Summer Singers – Insect Haiku

For some of us, a constant buzzing, clicking, humming sound is the very epitome of summer. What would a balmy July night in the garden be without the never-ending songs of crickets and cicadas? The envelope of sound is so constant, so all-consuming, that we would feel lost without it. In fact, when the cicadas suddenly stop singing, the silence is deafening! The following haiku and paintings celebrate the summer singers who keep our gardens lively and full of sound!

Katydid's coloring matches the leaves and helps keep her safe from predators

Haiku might be described as “an art form of paying attention”. The syllabic count of 5-7-5 is not so much a strict rule as it is a reminder of brevity and focus. The haiku poet notices one moment in time and with a few choice words, paints a verbal picture of that moment.

Summer insects are highly revered by both haiku poets and painters, historical and contemporary. The blue-green of the katydid is not only beautiful, but also blends into the surrounding leaves. Like crickets, cicadas and grasshoppers, the katydid fills our summer gardens with song.

Grasshopper’s song in
Moonlight – someone’s
Survived the flood.
~ Issa

 

At the altar
in the chief place,
cries a cricket.
~Issa

 

Insects on a bough,
floating downriver
still singing.
~Issa
Persimmon and Cicada by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849)

Cicada mystery:
Within wild cacophony
A great, bright stillness.
~Juma

Such utter silence!
even the crickets’ singing . . .
Muffled by hot rocks.
~Basho

Gourd Vine, Cicada, and Empty Shell by Keisai Eisen - Japanese, Edo period

A cicada shell;
it sang itself
utterly away.
~ Basho

Wooden Japanese carving of a cicada demonstrates its cultural significance

Cicada song stops.
What is this sudden silence?
Summer’s end – too soon!
~ Juma

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It takes a real talent to tell a story in ...
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Love this Emily, nice and tense throughout, culminating with that ...
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I’m really glad to hear that! Leena Auckel did an ...
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