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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,668,620


In General crow Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #80 New 09-02-2011 05:26 AM
Tears of the Crow by h koppdelaney used under creative commons licence

Over the gulfs of dream
Flew a tremendous bird
Further and further away
Into a moonless black

Theodore Roethke, Night Crow

Crow saw the herded mountains, steaming in the morning,
And he saw the sea
Dark-spined, with the whole earth in its coils.

Ted Hughes, Crow Alights

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said "Nevermore."

Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

Edogawa Ranpo was an influential Japanese mystery writer. His name was an hommage to Edgar Allan Poe. The names sound roughly the same. Detective Conan is a very popular manga and animé about a boy detective. The main character is called Conan Edogawa after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edogawa Ranpo.

I mentioned crows in the blog post about the sounds of summer. I have heard them pause their cawing for a beat when children mimicked them. The crows in Japan are big and menacing. Perhaps they are ravens. They seem to know when to expect the burnable garbage so it has to be covered with nets. Crow in Japanese is karasu.

Some restaurants in Tokyo display their meals outside the entrance. These are usually wax models from Kappabashi, the catering supplies centre in Tokyo. A famous one is a plate of pasta with a fork suspended in the air held up by strands of spaghetti. But for daily specials sometimes the restaurants put the real meal outside on a small table by the door. I was walking past one of those restaurants when a huge crow swooped in front of me, seized something off the plate and swiftly flew off, all in one motion.

I don't know if any martial arts styles or techniques are named after the crow. There are many crane styles. One judo technique is called a swallow counter tsubame gaeshi. The attacker does a fast foot sweep and the defender instantly moves his leg and does a counter sweep. It's a cool name. It's just like a swallow diving at the ground and flying up again.

In a blog post about Zatoichi I mentioned Brandon Lee's mysterious death on the set of The Crow. The crow is a mysterious and slightly sinister bird. The name for a group of crows is a murder.


Theodore Roethke, Night Crow

poems by Theodore Roethke

Ted Hughes, Crow Alights

poems by Ted Hughes

Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

e-book from project gutenberg: Edgar Allan Poe, Complete Poetical Works

e-book from project gutenberg: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

my columns on aikiweb:
Improvised Weapons No.1: The Umbrella
Unbalance - Feet of Clay
Half a Tatami
Zen in the Art of Aikido

© niall matthews 2011
Views: 5764 | Comments: 11

RSS Feed 11 Responses to "crow"
#11 09-13-2011 07:59 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Francis. I wondered about ravenous but it seems to have a different origin. In the States you have the phrase eat crow. In the UK we say eat humble pie which sounds as if it might taste better but I don't think it does.
#10 09-11-2011 03:03 PM
aikishihan Says:
Great topic, Niall, with interesting sidebars to the conversation. I rather would prefer a "murder of crows" to an "unkindness of ravens"., although having to make a choice would be a rather "Poe" one indeed.
#9 09-06-2011 05:39 AM
niall Says:
Another related point. Oolong tea in Japanese is ウーロン茶 烏竜茶 烏龍茶 crow dragon tea. Cool name!
#8 09-03-2011 09:21 AM
niall Says:
By the way there's a connection there to the martial arts. Jean-Jacques Burnel the bass player of the Stranglers does karate. Apparently he has 6 dan now and teaches it. A more recent interview.
#7 09-03-2011 07:47 AM
niall Says:
I ddin't include any music for this post because I was thinking of crows. Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows and the Black Crowes... Cool artists but the connection was a little forced. Then a good friend suggested The Raven by the Alan Parsons Project. This is another version by Gregorian. And classic punk: The Raven by the Stranglers.
#6 09-02-2011 11:27 PM
niall Says:
That's a great point, thanks Peter. The Japanese soccer team has that yata-garasu emblem on their shirt badges. Three-legged crow on wikipedia.
#5 09-02-2011 11:12 PM
Hello Niall, And there is also yata-garasu 八咫烏, the giant crow with three legs, which helped Kamu Yamato [ = the Emperor Jimmu] in his eastern march and conquest of Yamato. Best wishes, PAG
#4 09-02-2011 11:04 PM
niall Says:
Hey Graham - that gives me an excuse to use a crow quote I didn't include. From Shakespeare's Henry VI: The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees; The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chatt'ring pies in dismal discord sung. Pies are magpies.
#3 09-02-2011 10:56 PM
niall Says:
Thanks Carina. Very cool references. Hugin and Munin left at dawn and returned at dusk. They perched on Odin's shoulders and whispered everything they had seen during the day. Hugin and Munin fly each day over the spacious earth. I fear for Hugin, that he come not back, yet more anxious am I for Munin (from the Poetic Edda quoted in that article).
#2 09-02-2011 07:50 PM
Interesting. I've never really thought about or watched crows. Suppose I've always equated them with those old horror movies or witchcraft. Carinas just given me a new perspective there. Oh I've just forgotten the name of those black and white birds that are known for taking glittery things or anything really, like thieves. I've watched them and I call them the bullies of the bird world. They're like gangsters. Regards.G.
#1 09-02-2011 10:03 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Nice post! It is a pity that crows are considered a bit sinister because they are of the most intelligent birds.Odin in the north mythology , the god of war, but also wisdom, magic, poetry, prophecy, had a raven on each shoulder Huginn(the thought) and Muninn(the memory) that flew all over the world and brought him information. And King Arthur of the tale of Camelot was said to have not died but have been transformed by magic into a Raven.

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