Sunday, November 24, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Beach Storm Haiku by Neal Whitman

English Original

beach storm --
in a sea of sagewort
one wild aster

Notes from the Gean, 2:3, Winter 2010

Neal Whitman

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

海灘風暴 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

海滩风暴 --

Bio Sketch

Neal Whitman of Pacific Grove, California, is a member of the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society, Haiku Poets of Northern California, Haiku Society of America, and Tanka Society of America. Over the past five years he has published over 400 haiku, haibun, and tanka and haiga with his wife, Elaine, who is a photographer.


  1. The visually and emotionally effective jux. of two contrastive images reveals the power, negative and positive, of nature.

    The unexpected yet powerful L3 makes a successful shift in imagery and tone.

  2. This haiku demonstrates that our conception of shasei need not exclude the English language's natural propensity for metaphor: in context of a beach storm, 'a sea of sagewort' shows most economically the grey-green sagewort covering the dunes and the sea's waves, their one colour in the storm light, their convergence into a pattern of storm-tossed movement that dominates the scene. The effect is cinematic rather than painterly. The small wildflower, named from the ancient Greek for star, might indeed seem like a star "when only one/ is shining in the sky." (1) As it takes the foreground in the final line, it becomes the centre, the focus that composes sea, sagewort and storm – a small miracle.

    Lorin Ford, Book Review: Blyth's Spirit by Neal Whitman, A Hundred Gourds, 1:2, March 2012