Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille December 9th 2015 “(rewrite) Chiyo-Ni”

chiyo-ni2
Chiyo-Ni

Dear friends of MLMM,

What a joy it is to be your host again here for an episode of Heeding Haiku With … As I started to host this feature at MLMM I first thought “do I have time enough?”, because I have my job as an oncology nurse and there are of course my other haiku activities. Recently I started with my own publishing company for e-books especially for haiku and other Japanese poetry forms … and that takes time too, but I love it … I am addicted to haiku.

“I am addicted to haiku” brings me to the challenge of this week’s episode of Heeding Haiku With.

I love to challenge you to “re-write” a haiku by one of the classic haiku poetesses, Chiyo-Ni.

Chiyo-Ni, her real name was Fukuda Chiyo-Ni (Kaga no Chiyo), was born in 1703 in Matto, Kaga Province (now Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture) as a daughter of a picture farmer. Chiyo-Ni began writing haiku poetry aged 7. By the age of 17, she had become very popular all over Japan for her poetry. Her poems, although mostly dealing with nature, work for a unity of nature with humanity. Her own life was that of the haiku poets who made their lives and the world they lived in one with themselves.
Chiyo-Ni’s teachers were the students of Basho, and she stayed true to his style, although she did develop on her own as an independent figure. Today, the Morning Glory is a favorite flower for the people of her home town, because she left a number of poems on that flower.
After becoming a nun (‘ni’ in her name means ‘nun’), Chiyo took the Buddhist name, Soen. Chiyo-Ni died on October 3rd 1775 leaving us a lot of wonderful haiku.

Now we know a little bit more about Chiyo-Ni and with this short introduction of our Specials for this month has started.

I have a wonderful haiku written by her to “re-write”:

taoraruru hito ni kaoru ya ume no hana

the flowering branch of the plum
gives its scent
to him who broke it off

© Chiyo-Ni

With this haiku came a prescript as was very common in that time, ‘In regard, to requiting evil with good’.

It’s a typical Chiyo-Ni haiku. She has written a lot of haiku which could have the same prescript. She lived with nature as (almost) every haiku poet does.

Trying to rewrite this haiku isn’t easy I know, but maybe it helps to ‘dive in’ the scene of the haiku and feel it, touch it, smell it, see it and hear it. Become one with the haiku and feel the energy to rewrite this beauty. I have given it a try myself:

breaking it off
the perfume of the plum
to my pencil

© Chèvrefeuille

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