Posted by: ktzefr | April 9, 2019

Cherry Blossoms: haiku and blooms

“Under cherry-flowers,

None are utter strangers.”


Kobayashi Issa, one of the great haiku masters, said that cherry blossoms were made for haiku poets to exploit.  It’s hard to find an anthology of haiku that doesn’t have cherry-blossom poems scattered throughout.  Here are 14 favorites:


“a fluttering swarm

of cherry petals — and there comes,

pursuing them, the storm!”



“Many, many things

they bring to mind —

cherry blossoms!”



“From all four quarters

cherry petals blowing in

to Biwa’s waters!”

(Biwa is also called the “lake of the views”)



“Cherry-bloom, cuckoo,

moon, snow — and already

the year is through!”



“Cherry blossoms, more

and more now! Birds have two legs!

Oh, horses have four!”


Onitsura looked at life with a whimsical humor all his own, rejoicing in ordinary things, both silly and serious…

“They blossom, and then

we gaze, and then the blooms

scatter, and then…”



“The cherry-bloom has gone–

a temple, in among the trees,

is what it has become.”



“As the moon-brilliance westward makes its

crossing, so

cherry-blossom shadows eastward

slowly go.”



“Scattered petals lie

on rice-seedling waters:

bright is the starlit sky.”



Cherry Blossoms; Photo:KFawcett

“Oh, the wide world’s ways!

Cherry blossoms left unwatched

even for three days!”



“Women, children, men:

into cherry bloom they push —

from bloom come out again.”



‘Cherry blossoms! See!

Cherry bloom!” — and it was sung

of this old tree.”



“Atsumori’s tomb —

and here there is not even

a cherry tree to bloom!”


(Atsumori was a young samurai in the 12th century who was killed in battle at the age of 15.  Such young samurai were traditionally connected to the falling cherry blossoms.)






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