THE WINDBELL IS SILENT

You will recall that very old hokku often used two things joined by a third.  Yayu wrote an interesting hokku that uses two things also, but provides the third that unites them in an interesting way:

The windbell is silent;
The heat
Of the clock.

It is a very hot summer day without a breath of wind.  The windbell hangs unmoving and silent.  The only sound in the heavy heat is the steady, regular, dry, metallic tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock of the clock (obviously pre-digital days).  We feel the persistence of the summer heat in the ceaseless ticking that marks off the seconds and minutes and hours of the hot, oppressive day with the same weariness we feel in William Blake’s lines,

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the sun….

In Yayu’s hokku, the third element that joins and harmonizes the silence of the windbell and the steady ticking of the clock is of course the heat!

David

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