Monday, November 19, 2018

Carpe Diem #1548 orchids (ran) (classical kigo)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai were we are celebrating the beauty of autumn as you can read in the logo "the leaves are falling". This month it's all about the beauty of autumn and today I have a nice classical kigo for autumn to work with. Our theme for today is "orchid or (ran)".

I have sought all the sources which I use for our classical haiku masters and especially the sources on Buson and I ran into a wonderful haiku on Ran written by him in 1777. I love to share that haiku with you all here:

yoruno ran kani kakureteya hanashiroshi

orchids in the night
in their fragrance hidden --
the flowers white.

© Buson

White Orchid
What a beauty don't you think? Look at those fragile flowers of the White Orchid ... gorgeous.
Unlike most flowers that have round-shaped petals, orchids have petals in geometrical shapes. No wonder, these beautiful flowers are used to convey special messages.
So, what all things do orchids represent? If you are an orchid lover, you'll be glad to learn that these exotic flowers are a symbol of love, beauty, and innocence in most cultures around the world. The word 'orchid' is derived from the Greek word orchids which means testicles, and the name originates from the shape of the root tubers of the plant. It is due to this reason that orchids have been associated with sexuality in many cultures. However, there's more to the meaning of orchids:

Perfection and Beauty

Because of their symmetry, and the straight lines on their petals, orchids represent beauty in symmetry, and are considered epitomes of rare beauty. In Victorian England, these lovely flowers were likened to a beautiful woman. Interestingly, even a woman's attire during the era had a striking resemblance to the flower. The people of ancient China considered these flowers as 'Lan Hua', or the epitome of human perfection.


Orchids are considered symbols of love because of the fact that the plants grow easily, and bloom under most conditions. During the Victorian era, it was a custom to gift exotic and rare flowers to show love and affection. It was even believed that rarer the flower you chose as a gift, deeper was your love. In parts of Europe, orchids were used as a key ingredient in love potions.
A white orchid stands for innocence, beauty and elegance. A nice gift for one who’s dear to you. In ancient Japan as a warrior found an orchid it told him that he was brave.

Orchids (woodblock print by Rankafu)

Orchids have so much to tell us, but mostly we have them in our home because they are so beautiful and I only can “that’s so true”.

samourai warrior
enchanted by the beauty of orchids
bows his head in praise

in admiration
he gives his beloved girl
white orchids

© Chèvrefeuille (from my archive)

These haiku aren't my strongest ones, but I like the intention which they radiate through their words. So I am looking forward to your haiku on Ran (Orchids).

Well ... now it is up to you my dear haijin, visitors and travelers. Create your haiku, tanka or other kind of Japanese poetry themed orchids (ran).

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 26th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

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