22 October, 2014

Chinese, II

when I realise
the Tsinghua fireflies
are smartphones

1 comment:

Hobbes said...

My dear wife tells me romantic tales of "back in the mid 1990s" when she used to watch the fireflies at the famous bridge in Tsinghua University.

I was there last summer, giving my annual lecture and meeting (read: eating with) my collaborators. Ahah! Fireflies! By the bridge! Ah. Not fireflies. Smartphones...

Such is the rate of progress in Beijing, that hints of poesy remain in the hearts of those whom might have some contact with an age now departed. What will happen when the fireflies are not just gone from the bridge, but gone from living memory? This is modern Beijing.

The actual bridge at Tsinghua has previously appeared in "Beijing Subway I". However, haiga cannot simply illustrate the haiku - they have to add something. This image is another part of Tsinghua University - a part where the fireflies may still exist, because it is not open to the public: it is the old palace, backing onto the famous lakes. Maybe the branches of those hidden trees still have fireflies, and not smartphones.