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Haiku Classic: Dec. 17, 2017

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

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