Naviarhaiku109 – The cool breeze


“Which is it makes the sound, the pine-tree or the breeze? Is empty space warm or cool? The region of the poem is not different from that of these questions, the answer to them, – not the logical or purely intellectual answer, but the answer that willy-nilly we have to accept. If you arein the state of mind to accept the answer willingly, life accomplishes its ultimate and only object, to be lived.”

This is what R.H. Blyth wrote about this week’s poem in his book “Haiku Volume 3 Summer-Autumn”.

A contemporary of Basho, Ueshima Onitsura was another poet of samurai birth who formulated his own style of writing. Although eclipsed by the most popular Basho, Onitsura has recently been rediscovered and is now generally considered as an important and innovative figure in haiku literature. Thanks to these two poets, the hokku (the opening stanza of Renga, a collaborative linked poem) began to appear as an independent poem, and so starting the tradition of haiku poetry as we know it today.

Poem by Ueshima Onitsura

Picture by Arnaud Abadie