In my house

by Kobayashi Issa

English version by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto
Original Language Japanese

In my house
mice and fireflies
get along.

-- from Zen Poetry: Let the Spring Breeze Enter, Translated by Lucien Stryk / Translated by Takashi Ikemoto

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/ Photo by qmnonic /

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Several of Issa's poems refer to fireflies. They seem to represent a luminous aspect of the awareness, that which hovers in quiet delight in the summer night.

Mice can suggest that part of the mind that scurries and scratches and gets into everything -- the busy mind that loves to hear itself squeak from every corner.

So, do your mice and fireflies get along?

In my house