Friday, February 24, 2017

Butterfly Dream: Spring Haiku by Meik Blöttenberger

English Original

first day of spring --
a Mennonite woman paints
the front door grey

The Heron's Nest, 15:1, March 2013

Meik Blöttenberger

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

春天的第一天 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

春天的第一天 --

Bio Sketch

Meik Blöttenberger has been writing haiku for over twelve years and his haiku have appeared in Frogpond, Modern Haiku, and The Heron's Nest. His other passions are photography and growing bonsai.


  1. Technically speaking, in terms of kireji (cutting), Meik's haiku is a good example of clearly expressing "a division of Yin ("gray front door") and Yang ("first day of spring")"(Type II Formulation:

    The kireji is that which clearly expresses a division of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang mean the existence of an interesting confrontation within a poem (okashiku ikku no uchi ni arasoi aru o iu nari). For instance, something or other presented in a hokku is that?-no, it's not that but this, etc. 46

    Eisenstein, circa 1929, would have replaced Yin with thesis and Yang with antithesis and cast the whole matter in the mold of his peculiar dialectic, but he would certainly have gone along with this Japanese poet's notion of arasoi, "confrontation." "By what, then, is montage characterized and, consequently, its cell -- the shot?" he asked himself in "The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram." "By collision. By the conflict of two pieces in opposition to each other. By conflict. By collision." And the phrases of hokku were, he insisted, "montage phrases," and hence they generated their meaning by a like dynamic process. 47

    -- excerpted from my "To the Lighthouse" post, "Three Formulations about the Use of Cutting," which can be accessed at

  2. Religiously speaking, the juxtaposition of "the day of spring" (a potent symbol of the forces of fertility, life and rebirth) and a "Mennonite woman painting the front door grey" (symbolizing the Mennonite aesthetic tradition of plainness) visually and emotionally enhances the "hai" aspect of the poem.