Arranging the Plum Flowers

under moonless sky
arranging the plum flowers
by waning lamplight

Kim M. Russell, 7th November 2019

Image result for Japanese painting and artwork plum flower ikebana
Suzuki Harunobu (1725?–1770) – A woman practicing ikebana using branches of pine and plum – image found on Pinterest


My response to Carpe Diem #1776 arranging the plum-flowers (Taigi)

Today we have ‘reprise’ of an episode of ‘Revise That Haiku’, a special feature which challenges us to revise a given haiku by one of the classical haiku poets. This episode’s poet is Taigi (1709-1771 ?), a contemporary and friend of Buson and the haiku includes the Japanese Romaji:

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


In the explanation, it is said that this haiku illustrates how a haiku is not only ‘a form of expression but a mode of living more immediately, more closely to life’. We are also given the original, more literal, translation: “arranging the plum, as if the moon, I would savour, lamp-light” From this we learn that the poet lived a life of poetry in poverty and that the poet’s life is depicted in this action.  

7 thoughts on “Arranging the Plum Flowers

  1. Very nice! I also like the muted colors in your chosen image.
    I appreciate your comments on my poems. You’re pretty much the only person who does. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cara. I appreciate yours too. 🙂
      There aren’t many of us at the moment. I hope that will change soon. Maybe it’s the time of year when haiku poets are either busy or uninspired.


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