Thank you to those who responded with their inspirations from Bashō’s autumn haiku. From Melissa Allen, author of the haiku blog Red Dragonfly, a favorite translation:
The road here–
No traveler comes along
this autumn evening.
—trans., Makoto Ueda
And Melissa’s version:
and there’s no one
nearby to help
From Van K. Brock:
Outside, the leaves fall,
Inside, I read, alone, gold
covering the lawn.
Van Brock also offered an instructional comment on the subtle difference between “almost-there” and great haiku, by giving an illustration between a translation of a haiku written by Bashō’s student, Takarai Kikaku, and the master’s revision. Compare the difference:
Darting dragon-fly . . .
Take its shiny wings, now look . . .
Bright red pepper-pod.
Bright red pepper-pod . . .
Give it shiny wings. O, see:
I found a variation of this principle (the glass half-empty vs. half-full?) in the following anecdote, with Kikaku writing:
Red dragonfly / break off its wings / Sour cherry . . .
And Bashō responding:
Sour cherry / add wings to it / Red dragonfly . . .
Perhaps, after all, the art of haiku is as much a matter of taste as vision . . .
Toward the end of the week, in observation of All Hallow’s Eve and The Day of the Dead, I’ll be posting haiku honoring lost loved ones. Send me your tributes and we’ll light a cyberspace candle to one and all . . . haiku-style.
What to say in an ‘aha moment’ like I feel now, visiting your blog:
stepping into a path
the meadow opens–
not just buttercups
And my haiku for my beloved dead if any of them is fit for inclusion:
groping for words
to mean tears
after ten years
the whiff of his shaving lotion
from a stranger
from memory his figure
rises and stays mute
too foggy to find
counting the hymns
before the last kiss
I love your haiku in Melissa’s 300th event!
Thanks for participating in the Weeping Woman Poetry Challenge Margaret – much appreciated! You have a very nice interesting Haiku blog by the way:)
Your entry can be seen here
Thank you again, Lynda, for your thought-provoking “Weeping Woman” Post. And thank you for the kind remarks as well.
Margaret — thought you might be interested in this haiku that appeared today on Fay Aoyagi’s blog “Blue Willow Haiku World.” It’s her translation of a Japanese haiku that seems to me also to be referencing Basho’s haiku:
still lonely after selecting
a different road—
— Atsushi Azumi
Interesting . . . Thanks, Melissa. I’ll check out her blog. It certainly does sound like the Basho . . . .
Don’t forget that later this week (probably tomorrow or Saturday) I’ll be posting memorial haiku in honor of All Saint’s Day. Your haiku for your father (or another one) would be a welcome addition.
down this autumn road —
don’t ditch me
I just posted this over at Rick Daddario’s blog 19 Planets as part of his “ku-me” game (which is great fun) in response to the prompt “ditch.” I continue to be inspired by your challenge to respond to Basho … thanks, Margaret. 🙂