watamushi ya soko wa kabane no ideyuku mon
that gate for the corpse
from “Gendai no Haiku” (Modern Haiku), edited by Shobin Hirai, Kodansha, Tokyo, 1996
Fay’s Note: Hakyo Ishida (1913-1969) This is one of Hakyo’s signature haiku written during his stay at tuberculosis sanatorium.
‘snowflake insect’ is my made-up word. According to the dictionary, it is called ‘wooly aphid’ in English. The name ‘watamushi’(literal translation:‘cotton-insect’) or ‘yukimushi’ (literal translation: ‘snow-insect’) is given because its body is covered with white wax-like secretion and it appears when the snow season begins.