Sunday, April 8, 2018

Butterfly Dream: Spring Rain Haiku by Brendon Kent

English Original

if only
for this moment too ...
spring rain

Best of Issue First Choice, Haiku Reality, 13:21, Spring 2016

Brendon Kent

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

也是為了這一刻 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch
Brendon Kent lives in Botley, an old countryside village in Southern England (circa 890 A.D.) Born in the late 50's he has been writing poetry for many years preferring the 'short forms'. Brendon's haiku/senryu are published worldwide in many leading books and journals. He is a member of the British Haiku Society.


  1. Brendon Kent has written, knowing it or not, a hokku instead of a haiku.

    Haiku is the Western conceptualization of the genre Matsui Basho is credited with introducing to Japan, which at the time, was secluded from Western influence by it's Emperor. Western thought based upon the German University conception of philosophy is at odds with the Japanese conception of philosophy. Socrates and Lao Tze saw life differently. During the Meiji era, Japan decided, with the U.S. Navy's pursuasion, to open up its borders to Western thought, which in time, caused all major universities in Japan to adopt the German model for philosophy which necessitated changes in the meaning of their words, their language being intuitive, what the late Professor Michael Marra said “is a weak language” in a context, not meaning it is inferior, expressing the “is” that isn't.

    if only
    for this moment too . . .

    Sense Kent's use of the Japanese aesthetic tool, ma (dream space), fluid time . . . that moment between time and space when you interpret, sense, and intuit what is yet to come.

    What is this moment?

    Why “if only”?

    Now sense the poet's use of another Japanese aesthetic, yugen (sense of depth and mystery).

    “spring rain”

    How does the “if only” and “for this moment too” form a symbiotic tie with “spring rain”?

    Haiku poems are more often than not, easy to understand. Most are subjective, with little to ponder, and without rules. A far cry from Basho's teachings and hokku.

    Hokku are action-biased, objective, and static, focusing on becomingness and impermance. Brendon Kent's hokku stands out. He utilizes Japanese aesthetic (soft language stimuli) tools to spark embers of thought sculpted by experience, cultural memory, education, genetics, and more, causing readers to remember this brief poem and to interpret it, thus completing the hokku. The poet's job is to write the hokku, while your job, as the reader, is to subjectively interpret it, knowing that you and the poem's composer don't share the same mindset. No one does. There is no right or wrong interpretation.

    Read and re-read Kent's hokku, without preconception, your mind and the poem merging. What does it say to you? A good hokku is a frontier to explore on a cerebral ballroom lit with moonlight, saying much with little.

    Interpret it. My interpretation is unimportant. Kent's hokku is yours to interpret subjectively.

    -- excerpted from the selector's commentary, which can be accessed at

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  3. Thank you very much Chen-ou, it's wonderful to see its Chinese translations

    Many thanks