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Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille January 20th 2016 “revise” that haiku

Dear friends of MLMM,

It’s past midnight (2:00 AM) as I write this episode. I thought it was Tuesday, but it’s Wednesday already, so I had to create this episode of Heeding Haiku With …

Last week it was haibun-time, so this week I have a nice haiku challenge for you. I love to challenge you to “revise” a haiku written by one of the classical haiku poets.
For this episode of “Heeding Haiku With …” I have chosen a haiku written by Taigi (1709-1771 ?), a contemporary and friend of Buson. I will first give the haiku (including the Japanese Romaji) and then I will give the description of the moment which led to the haiku.

umi ikete tsuki to mo wabin tomoshikage

arranging the plum-flowers,
I would enjoy them in the light of the lamp,
as if in the moonlight

© Taigi (1709-1771 ?)

The brevity of haiku is not something different from, but a part of the poetical life; it is not only a form of expression but a mode of living more immediately, more closely to life as may be illustrated in the above haiku by Taigi.

The original of the above haiku is even more difficult, literally: “arranging the plum, as if the moon, I would savor, lamp-light” (Wabin translated ‘enjoy’, ‘means’ to live a life of poetry in poverty). The poet has arranged the flowers in a vase, and wishes to see them in the light of the moon, but there being no moon, he lights the lamp instead, and adds its light to the poetry and the beauty of the flowers.

The whole of the poet’s life is shown in this action and the essence of the verse in wabin. This poverty, this asceticism of life and form in haiku, this absence of luxury and decoration finds its philosophical and transcendental expression in Emanuel Swedenborg’s (a Swedish philosopher who lived from 1688 until 1772) “Heaven and Hell” (paragraph 178); after he has described the garments of the angels, some of which glow with flame, some of which shine with light, he adds:

“But the angels of the inmost heaven are not clothed”.

Well … with the description of the moment I think you can revise that haiku … so … “break a leg”, have fun, be inspired and share your revised Taigi-haiku with us here at MLMM.

I have given it also a try, here is my ‘revised’ Taigi-haiku:

shadow on the wall
flourishing plum blossom
in the moon light

© Chèvrefeuille

Not a bad revised Taigi-haiku I think, but that’s not up to me to decide.


About Chèvrefeuille

I am a Dutch haiku poet. And I am the owner and host of the weblog "Carpe Diem, a daily haiku meme" on Blogger (or Blogspot). I am writing haiku since the late eighties and in 2005 I became an international known haiku poet and in 2011 ten of my haiku were included in a worldwide anthology "Spasms of Light". With that anthology I became an even more known haiku poet. In October 2012 I started my daily haiku meme.

6 comments on “Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille January 20th 2016 “revise” that haiku

  1. writersdream9
    January 20, 2016

    Hi, Chevrefeuille. I must be losing my mind but I don’t see a haiku except yours. Do we write a revision of yours or is there a link I’m not seeing? I’m sorry.


    • Chèvrefeuille
      January 21, 2016

      That’s correct I will publish the haiku by Taigi later today. Sorry … must have been the time of night as i created this episode, You can try to revise my haiku, but that was not what i meant to do with this episode of Heeding Haiku With …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chèvrefeuille
        January 21, 2016

        The haiku “to revise” is included now.


      • writersdream9
        January 21, 2016

        Tiredness and computers don’t get along, huh? 🙂


  2. Pingback: Twigs- Heeding Haiku With Chèvrefeuille – January 20, 2016 – Revising Taigi | Edited by Mjollnir

  3. Pingback: Arranging the plum,,

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