Plum Blossoms

Written for:  Carpe Diem #906 Ume-no-hana (ume flower)
Today our prompt is Ume-no-hana (ume flower) and it’s a classical kigo for the end of winter, or the last part of winter. Ume-no-hana (ume flower) is mostly translated as “plum” but it’s more an “apricot”.

Next to the Cherry blossom, the plum blossoms are loved by Japanese poets and where enjoyed even more than the cherry in the Heian peroid.

They are a symbol of refinement, purity and nobility and also a reminder of past love. Japanese tradition holds that the ume functions as a protective charm against evil, so the ume is traditionally planted in the northeast of the garden, the direction from which evil is believed to come.

shiraume buson

Credits: shira ume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri


When the east wind blows,
Send me your perfume,
Blossoms of
the plum:
Though your lord be absent,
Forget not the spring.

© Sugawara Michizane (845 – 903) (Tr. G. Bownas A. Thwaite)

scent of plum blossoms
on the misty mountain path
a big rising sun

© Matsuo Basho

My attempt:

Pure plum blossoms
remember that special spring
protect me

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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3 Responses to Plum Blossoms

  1. Bastet says:

    Nice interpretation Sara and right in the spirit of the preceding verses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice. Especially the word, pure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie Elena says:

    So lovely, and the “protect me” intrigues.

    Liked by 1 person

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