Sunday, May 17, 2015

Butterfly Dream: Hometown Memories Haiku by Marilyn Humbert

English Original

the drip, drip, drip
of hometown memories ...
roof icicles

Marilyn Humbert

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

像流水般潺潺不斷 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

像流水般潺潺不断 ...

Bio Sketch

Marilyn Humbert lives in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney NSW surrounded by bush. Her pastimes include writing free verse poetry, tanka, tanka prose and related genre. She is the leader of Bottlebrush Tanka Group and member of the Huddle and Bowerbird Tanka Groups. Her tanka appears in Australian and international journals.


  1. In Marilyn's visually appealing and heartfelt haiku, there is a connection / scent link ("nioi-zuke," understood in the Basho's sense of the phrase) between Ls 1&2 and L3.

    Note: For more info. see Chapter 4, The Art of Juxtaposition: Cutting and Joining , "Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Basho." pp. 82-115.

    I'll discuss how to effectively use this scent link technique in the forthcoming "To the Lighthouse" post.

  2. Below is a relevant excerpt from Haruo Shirane's "Matsuo Basho and the Poetics of Scent," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Vol. 52, No. 1 (Jun., 1992):

    ... the "Basho style" (Shofu XA,), which continued to evolve until the end of his career. The most salient characteristic of this haikai style, particularly as embodied in Sarumino RW. (Monkey's Straw Raincoat, 1691), the most influential haikai anthology of his school, is the "link by scent" (nioi-zuke), a phrase intended to suggest the way in which a verse carries the atmosphere of its predecessor much as the fragrance of a flower is carried by the wind....

    Sanzosshi, a record of Basho's teachings edited by Doho, gives two examples of nioi-zuke.

    Fearing the boat
    in the autumn wind-
    sound of the waves

    Where go the wild geese?
    To White Child? Young Pine?2

    The added verse takes up the overtones of the previous verse and gives it expression in a scene.

    Cries of a weasel
    beneath the kitchen sink
    Never seeded,

    the broom grass has grown
    high and thick.

    Taking up the faint scent of poverty in the previous verse, the second verse expresses it in the thick, unseeded broom grass and the dilapidated house. (NKBZ 51:586) ....