Thursday, July 30, 2015

Carpe Diem's On The Trail With Basho Encore #10 a bush warbler

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have a new episode of "Encore" for you to inspire you to write in the same sense, tone and spirit as Basho.

Basho knew his classics and used that knowledge frequently in his haiku. The following haiku is, as Jane Reichhold says, a pseudo-science haiku.

Let us look at the haiku on the Bush warbler.

uguisu no   kasa otoshi taru   tsubaki kana

a bush warbler
has dropped his hat
a camellia

© Matsuo Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Taiwan Bush Warbler

In old (classic) poems (e.g. waka) there was a phrase about the bush warbler (looking similar to our cuckoo) stitching a hat from plum blossoms. Basho changed the hat to a camellia and had the bird dropping it - which was much more natural than stitching. If birds wore hats the camellia would be the right size and shape. Maybe you can visualize the picture of the bush warbler wearing a camellia for a hat. It looks like a cartoon I think, but why not. Humans wear hats so why shouldn't birds and animals don't wear them. Maybe you lost your hat in a storm or something, so also the bush warbler could lose his hat in the storm or dropping it.

a gust of wind
a hat tolls around and around -
camellia flower

© Chèvrefeuille

Pink Camellia

A haiku with a smile? I think so ...

This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Thursday August 6th at noon (CET). Have fun ... be inspired and share!


  1. So lovely has July wraps up. I am always amazed at the beauty that you find in the "little things"

  2. I'm away a la bush at the moment ...the reason I have been absent for a bit. Our butcher birds don't wear hats but have strong beaks like sharp swords and like to sing opera so I wrote about them:)