I love to share haiku on butterflies for this episode of our special feature “On The Trail With Basho Encore” for example this haiku which he wrote for a woman named Butterfly when he was asked for.
ran no ka ya cho no tusubasa ni takimono su
from the butterfly's wings
scenting the clothes
My first response on this haiku:
in the Buddleia
fluttering of fragile wings
waving on the wind
waving on the wind
butterflies resting in the sun
on the Buddleia
In this episode I will look at a few haiku by Basho in which he used butterfly as season word. (A season word is particular for one of the seasons, butterfly is a season word for summer).
cho no ha no ikutabi koyuru hei no yane
wings of a butterfly
how many times do they flutter
over roof and wall
kimi ya cho ware ya Soji ga yume gokoro
you are butterfly?
I am Chuang-tzu's
Chuang-tzu is a well known classical author of China and Basho wrote this one for one of his friends named Dosui who was an enthusiastic reader of Chuang-tzu's work. According to Jane Reichhold however this one is an unconfirmed haiku by Basho.
Another butterfly haiku:
cho mo ki te su wo suu kiku no namasu kana
a butterfly also comes
to sip the vinegar from mums (*)
(*) ‘mums’ is short for Chrysanthemums
With this one came a preface: 'While I was staying in Awazu, a man who liked tea ceremony very much, invited me and served vinegar boiled chrysanthemum flowers picked from a nearby beach'. He wrote this one for his host, a physician.
okiyo okiyo waga tomo ni se n nuru ko cho
wake up wake up
I want you for a friend
This one is discussed by several authorities and they came to the conclusion that this one must be seen in relationship to the famous story of Chuang-tzu who dreamed he was a butterfly and then wondered which was real, his dream or his life as a human. (Source: Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku).
Others say that this haiku refers to one of Basho's (male) lovers. The truth will stay in the middle I think.
A last example of haiku on butterflies by Basho:
cho no tobu bakari nonaka no hikage kana
a butterfly flies
only in the field
What an awesome picture. A tiny butterfly dances in the wide field in the light of the sun.
Because I love the butterfly haiku by Basho. I will give another example. This is an impromptu verse.
monozuki ya niowa nu kasa ni tomaru cho
on grass without fragrance
perches a butterfly
Well ... I rest my case :-) All wonderful haiku by Basho about butterflies. To write myself a new one in the Spirit of Basho will not be easy, but ... I have to do what I have to do.
the cobweb scattered
by the fluttering of wings
a blue butterfly
on the veranda
a yellowish butterfly
the light of sun down
This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday 10th at noon (CET). Have fun!