Tortoise sound?

A few weeks ago it sprouted crimson, then buds  grew day after day in the sun – the peony below…

to a foolish question

thinking over the right answer:

tortoise cries

Do tortoises cry? The saijiki almanac says that, although in truth they don’t, Tame-ie (1198-1275) compelled it to do so in one of his waka. The ‘tortoise cries’ kigo implies spring calm.

9 responses to “Tortoise sound?

  1. Exactly, I might be April-foolish.
    What Alan says is that his African tortoise sheds tears for its eyes to be protected from drying and what I said, it produces a sound. Actually, there is another explanation that it makes a voice when breathing or calling for a female. Both are doubtful, though. In the saijiki, even a mud snail cries (sounds)! What calm days in spring haiku! Thanks Alan for African tortoise information. It is a new topic for me to discuss with my haiku friends about the kigo and English/Japanese languages. Much appreciated.

  2. Hello Hisashi!

    How are you, my haiku friend?

    I believe our English language kiyose ( I can only find two based in Japanese heritage) may only mention worms crying, turtles singing,
    but never a tortoise crying!

    Might you mean an utterance vs. shedding a tear?

    I like your poem very much for its unconventional narrative.

  3. Hi, Willie.
    As Tito mentions, we usually don’t distinguish tortoise and turtle: we call them “kame”. Acoording to my J/E & E/J dictionaries, the former lives in freshwater and the latter, in seawater. As the former is quite popular to us in ponds and streams, the kigo might mean it. It doen’t actually make a sound but it does in haiku thanks to Tame-ie! ‘Might you mean an utterance vs. shedding a tear?’ Yes, it utters in Japanese haiku! Thank you for your comment.

  4. Thanks, Gabi.
    Kame no kankin – あたたかに亀看経す馬の塚 角川源義(atataka ni/ kame kankin su/ uma no tsuka, by Kadokawa Genyoshi) Literally, “warmly (calmly)/ a tortoise recites the sutra:/ the horses’ (grave) mound.
    This time, regretting the spring end, I have tried to let a mud snail cry (sing, utter, recite – what can I say? I can hear this kigo voice only in mind) in the new post today. Tomorrow is the beginning of summer (立夏). hisashi