Kirikiri, Japan and Massachusetts

A famous Japanese poem dating 889AD
filled with imitative sounds of autumn insects and weaving:


Fune o samu
Miya hata-ori-me
Kudamaku on(o)
Kirikiri to soro



kirikiri: a buzzing, creaking sound like those crickets and grasshoppers make
(cf. kirigirisu: grasshopper. this word is also applied to
Amaterasu herself, as an alternative name for her associated with the sounds of autumn and weaving.)

Alan L. Miller's translation of this anonymous poem:


Is it the cold wind
Or perhaps the work
Of the weaver woman---
that rapid buzzing sound?
[pp. 40-41, note 39]


My translation:



These quick grasshopper sounds---
are they the creak and whirr
of a woman weaving
or autumn's wind unwinding?

 

 [Alan L. Miller, "Ame No Miso-Ori Me (The Heavenly Weaving Maiden): The Cosmic Weaver in Early Shinto Myth and Ritual," History of Religions 24.1 (August 1984): 27-48.]

 Emily Dickinson:

The earth has many keys.
Where melody is not
Is the unknown peninsula.
Beauty is nature's fact.
 
But witness for her land,
And witness for her sea,
The cricket is her utmost
Of elegy to me.
 

poem #1775 (Johnson edition), exact date unknown.

 

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