takibi kanashi kien-to sureba sodaterare
pity the bonfire
all burned out it tries to fade away
then wood's added
TAKAHAMA Kyoshi (1874-1959): Translated and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay
Anthropomorphism per se is generally frowned on when crafting a haiku. However, empathy with other natural entities is a common theme. We humans are, after all, only one more natural entity inhabiting our earth, just like the birds, fish and flowers. Capturing the "-ness" of an entity is one of the main techniques for crafting haiku and the bonfire-ness of this bonfire is readily apparent in the above poem. The original Japanese haiku is 6,7,6 mora, so I have taken the liberty of trying to reflect that in the longer second line.
Selected, translated and commented on by Dhugal J. Lindsay