Sunday, January 6, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Winter Moon Haiku by Fay Aoyagi

English Original

low winter moon
just beyond the reach
of my chopsticks

Beyond the Reach of My Chopsticks

Fay Aoyagi

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Fay Aoyagi (青柳飛)was born in Tokyo and immigrated to the U.S. in 1982. She is currently a member of Haiku Society of America and Haiku Poets of Northern California. She serves as an associate editor of The Heron's Nest.  She also writes in Japanese and belongs to two Japanese haiku groups; Ten'I (天為) and "Aki"(秋), and she is a member of Haijin Kyokai (俳人協会).


  1. Here is an excerpt from Jack Galmitz's Jouissance: The Poetic Achievement of Fay Aoyagi, which can be accessed at

    The [haiku above] in the collection gives the book its title and is quintessentially of loss and nameless desire:

    Of course, the poem is not enclosed; there are multiple ways to read it. The low moon resembles a grain of rice or a sushi roll and the author plays with the fact that by perception it appears just beyond the grasp of her chopsticks. The ensemble of words may also refer to what exists just beyond her Japanese utensils, the world of the Other, as she is now in America, a foreign country. However, most compellingly, the low moon is the acoustic mental image of what Freud and then Jacques Lacan called The Thing: it is the object per se of loss, which attracts desire, although it is not itself the object of desire. "For Lacan, the Thing exists outside of language and the Symbolic- it is 'the first thing that separated itself from everything the subject began to name and articulate'" (Ibid).

  2. One more thing I would like to add is that the perceptual shift (through the use of "my chopsticks") is culturally and emotionally effective.