Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Poetry Wednesday--Asei

Flowers of the grass
scarcely shown, and withered
name and all 

This haiku by Asei made me think of walking through a grave yard on a hot summer's day at the end of the dry season. The withered grass is beautifully juxtaposed (in my mind) with the deceased under the ground. Even their names are disappearing from the worn out grave stones.

I found it on a website of Japanese Haiku Death Poetry, written by Zen monks on the verge of death and thought it appropriate to post for the recent Memorial Day Holiday.

It reminds me of the end of American Poet Emily Dickinson's poem, I died for beauty.

and so as kinsmen met a night
and talked between the rooms
until the moss had reached our lips
and covered up
our names

For me, this also evokes images of death and the grave. Both are eerily similar in their imagery.

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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