Plum Flowers

Written for:  Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #106 – Turn Back Time – (2) Revise that haiku by Taigi:

“This week I love to “turn back time” to another wonderful special feature we have had here at our wonderful Haiku Kai. In October 2013 I started our special feature “Revise That Haiku” with a haiku by Taigi (1709-1771). Taigi was a contemporary and friend of Buson. I will first give the haiku (including the Japanese Romaji) and then I will give the description of the moment which led to the haiku.”

arranging the plum-flowers,
I would enjoy them in the light of the lamp,
as if in the moonlight

© Taigi (1709-1771)

“The brevity of haiku is not something different from, but a part of the poetical life; it is not only a form of expression but a mode of living more immediately, more closely to life as may be illustrated in the above haiku by Taigi.

The original of the above haiku is even more difficult, literally: “arranging the plum, as if the moon, I would savour, lamp-light” (Wabiru translated ‘enjoy’, ‘means’ to live a life of poetry in poverty). The poet has arranged the flowers in a vase, and wishes to see them in the light of the moon, but there being no moon, he lights the lamp instead, and adds its light to the poetry and the beauty of the flowers.”


Flourishing Plum Blossoms in the Moonlight

shadow on the wall
flourishing plum blossom
in the moon light

© Chèvrefeuille (October 2013) (our host)

Here is my attempt:

In full moon light
plum blossoms are scattered beauties
must remember vase

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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4 Responses to Plum Flowers

  1. I love the whimsical note in your last line!


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