Friday Squid Blogging: Poetry

"The Squid Seller's Call" by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

The squid seller's call
mingles with the voice
of the cuckoo

Translated by Robert Hass.

Posted on January 20, 2006 at 3:38 PM • 20 Comments

Comments

Kel-nageJanuary 20, 2006 5:09 PM

What's not with the squid stuff lately? All kudos to Bruce, he's talking about something he seems interested in, other than security.

RichJanuary 20, 2006 8:17 PM

In the '04 Tour de France, people started making a big deal out of Lance Armstrong wearing black socks. I'm pretty sure he did it even more after that just to mess with people's minds.

In "Secrets and Lies" Bruces talks about people telling him it was a security risk for his mail server to report what software and version it was using. So he changed to report some old version of Sendmail, just to shut them up. So then they wrote about how he was using an insecure version of Sendmail.

Sometimes people make mountains out of molehills, and sometimes people give us molehills so we'll make mountains out of them.

TrevorJanuary 20, 2006 10:10 PM

What do you do if you don't have a cat AND your mail server is insecure and you have an abnormal fear of squids but you still want to read Bruce's blog?

another_bruceJanuary 20, 2006 11:57 PM

i wonder what it is the squid sellers buy
that is half so precious as the stuff they sell.

davyJanuary 21, 2006 2:06 AM

Surely it was a mistake to translate that. Maybe the Japanese have a lovely and sonorous word for squid, but in English the nuances come out all wrong. There's just no way that a cuckoo's sultry tones can mingle with someone screaming, "SQUIIIIIID!" As drifting autumn leaves conceal the depths of a pond, it must be that Teacher is delivering to us a parable whose apparent incongruity conceals a more profound meaning. Let us meditate upon the implications for security of the way of the cuckoo.

Davi OttenheimerJanuary 21, 2006 2:52 PM

Bruce, you're too modest. I suspect you could wax poetic about the squid and security...perhaps something like:

The squid grabs its eggs
caressing and washing them
as the trawlers trawl

Speaking of interpretation, Marylin Chin's poem "The Floral Apron" has an interesting take on squid and Chinese culture, the family, etc.

http://www.math.buffalo.edu/~sww/poetry2/...

The poem ends with:

And although we have traveled far
we would never forget that primal lesson
-on patience, courage, forbearance,
on how to love squid despite squid,
how to honor the village, the tribe,
the floral apron.

dhasenJanuary 21, 2006 4:01 PM

Said Trevor:
"What do you do if you don't have a cat AND your mail server is insecure and you have an abnormal fear of squids but you still want to read Bruce's blog?"

1. Get a cat. Or if you're allergic to cats, get a chinchilla. Chinchillas are good.
2. Secure your mail server. You can do this on the way to the pet store; everyone else is too busy talking on cell phones to notice you tapping away at your laptop and borrowing any available wifi network to ssh into your work machine.
3. Make an rss feed for the blog, filtering out any post containing the word 'squid'. Alternately, don't read the blog on Fridays.

another_bruceJanuary 21, 2006 8:35 PM

@davy
maybe the japanese have a lovely, sonorous word for squid, i don't know, but it could be worse. after the octopus convention, i give you........................
decapus.
because it has ten tentacles. i'm in a restaurant and the waiter asks me if i want the tender young grilled octopus or some tasty flash-fried decapus in panko breading, i'll ask him, can i add those together, divide by two and get two nonapuses?

Davi OttenheimerJanuary 22, 2006 1:50 PM

@ another_bruce and davy

Indeed, the word is "ika", which might sound like a cuckoo if the seller is yelling. And if they have a dry sense of humor they could throw in a "Ika wa ikaga?"

I found another connection with birds:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/...

"Ika is generally written with phonetic kana characters, most likely because of the unusual kanji characters it has been assigned. It is written 'thieving crow,' because the bird has been known to swoop down and grab squid as they float lazily on the ocean's surface or hang on the massive drying racks used to make the jerky-like surume-ika."

Here's another attempt...

Trawler nets glide by
Mother squid caressing eggs
in obscurity

...the poetry of information security

mud and flameJanuary 24, 2006 6:00 PM

I wanted to jump on the squid security poetry bandwagon, but since I don't have the right kind of brain for haiku, I offer two slightly irregular double dactyls:

Decapod decapod,
Squid facing predators
Squirt clouds of ink and are
Hidden from view,

Losing pursuers through
Melanogenesis --
Bond's Aston Martin was
Nothing so new.


Camouflage comedy:
How can male cuttlefish
Sneak into harems with-
out getting caught?

Ape female coloring
Chromatophorically!
All are cold-blooded, yet
Some like it hot.

HarryJanuary 27, 2006 7:24 PM

"Squid Lips" is a name applied to a woodsman who waxes on in Irish Lyrical Prose about "Widow Makers" - branches high on a tree which sometimes fall on loggers who are attempting to cut the tree with a chain saw.

CuttlefishMarch 24, 2009 9:40 PM

I just discovered your blog; I really like what I have seen. (and not just the friday squid blogging)

Anyway, I am sure you already know of Pharyngula, which also has a Friday Cephalopod post, but I doubt you have heard of my little blog--yes, I am replying to a three year old post, but only because I have done more than my share of cephalopod verse...

e.g., http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2007/10/...

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