Sunday, March 18, 2012

Basho Revisited, hidden blossoms

Also published for: Haiku My Heart

As you could have read already Basho was a traveling haiku poet. He made several journeys during his lifetime. Especially in the last ten years of his life.
The following haiku he wrote in summer 1693 they have both the same preface. It could be of course that Basho wrote the first one and re-wrote it later to the second one, but that isn't for sure.

kobi bito no   kokoro ni mo niyo   shii no hana

the traveling heart
should be like
hidden blossoms

shii no hana no   kokoro ni mo niyo   kiso no tabi

hidden flowers
the heart resembles
a trip to Kiso

The preface of these two was:
'As Kyoriku leaves for Hikone by the Kiso Route".
The name of the tree (Shii) is the castanopsis cupsidata which bears inconspicuous flowers. Well ... let me go with the flow and look a bit closer to these haiku. Both are about traveling, both speak about 'hidden flowers'. The line 'hidden flowers' is about the inconspicuous flowers of the Shii, but can easily be seen as a line that points to hidden meanings, or secrets. It even can mean that 'hidden flowers' points to Kyoriku as a friend or his boyfriend. Both haiku can secretly point to his love for man. Basho feels sad as Kyoriku leaves him behind to travel alone to Kiso. But that's ... just a thought, another interpretation of the haiku.

Can I write a new haiku inspired on the haiku by Basho? We will see ....

in a tiny corner
of the mansion's backyard
blooming ice flowers

Credits: Ice flowers

In the same sense and tone maybe another haiku which I wrote several years ago.

a lonely flower
my companion
for one night

'till next time


  1. Both poems are very moving. The Mesembryanthemum really is inconspicuous until the summer blooms come :)