Plum Blossom and Moon

This brief collection of plum blossom haiku celebrates the “Winter Gentleman”. In the art of Chinese painting, the “Four Gentlemen” are plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum. The order of these flowers agrees with their corresponding seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. In addition to their importance in Chinese painting, the Four Gentlemen, also called the Four Noblemen or Four Friends, all play an important role in Chinese culture.

Pink and White Plum Blossoms in Moonlight - So Shizan, late 18th century
Great moon
woven in plum scent,
all mine.
~Issa

 Kobayashi Issa (1763–1827) was a Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa, a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea. Sometimes Issa is lyrical and eloquent; sometimes he is tongue-in-cheek, and sometimes he is very mischievous!  Issa is considered one of the four great Haiku Masters, along with Basho (1644-1694), Buson (1716- 1784), and Shiki (1867-1902).

Moon, plum blossoms,
this, that,
and the day goes.
~ Issa
Dark red plum blossoms covered in snow symbolize winter, but are also harbingers of spring

Plum blossoms (méi-huā) are one of the most beloved flowers in China. They bloom most vibrantly in the winter snow, after the autumn plants lose their leaves and before the spring plants begin to bloom. They represent resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. 

Plum blossoms are the epitome of exquisite elegance, symbolizing inner beauty and gentle humility in challenging circumstances.

The scent of plum blossoms
on the misty mountain path
a big rising sun

~ Basho

 

Spring too, very soon!
They are setting the scene for it —
plum tree and moon.

~ Basho

Plum, Pine and Bamboo , 1942 - two artists seals: Chen Shuren (1883 - 1948) Xu Beihong (1895 - 1953)

A haiku master gives us advice on writing poetry:

“Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you want to learn about the bamboo. And in doing so, you must leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Otherwise you impose yourself on the object and do not learn. Your poetry issues of its own accord when you and the object have become one – when you have plunged deep enough into the object to see something like a hidden glimmering there.”


~ Basho

The Japanese Zen poet Matsuo Basho (Matsuo Munefusa) (1644-94) had earned the status of a samurai warrior, when he gave it all up to become a poet.  He is credited  with elevating haiku to a highly refined art that goes far beyond counting syllables.  To learn more about Basho, click here: Basho and the Art of Haiku

Share on facebook
Share on twitter



Please SignIn first, before you can Email to Friend.

0 0 vote
Post Rating

Help support our family-friendly mission
Buy our Kindle Book- or -Become a Patron

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Become a PatronHelp support our family-friendly mission

Most Voted Comments

Avatar
8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in ...
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be ...
  • 4 months ago by Leena Auckel

Avatar
4

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale – and with a good moral ...
  • 4 months ago by Fuji

Avatar
4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, ...
  • 5 months ago by Fuji

Avatar
3

A Magical Tour

Lovely story, Leena. There really is nothing more magical than ...
  • 4 months ago by Carrie OLeary

Avatar
3

Afterlife

Beautiful Emilia, my eyes are a little misty after reading ...
  • 4 months ago by Sandra James

Avatar
3

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read ...
  • 4 months ago by Lyric The Great

Avatar
2

A Paranormal Pandemic

Well done Emily on getting First – Eric.
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

Avatar
2

Traffic Jam

Your story really reflects on the world today, so many ...
  • 2 months ago by Carrie OLeary

Avatar
2

A Paranormal Pandemic

I agree with all the other comments, Emily. This is ...
  • 2 months ago by Fuji

Avatar
2

A Paranormal Pandemic

Love this Emily, nice and tense throughout, culminating with that ...
  • 2 months ago by Carrie OLeary

Avatar
2

Crimson Rose

I like this haiku Katy – always they question what ...
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

Avatar
2

Endure and Sing

I’m really glad to hear that! Leena Auckel did an ...
  • 2 months ago by Katy Bizi

Avatar
2

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to ...
  • 2 months ago by Eric Radcliffe

Avatar
2

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller ...
  • 3 months ago by Christer Norrlof

Avatar
2

Where She Belonged

Don’t we all find refuge in a good book and ...
  • 3 months ago by Leena Auckel

Avatar
2

Where She Belonged

You took an all-too-common painful occurrence and gave it a ...
  • 3 months ago by Susan Giles

Avatar
2

Where She Belonged

I like the concept of home here. Well crafted ending.
  • 3 months ago by Susan Dawson

Avatar
2

Where She Belonged

At times all we need is a corner in our ...
  • 3 months ago by musing mind

Avatar
2

Where She Belonged

Great story, all that negative intensity of an unhappy home ...
  • 3 months ago by Jay Vaananen

Recent Comments



Contest – CLOSED – Scary

0
Selected Authors may submit comments (5 Credits)x
()
x
Scroll to Top