Today’s Haiku (November 29, 2010)

綿虫やそこは屍(かばね)の出でゆく門   石田破郷

watamushi ya soko wa kabane no ideyuku mon

snowflake insect—

that gate for the corpse

leaving here

Hakyo Ishida


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.

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