Thursday, October 9, 2014

Carpe Diem "Little Creatures" #8 "Mosquitoes and Honeysuckle" (Two haiku by Buson)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

For this episode of "Little Creatures" I have two wonderful haiku written by Yosa Buson in which little creatures and Honeysuckle (the English translation of my 'nom de plum' Chèvrefeuille) have the leading role. I ran into these haiku as I was preparing our "Big Five"-month (last May). At that time I woldn't use them, but now ... in this new episode of "Little Creatures" I had to use them. So here we go.

ka no koe su nindo no hana chiru tabi ni

the voices of mosquitoes,

whenever the flower of the honeysuckle

© Buson

This is one of the most interesting examples of the extraordinary sensitiveness of the haiku poets; or rather, of the way in which they bend their loving eyes and ears upon the slightest of things. The honeysuckle (nindo) is not a very striking flower, white, and afterwards becoming yellowish. It does not fade in winter, and from this comes its name, "enduring winter".
When a flower falls, mosquitoes that have been hiding in the undergrowth rise up, and their humming is heard. The voice of the mosquito also is very small indeed, not to be heard far away from the ear. We have in this verse two hardly noticeable things, yet they and their chance relation are clearly perceived and expressed.

Honeysuckle (nindo)

And this is the other haiku by Buson:

ka no koe su nindo no hana chiru goto ni

the honeysuckle;

with every petal that falls,
the voice of the gnats

© Buson

Here the sense of hearing is at its most acute, poetically speaking. Of all sounds, the voice of the mosquito is the most mysterious, of deeply subtle meaning. Of all flowers, the whitish-yellow honeysuckle (nindo) is the most forlorn. Each time the voice of the gnats is noticed, the flowers become more remotely near. Each time a flower falls, the sound of the gnats is more profound in the heart.

What an awesome set of haiku by Buson ... they look similar, but their meaning is slightly different. Maybe the second is a "re-done" version of the first haiku ... I don't know, it's possible. I have tried to catch both haiku scenes in one haiku. I don't know if I have succeeded, but we will see ...

honeysuckle flowers fall
one by one, awakening mosquitoes,
covering the Earth

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode of "Little Creatures" and I am looking forward to all your wonderful responses.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Thursday October 16th at noon (CET).

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