Carpe Diem-Revise that Haiku

Carpe Diem’s Revise that haiku #1, a haiku by Taigi (1709-1771)


 For this first episode of  “Revise That Haiku”  our host at CD has chosen a haiku written by Taigi (1709-1771 ?), a contemporary and friend of Buson.


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


 Kristjaan says,the moment can be described this way.”The original of the above haiku is even more difficult, literally: “arranging the plum, as if the moon, I would savour, lamp-light” (Wabiru 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”.


Here is my version – revised Haiku –


Not for me the moon
ethereal fragrant plum
blossoms- by lamp light


Sparse,yet  beautiful
like plum blossoms in a vase-
poet’s life, borrowed time


No moonlight for
his plum blossoms
Poet’s lamp showers beauty






4 thoughts on “Carpe Diem-Revise that Haiku

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