At the Floating Market in Bangkok, each vendor sits in a tiny motionless canoe, selling minute quantities of food: seeds, a few eggs, bananas, coconuts, mangoes, pimentos...From himself to his merchandise, including his vessel, everything is small. Occidental food, heaped up, dignified, swollen to the majestic, linked to a certain operation of prestige, always tends toward the heavy, the grand, the abundant, the copious; the Oriental follows the converse movement, and tends toward the infinitesimal: the cucumber’s future is not its accumulation or its thickening, but its division, its tenuous dispersal, as this haiku puts it:
Its juice runs
Drawing spider legs
Quite interesting, as it sums up the whole ethos of haiku, its size, its suggestive power, and its contrast to Occidental, Western poetry and hence its contrasting outlook at life.