David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

31 December 2018

New Year's Eve : a border passes by

As observed by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827)
New Year’s morning :
the ducks on the pond
quack and quack.
As observed by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
Year after year
on the monkey’s face 
a monkey’s face.
Below, a haiga (haiku and image) by Basho. The drawing depicts a New Year's Eve home altar offering of Kagami mochi which is traditionally broken and eaten in a ritual called kagami biraki (mirror opening).

collection FIAPCE 
We don't have a translation of the above Basho haiku, but here's a thematic contender, translated by Jane Reichhold :
ariake mo
misoka ni chikashi
mochi no oto 
dawn moon
close to the end of the year
pounding rice 
... and as translated for NYE by TAR :

    A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
    someone looks at something...