Notes On Attention Paid

Follow @mbkriegh on Micro.blog.

02 Meditation

Buson Haiku…

… the first poem stands out most to me today… a bottomless tub blowing around in the autum wind… it seems so contemporary, i can easily imagine the scene happening in the coming fall… what constitutes a tub for a poet writing in the 1700’s as compared to now would be interesting to see… it could be that the Japanese for tub has more of the time connotations… in English, it is still a much used contemporary term…

… another poem notes a Camellia falling into an old dark well… i don’t have an image in my mind for Camellia, so i look it up… it’s like a carnation and comes in a number of colors but most prevalently in pink or red… i wonder if it signifies anything to the Japanese and look it up… here is what i find in a guide to giving flowers in Japan…

 Among warriors and samurai, the red camellia symbolized a noble death. Otherwise, the red camellia means love. However, they don’t make good presents for people who are sick or injured because of the way the flowers “behead” themselves when they die.1

… the flower was popular during the Edo period in Japan… Buson composed poems in the heart of that period… with that information the poem opens up… the flower as symbol of an honorable death, or as symbol of love makes sense in the poem… the flower falling into the old dark well (death) could be a straightforward allusion to seppuku, which ended with beheading by a second’s sword… it could also be a bit more allegorical, the old well symbolizing the poet himself, the Camellia symbolizing love, taken together, finding love at an old age?… could there be a may/December relationship here?…

… it seems that when reading haiku one has to examine every word or phrase for it’s possible symbolism… what seems to be a straight forward observation of a moment can be fraught with implied meanings…