Sunday, January 22, 2012

Basho revisited, plowing a field

Basho was also a tanka poet although there are no tanka of him published. He is known by his haiku, but uses also tanka techniques in his haiku.
In the following haiku he uses words that are usually in tanka as we will see in the preface and comment by Jane Reichhold.

hatake utsu   oto ya arashi no   sakura asa

plowing a field
the sound of a violent storm
morning blossoms

Preface: 'On March 11, at the shrine of Shirahige in Araki village'. Usually in tamka the words 'arashi' (a violent storm) and 'sakura' (cherry blossoms) are combined in the fear that the blossoms will be blown down in a storm. So the 'wit' here is to combine these words with another (much more common) meaning.

In an earlier episode I already told how anxious the Japanese were as the wind blows while all the delicate blossoms are in full bloom. The Japanese are intwined with nature and when nature is in danger, the Japanese feel hurt.
The delicate blossoms of the cherry trees and plum trees are famous for haiku, so I think that I will try a new haiku with one of these famous kigo )season word).

a late spring storm
torns apart the delicacy
of cherry blossom

For the Japanese this haiku is painful. As we know they are intwined with nature, but also a late spring storm that torns apart the delicate cherry blossoms is part of nature and ... when the blossoms have left with the wind they can grow those delicious cherries in summer. And that is also nature.

Alright I will give another few new haiku on the delicacy of the blossoms. I was inspired.

do not scatter
the lovely cherry blossoms
oh violent storm

so fragile
the white plum blossoms
in the evening sun

Ah! that fragrance
delicate cherry blossoms
in the spring rain


  1. these are elegant.

    Incredible piece,

    Hope all is well,
    Appreciated your support along the way,
    Welcome sharing a random piece with us today,

    You rock.
    Keep it up.

    1. Thank you for visiting my haiku-blog about Basho. Thanks also for the kind remarks you have given.
      Everything is ok here and I am very busy with my other blogs and since a week or two a website on google.
      I love the Gooseberry Garden's poetry picnic and I am glad that the contributors of the poetry picnic can find the way to my weblog(s).

      Soon to come a new weblog on poetry.

      the poetry picnic
      joining this with haiku
      the scent of cherries

  2. This is a beautiful blog. I shall come again

    1. Thank you for visiting Dave, you're always very welcome to visit my blog and comments are always welcome.