Saturday, April 7, 2007


Cherry Blossoms and Senryu Poetry

Spring in Japan means an explosion of cherry blossoms, transient and evanescent... Everyone wants to see cherry blossoms (and eat, drink and socialize under them); these line the small stream behind my house.

Upstream, people in the area write 川柳 (senryu), short humorous poems similar to haiku, on colorful pieces of paper and hang them from a string under the cherry blossoms. (The following rough translations make no attempt to fit the 5-7-5 syllable pattern...) Yellow paper in foreground: "The first warm spring breeze brings the first hay fever sneezes."

"Even Ultra Seven is under the cherry blossoms." But why the Japanese and Italian flags?

cherry blossoms float/
covering mucky water/
what do the fish think?

blue car, spring design/
cherry blossoms, wind and rain/
troublesome car wash

No comments: