It’s amazing how quickly the time passes. Seems like just yesterday I announced the 4th Annual Hexapod Haiku Challenge (was actually almost two months ago), and now there is only a week left to submit entries! I don’t think we’ll reach 514 entries, like last year, but we’ll see. One thing that surprises me is that we have no entries through Twitter yet, despite the vibrant haiku community there!
So here’s a great source for inspiration that will undoubtedly fire up everyone’s creative juices: David G. Lanoue’s Haiku of Kobayashi Issa database. 10,000 of Issa’s haiku are available for you perusal and targeted searching! Here’s one for dragonfly, which returns these delightful reads (among 51 total haiku about dragonflies):
tombô no hako shite iru ya kiku no hana
takes a crap…
I love the contrast – a delicate, honorable, inspiring scene.
tombô no shiri de naburu ya sumida-gawa
dips his butt…
Seems like this should be her butt – perhaps a female laying eggs? The image definitely conjures memories from hiking along the Eno River in summer.
chô tombo fuki-tobasaretsu hehirimushi
butterfly and dragonfly
are blown away…
I assume this haiku alludes to a stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), but there certainly are numerous other stinky insects out there!
Too bad we don’t also have databases for the other great haiku masters, as it would be fun to read their poems about insects. Do they focus on different taxa? Do they have a different tone? I suppose I could always comb through books to find their works! We’ll have about 1000 haiku ourselves by the end of this challenge, 99.9% of which focus on insects and their relatives. Maybe we’ll make ours available through a searchable database … hmmmmm …
In the meantime we’d love to read your haiku about hexapods! Deadline: 11:59pm, March 20th (first day of spring!) either…
- as an email to email@example.com OR
- as tweets (be sure to add @ncsuinsects #HexapodHaiku) OR
- on 3×5 cards (one per haiku; cards will not be returned) mailed to the following address:
NCSU Insect Museum
Department of Entomology
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695 USA