Written for:  Carpe Diem #1635 “Go get yourself a saijiki and read it many times”. Kigo: butterfly


“First I love to give you a little bit more background on the classical kigo (seasonword):

Nature provides us with various phenomenon during the seasons, but NOT with words about them.

We humans make up words, classify them, write poetry with them and collect them in almanacs.
The Japanese have been the first to put their seasonal words into collections, call the short poems HAIKU and archived them in books called SAIJIKI, that is why even today as haiku poets we stick to these human conventions and we use these books as reference for our own haiku.”

“All these kigo (seasonwords) were gathered in a so called Saijiki: A Japanese saijiki is a handbook of the culture of Japan, a travelouge through their many festivals, a description of their food and drink, a celebration of their nature.

The first advise of a haiku teacher (sensei) in Japan is always:
Go get yourself a saijiki and read it many times.”

wake butterfly –
it’s late, we’ve miles
to go together

© Matsuo Basho

A beauty by my sensei, Basho (1644-1694), and here is another one, also by Basho:

wings of a butterfly
how many times do they flutter
over roof and wall

cobweb scattered
by the fluttering of wings
a blue butterfly

on the verandah
a yellowish butterfly
the light of sun down

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

Here is my attempt:

winged stained glass
decorates the lavender
monarch butterfly


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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2 Responses to butterfly

  1. macalder02 says:

    They invented these haikus to give us some of the most beautiful poems expressed in three lines. Very good your review to know more about them.


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