Friday, November 6, 2015

On The Trail With Basho ... Encore #15 flower-like snowflakes

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

You had to miss "On The Trail With Basho ... Encore" last month, because of our third anniversary, but now I will bring "Encore" again as a bi-weekly feature on Fridays, it will "take shift" with our Carpe Diem Tan Renga Challenge.

This week I have a nice haiku by Basho to inspire you which he wrote in winter 1687. Before I share this haiku with you I have a little anecdote about this haiku.
As you all know I am a big fan of Basho. I see him as my master and sometimes, without being aware of it I write haiku, which I think they are new and mine, but then it turns out that it is a haiku once written by Basho.
Several years ago I was interviewed by a local newspaper and the journalist asked me to create a haiku at that same moment. I was of course willing to do that so I came up with the following haiku:

polished again
on the clear mirror
flowers of snow

© Chèvrefeuille

Several years later, as I was reading all Basho's haiku, the above haiku turned out to be written by Basho. Don't ask me how this could happen, I really don't know it, but I realized then that I am totally one with Basho ... his haiku, in a translation by Jane Reichhold, is:

polished again
the mirror is as clear as
flower-like snowflakes

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

The above haiku is the haiku for your inspiration. I will give you the romaji translation too and a short notice by Jane Reichhold.

togi naosu kagami mo kiyoshi yuki no hana

Basho wrote this haiku for the completion of the reconstruction and repairing of the Atsuta Jingu Shrine

Credits: Atsuta Jingu Shrine
This is what Jane writes as a notice to this haiku:

[...] "This shrine was in disrepair for many years until the shogun government ordered repairs that began in 1686 and ended in 1687. Military rules allowed the shrine to disintegrate because these treasured sites were closely connected to the worship of the emperor. However, the military discovered that the treasures were important to the people, regardless of who was ruling, and quickly repaired the shrine. "Snow of flowers" refers to the huge, fluffy snowflakes that fall out of a clear blue sky. There is also the idea that the cold, hard snowflakes polish the mirror." [...]

As you all know the goal of this feature is to write an all new haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form inspired on the given haiku by Basho. Here is my attempt to write an all new haiku inspired on this haiku:

covered with fresh snow
still smiles

© Chèvrefeuille

I love this one ... a beauty if I may say so.

This episode of "Encore" is open for your submissions at noon (CET) and will remain open until next Friday November 13th at noon (CET). Have fun!


  1. Again, it looks to me like you are 'in the zone Chevrefeuille, with your haiku. I can offer no explanation about the haiku being the same as Basho's - but I would say no need to question it, and time being the funny thing it is, maybe yours was first...

  2. I too love your haiku, Kristjaan. :-)

  3. Another excellent post and new inspirational haiku.