Friday, July 3, 2015

On The Trail With Basho Encore #7 butterflies

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I love butterflies, they're so fragile and I find them very beautiful. However I didn't write a lot of haiku about butterflies. I don't know why, but it could be a lack of inspiration.
I love to share haiku on butterflies for this episode of our special feature “On The Trail With Basho Encore” for example this haiku which he wrote for a woman named Butterfly when he was asked for.

ran no ka ya   cho no tusubasa ni   takimono su

orchid fragrance

from the butterfly's wings
scenting the clothes

(c) Basho

My first response on this haiku:

in the Buddleia
fluttering of fragile wings
waving on the wind

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Another one:

waving on the wind
butterflies resting in the sun
on the Buddleia

(c) Chèvrefeuille
In this episode I will look at a few haiku by Basho  in which he used butterfly as season word. (A season word is particular for one of the seasons, butterfly is a season word for summer).

cho no ha no   ikutabi koyuru   hei no yane

wings of a butterfly

how many times do they flutter
over roof and wall

kimi ya cho   ware ya Soji ga   yume gokoro

you are butterfly?

I am Chuang-tzu's
dreaming heart

Chuang-tzu is a well known classical author of China and Basho wrote this one for one of his friends named Dosui who was an enthusiastic reader of Chuang-tzu's work. According to Jane Reichhold however this one is an unconfirmed haiku by Basho.

Another butterfly haiku:

cho mo ki te   su wo suu kiku no   namasu kana

a butterfly also comes

to sip the vinegar from mums (*)
and pickles

(*) ‘mums’ is short for Chrysanthemums

With this one came a preface: 'While I was staying in Awazu, a man who liked tea ceremony very much, invited me and served vinegar boiled chrysanthemum flowers picked from a nearby beach'. He wrote this one for his host, a physician.

okiyo okiyo   waga tomo ni se n   nuru ko cho

wake up wake up
I want you for a friend
sleeping butterfly

This one is discussed by several authorities and they came to the conclusion that this one must be seen in relationship to the famous story of Chuang-tzu who dreamed he was a butterfly and then wondered which was real, his dream or his life as a human. (Source: Jane Reichhold's Old Pond: Basho's (almost) thousand haiku).
Others say that this haiku refers to one of Basho's (male) lovers. The truth will stay in the middle I think.

A last example of haiku on butterflies by Basho:

cho no tobu   bakari nonaka no   hikage kana

a butterfly flies
only in the field
of sunshine

What an awesome picture. A tiny butterfly dances in the wide field in the light of the sun.

Because I love the butterfly haiku by Basho. I will give another example. This is an impromptu verse.

monozuki ya   niowa nu kasa ni   tomaru cho

how curious
on grass without fragrance
perches a butterfly

Well ... I rest my case :-) All wonderful haiku by Basho about butterflies. To write myself a new one in the Spirit of Basho will not be easy, but ... I have to do what I have to do.

the cobweb scattered
by the fluttering of wings
a blue butterfly

on the veranda
a yellowish butterfly
the light of sun down

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Butterflies ... I love those tiny creatures, so fragile and yet so strong. I bow my head and thank the Gods for the butterflies.

I hope you did like this episode of "Encore" and that it will inspire you all to write an all new haiku or tanka and share it here with us.

This episode of "Encore" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Friday 10th at noon (CET). Have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I've only just seen your 'cobweb' haiku although I added my post here a week ago (I think there was such a wealth of wonderful haiku in this post that it was more than I could take in at one sitting) - anyway, now that I have read it I love that moment of escape with the blue butterfly. A perfect haiku moment :-)