Thursday, June 18, 2015

On The Trail With Basho Encore 5 a falling sound

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies ... it's Thursday again and so it's time for an all new episode of our special feature "On The Trail With Basho Encore" in which I share haiku composed by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) for your inspiration. All the haiku used in this special feature are used with permission of Jane Reichhold, whom I am very grateful for giving me the opportunity to use her haiku.

This week's "Encore" haiku was written by Basho in spring 1666 short after the unexpected dead of his friend, Yoshitada. Basho was almost 22 years of age when he wrote this haiku. Jane says the following about this haiku:

[...] "What the Japanese call ume is most often translated as "plum" because of the Latin name Prunus mume, but the fruit more closely resembles the apricot. Because these fruits ripen during mid-June to mid-July, the rains of this time are called ume no ame ("plum rains"). Even ripe, the fruit is inedible until it has been preserved in a salty, sour liquid similar to olives". [...]

furu oto ya mimi mo su-naru ume no ame

a falling sound
that sours my ears
plum rain

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Credits: Japanese Plums
Here is my attempt to write a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one I gave by Basho:

rain of summer
cherishes my naked body
after the heat

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not a strong one, but I think it's in the spirit of Basho ... it's certainly, without a doubt in my spirit (smiles). Sorry ... that sounds a bit immodest.

This episode of "Encore" is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until next Thursday June 25th at noon (CET). Have fun!


  1. Having taught in Catholic schools for 30 years, I think your haiku would be catalogued as "risque"! Nonetheless, I enjoy your feeling comfortable in your own skin. From the story of Adam & Eve, it's what God intended for us. :)

    1. I think that is missing the point somewhat though, Chèvrefeuille's haiku can be read at different levels. His nakedness is the way he presents himself to us in honesty, and in all religions the symbolic washing, purification, or cleansing is important: here in his haiku he is 'cleansed' by nature - wonderful concept, and in one step further, he is 'cherished' by nature. Personally I do not see this tied to the Adam and Eve fable, but to renewal, and the 'purity of condition' to be in to write a haiku.

    2. As a haijin I am one with nature and rain is really purifying and clenses not only my body, but also my mind. And right now I need this purification and cleansing very hard through conflicts at my work. Thank you Nonnie and Hamish for your nice and wise comments. It makes me happy ... and grateful. Namaste.

  2. Lovely haiku, Kristjaan! you've inspired my muse.

  3. a beautiful image, where i grew up, was considered then, as country, it was quite commonplace to see boys naked running through the rain

    much love...

    1. Come here and watch us 'boys' run naked through cold rain at summer solstice! Mind you, some of us boys are not so young anymore, so don't expect fast running!!

    2. Running naked through the rain at summer solstice ... awesome idea Hamish.