Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #9, plum blossom

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new Carpe Diem Special, the last one for this month and also the last one with a haiku written by Issa. Our next haiku-master who will provides us with his haiku is Buson, also one of the four greatest haiku poets.
Today a haiku written by Issa on Pine Trees and Plum Blossom. I think this is an example of Issa's brilliance. Issa's brilliance is sometimes discussed, because there are several sources who state that Issa wasn't a haiku poet, but just a poet. I think however that Issa is for sure a haiku master and that he for sure can be mentioned in one breath with Basho, Buson and Shiki.
In Issa's haiku we can see, feel and read that he was a devotee of Buddha Amida, a sect of Buddhism.
This haiku I have chosen is (in my opinion) a masterpiece and in this masterpiece we can find Buddhism as Issa was devoted too.  

As we look closer to this haiku we see the strong pine tree rising to the sky, always green whole year through and the fragility of the plum blossom. In this is Buddhism ... eternity, but also transience. This haiku is balanced and the picture it paints is gorgeous.  
In this Issa humanized the plum blossom and suggests that it is resting on the roots of the pine tree on it's downward journey. The plum blossom will the food for the pine tree when completely decayed ... it becomes one with the pine tree. All is one ... a true Buddhist lesson.

Credits and Copyright: Pine Tree and Plum Blossom

matsu ga ne [ni] hito iki shite wa ume no hana
catching its breath
on the pine tree's root...
plum blossom
This haiku Issa wrote in 1805.
To write a new one inspired by this beauty of Issa will not be easy ... so good luck and have fun, be inspired and creative. Share your creativity with Carpe Diem.
My inspiration:
fragile plum blossom
struggles in the Spring Breeze -
petals fall in the mud  
even a pine tree
falls in love with the blooming plum -
just like humans
Well it was fun. I loved writing these haiku and this last Carpe Diem Special on Issa for you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers.
This Special will stay on 'till November 30th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our last prompt for November first snow later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).


  1. Hi Kristjaan, what a lovely Issa haiku. I loved this haiku, and your interpretation.

  2. Excellent haiku as usual ~ wonderful post ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^