April 27th, 2011

kusanagi: sometimes it's true

National Poetry Month No. 7: Tachibana Hokushi - untitled haiku

Tachibana Hokushi - untitled haiku (translated into English from the original Japanese)

yakeni keri / saredomo hana wa / chiri sumashi

My house burned down
But anyway, it was after
The flower petals had already fallen.


I think there are two common misconceptions about haiku written by the masters of the form. The first is that they are all solemn, serious or sad. The second is that they must be purely observational and about nature, with the responsibility for bringing emotion to them laid upon the reader. This blackly comedic one does a fine job of disproving both.