose stuff into cyber space.) I try to hit the correct button this time. Best wishes. Paul


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