Sunday, July 20, 2014

Carpe Diem #520 Buson (4), "flowers of the plum"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I want to thank you all for your nice and tributing haiku you have shared on my yesterdays post in tribute to the loved ones who have lost their lives in the Malaysian Airlines Attack last thursday. They were all very comforting and helpfull. Thank you for all your loving thoughts and prayers shared with us all her in The Netherlands, but also in those other countries who have lost loved ones in this same attack. We all hope that the truth will finally come out and that there will be justice done.

Today I love to share a haiku by Buson, but I also want to tell you something more about Buson's haiga, because next to his wonderful haiku, he also was a great painter.
Buson was a haiku-poet, but also a painter and he has painted wonderful haiga (haiku & painting). As I told you in our introduction for this month Buson made several haiga for the first paper version of Basho's ''Oku No Hosomichi'' (The Small Road Into The Deep North), but he also painted haiga on other verses by Basho e.g. this one:

sekizoro o suzume no warau detachi kana

year-end mummers
are a sight to make
the sparrows laugh

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Addiss)

Sekizoro Singers by Yosa Buson
As I stated above Buson illustrated the first paper version of Basho's haibun ''Oku No Hosomichi" in the following painting by Yosa Buson you can see how Basho and his companion Sora are leaving their home for the ''Oku No Hosomichi''.

Basho and Sora leave for the ''Oku No Hosomichi''
To conclude this part of this post a last haiga painted by Yosa Buson which he created on the world famous haiku ''frogpond'' by Basho:

Haiga ''frogpond''
Let's go to our haiku by Buson for this episode of CDHK. Buson wrote almost 3000 haiku in his lifetime and he was in a way a master of observation, which is to understand, because of his painting skills. This haiku is one of my favorites:

Sumizumi ni nokoru samusa ya ume no hana

in nooks and corners
cold remains:
flowers of the plum

© Yosa Buson (tr. RH Blyth)

Credits: Plum flower
Don't you think also this is one of his best haiku? He paints an image with his words instead of painting with ink (or paint) ... a true Buson haiku. It will not be easy to write a new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as Buson, but ... I have to try.

fresh fallen snow
reflects the light of the full moon -
first plum blossom blooms

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... now it's up to you to write a new haiku or senryu ... have fun! This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until July 23rd at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode, the fourth haiku by Issa, later on.


  1. Your presentations are always stunningly rich in research Kristjaan. I am astounded by the amount of information I have learnt and how well you dose it. Your haiku is one of your beast. So incredibly visual, with parallels and opposites between nature and moods. Superb. I envy your 'painting' abilities!

  2. Sorry guys! I did a bugged out link again..not sure how to remove it.

    1. It's already solved .... don't worry about it ...

  3. Wow!!!! Just ... Wow!!! So much going on in this haiku. It's magnificent.

    And ... It was wonderful to learn more about Buson the artist :)

  4. I love this haiku but don't understand how the plum flowers fit....perhaps I am just tired.

  5. Your posts are full of excitement, education and your visits to posts are full of encouragement - thank you.