Haiku-International No. 149 (November 2020)

7 mins read

Selected haiku

Haiku translations: a collaboration between Emiko Miyashita, Claudia Brefeld and Eva Moering

"Here the idea and background of this project can be found.



Selection and commentary by KOKO Kato, HIA director

午後 の 青 空 / 露 を 残 し て / 白 い 菊

Mostly blue afternoon skies
but some dew lingers -
white chrysanthemum

パ ー ト リ ッ ジ 、 ブ レ ン ト ア ラ ン PARTRIDGE, Brent Alan (USA)

Considering the fact that the author puts a hyphen at the end of the second line, I read out that it is the sky that has a trace of dew in it. The blue sky on an autumn afternoon must be a blue sky with moisture. “Mostly” and “yet” convey how the writer feels. The contrast between the white of the white chrysanthemum on the floor and the blue sky makes this haiku beautiful.

静寂 / 夏 羊 歯 に 囲 ま れ た / 石 仏

the silence …
surrounded by summer ferns
Stone buddha

ロ ス 、 ブ ル ー ス ROSS, Bruce (USA)

The powerful vitality of the summer fern that surrounds the stone Amitabha Buddha is very inviting. Although the “stillness” in the first line is separated by the ellipsis, we still have the feeling that the cosmic expanse belongs to the Stone Buddha. The silence is different than in Basho's “Yamadera” *. This haiku expresses the tranquility of nature and a person's prayer.

* https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7940.html

白 セ ー ラ ー の 平和 の ち か ひ 慰 霊 の 日

A school girl in a sailor's uniform
vows peace
Okinawa Memorial Day

高橋 紀美子 (神奈川) TAKAHASHI, Kimiko (Kanagawa)

Memorial Day on June 23rd is the day for the memorial service for all war dead in Okinawa. Since 1952 it has been held in the Peace Memorial Park in Mabuni, Itoman City. This year it will take place for the 63rd time. In the park is a "Cornerstone of Peace" with the names of more than 200.000 people who died in the Battle of Okinawa. The ceremony is a prayer for peace and that we will never take part in war. “An oath for peace” from a student in a “sailor” school uniform is a fervent wish of everyone to be remembered in August.

散 り て な ほ 風 に 匂 ひ て 梅 の 花

after falling
the scent lingers in the wind
Plum blossoms

新 田 佐 代 子 (堺) NITTA, Sayoko (Sakai)

The scent of plum blossoms lingers in the beginning when it is in full bloom and even after it has fallen. “After the fall” illustrates the nature of the plum blossom well, this is what characterizes the haiku. When the object is expressed through the before and after states, subtle overtones resonate well.

亀 鳴 い て 神話 の 国 の 山河 あ り

Turtle cries ...
Mountain and rivers
of a mythical land

宮本 よ し え (島 根) MIYAMOTO, Yoshie (Shimane)

The "mythical land" refers to Izumo, including the Izumo Taisha Shrine. It is well known through the book by Koizumi Yakumo (Lafcadio Hearn). Only in such a climate does the seasonal word “turtle cry”, which originated in China, come true. The writer's pride also resonates when he says, “There is a mountain and a river”.


And here are five more haiku - selected by Emiko Miyashita

婚約 式 音符 の や う に 雪 の 降 り

Engagement party ...
like musical notes
the snow falls

菊 渡 辺 道 子 (日立) WATANABE, Michiko (Hitachi)

修道 女 の た づ き の 径 や 青 く る み

One way
for the daily work of the nuns ...
green walnut *

三好 か ほ る (埼 玉) MIYOSHI, Kaoru (Saitama)

* It's an early summer kigo - for May. The fruits of a walnut tree are green and do not stand out between the green leaves. Inside the fresh fruit there is a hard core. So here we can assume that it is the monotonous or peaceful life of the nun who has a strong devotion to God.

三 叉路 に と ま ど ふ 蝶 や 春 の 風

at a fork in the road
a butterfly gets lost
in the spring wind

松 中 薫 (神 戸) MATSUNAKA, Kaoru (Kobe)

ハ ン モ ッ ク つ ぎ 来 る 風 を 待 つ て を り

wait that
the next breeze blows

池 田松蓮 (東京) IKEDA, Shoren (Tokyo)

青 蔦 の 神殿 と な る 空 き 家 か な

left house
entwined with ivy
- green shrine

毬 矢 ま り え (東京) MARIYA, Marie (Tokyo)

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