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Haiku Classic: Aug. 19, 2018

shibotaru-ni terashi-o kakeru hotaru kana

    --

    a firefly

    sheds light on another's

    death

    --

    NAGATA Koi (1900-1997). From "A Dream Like This World. One Hundred Haiku by Nagata Koi" (2008)

    The existence of fireflies seems almost to depend on their ability to shed light -- at least it defines them in the human consciousness. Fireflies light up to communicate their readiness to mate, so this act conveys that they are virile and full of life. One such firefly's light illuminates the corpse of another firefly, making us acutely aware of the cycle of life and death.

    Selected, translated and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay

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