Poetry — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA

“One is reminded of Montaigne’s acerbic comment: ‘Men under stress are fools, and fool themselves.’ ”

Michael Crichton — The Andromeda Strain

June 2 2022 — Matsuo Bashō was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. After centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku. The CIA could learn a few things from his poetry. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST : 50 Years Ago — Pablo Neruda Awarded Literature Nobel Prize (October 21 1971) — Was Neruda a KGB Agent?

RELATED POST : 60 Years Ago — Hounded by the FBI, Nobel Prize Ernest Hemingway Ends His Life (July 2, 1961)

RELATED POST : Poetry as Insurgent Art: Pity the Nation [Lawrence Ferlinghetti]

RELATED POST: Was Noble Prize John Steinbeck a CIA Agent?

Perhaps, one of his most famous haiku is the following which he wrote during a summer retreat in a mountain temple:

閑かさや

岩にしみ入る

蝉の声

Allow me to first provide the most accurate translation I can think of.

The feeling of being free from noise!

The sound of the cicadas

penetrates deep inside the big rock.

Now, the beauty of poetry is that each of us is allowed to interpret it the way he likes. Here is my own understanding of this masterpiece.

The noise of the cicadas is powerful enough to penetrate deep inside a big rock, but it can not reach inside the mind of a wise man.

In times of stress and chaos, it is only natural to be confused and distracted by the noise around us. Yet, one must be disciplined and stay focused.

In these most trying moments, we have a duty to think clearly and precisely.

Despite a $85 billion annual budget, it took the US Intelligence Community and the CIA task force more than 5 years to realize that the primary cause of the Havana Syndrome was just the chirping of Cicadas.

And yet, from the very beginning, the CIA had all the information needed to rule out microwave attacks.

“Men are tormented by the opinions they have of things, and not the things themselves.”

Michel de Montaigne

REFERENCES

US Intelligence Agencies Are Trying To Solve Scientific Mysteries And Failing Badly — BuzzFeed News

=

Poetry — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA

“It is the role of intelligence to identify and characterize threats to the nation and to sift what is likely true from what is probably false. But the public has gotten very little useful or meaningful information from our intelligence agencies. They could do better.”

Steven Aftergood — Federation of American Scientists

This entry was posted in Poem and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s