It's cherry blossom season, and in Japan that has special significance. Even more this year, as they mourn their losses and cling to hope for rebuilding a strong future. Cherry blossom haiku has a long history, going back to the 17th c, masters. These spring haiku have a particularly delicate, exquisite, joyful aroma mixed with the sadness of life's brevity and fragility. Seems perfect for these days. Here are some of my favorite cherry blossom haiku by the Japanese poet Basho: (photos are mine, from 2008)
A lovely spring night
suddenly vanished while we
viewed cherry blossoms
From all these trees –
in salads, soups, everywhere –
cherry blossoms fall
For a lovely bowl
let us arrange these flowers...
Since there is no rice
Silent the old town . . .
the scent of flowers floating . . .
And evening bell
Ah, the sadness and the sweetness! Take a moment to enjoy some tiny pleasure - one day's blossom worth of joy.
Poetry Friday is rounded up at A Year of Reading today.