7 17 2014 baltimore a

month’s end –
the windowless places
forgotten again

Linked to Carpe Diem #719: End of the Month.  I’d wanted to write a haibun – but – alas – the muses would not allow it.  

This haibun by Basho was our inspiration.  And even though I went in a totally different direction from the intention of the prompt – Basho’s haibun is beautiful – how could I not share it here?

Matsubaya was in Ise, so we went in search of news of him, and stayed here for ten days. After dark, I visited the Outer Shrine of Ise. The first gate was faintly visible against the light sky.  Sacred lanterns were everywhere. The pine wind from the mountain pierced me, and my heart was deeply moved.

end of the month
no moon hugging an ancient cedar
in the storm

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

And here is another translation of the haiku:

moonless night . . .
a powerful wind embraces
the ancient cedars 

© Basho (Tr. ?)


6 thoughts on “month’s end (haiku)

  1. I hadn’t heard the term Haibun before, so congrats on making me expand my vocabulary–even as I struggle to wrap my head around the concept. That said, the above was a delight to read. That it is translated makes me wonder whether we really get the flavor of the author’s intentions. Of the two Haiku interpretations, I liked the first a tad better. The two lines: “No moon hugging an ancient cedar” versus “A powerful wind embraces the ancient cedars” suggests that verb placement is more fluid in the Japanese language. Which would make the translations that much harder and the enjoyment in the native language that much deeper for the reader who can divine their own interpretation.


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