WITHERED LOTUSES: A WINTER HOKKU BY BUSON

withlotus

Today it is grey and cold and raining where I am, so this slight variation on a winter hokku by Buson seems appropriate.  I can omit the seasonal heading because it is in the verse itself:

Lotuses withered,
The pond is bleak;
Winter rain.

The original is:

Hasu karete ike asamashiki shigure kana

Lotus withered pond miserable winter-rain kana

You may recall that kana was largely a kind of filler word used to pad out the 17 sound units customary in old hokku.  With punctuation and the greater freedom of English language hokku, we no longer need such padding.

 

David

 

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