Monday, October 8, 2012

The Mnemosyne Weekly: Poem Thirty-Two (Sōin)

Martin Johnson Heade
Blue Morpho Butterfly

This week's selection is a haiku from the collection Japanese Haiku by Peter Beilenson. The poem is by Nishiyama Sōin, a Japanese poet of the early Tokugawa period. Sōin lived between 1605 and 1682 and was a samurai retainer before he began to pursue poetry. As with much Asian poetry, so much is said in the silences, and we are shown how easily, simply, and gracefully on can exhibit brilliance.  

                                                                 Life? Butterfly
                                                                 On a swaying grass
                                                                 That's all ...
                                                                 But exquisite!


  1. Less is so much more. Immense grace and awesome power in the silence amid and following these few syllables. Gratitude for your sourcing and sharing of this week's Mnemosyne Melissa.


    1. Thank you. I agree. These words feel so powerful and true. I'm glad that I will soon carry them everywhere!