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Monday, June 27, 2016

Issa haiku

even in the well bucket
croaking all night...
a frog

- Issa 1803

tsurube ni mo hito yo sugi keri naku kawazu

This haiku has the prescript, "Heaven, Wind, Coupling": a reference to Chinese divination, specifically to Hexagram 44 of the I Ching. When Heaven (Qian) is the upper trigram and Wind (Xun) is the lower, the resulting hexagram is Gou (Japanese = ), the sign for copulation or "coming to meet." Issa's geomantic joke is on the frog, singing his mating song all night, eager to copulate, yet without much chance of success inside the well bucket.

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