Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Butterfly Dream: New Year’s Eve Haiku by Fay Aoyagi

English Original

New Year’s Eve bath --
I failed to become
a swan

Frogpond, 28:2, Spring/Summer 2005

Fay Aoyagi

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

除夕澡 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

除夕澡 --

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. The earlier version of Fay's "New Year's Eve Bath" haiku above was the following one published in The Heron’s Nest, 5:4, April 2003:

    New Year’s Eve bath --
    I fail to become
    a swan

    This poem alludes to the haiku below written by Sumio Mori and translated by her:

    my wife on New Year’s Eve
    taking a bath
    as though she is a swan

    And five years later, Yu Chang published the following haiku in Acorn, 20, Spring 2008, a deliberate parody of Fay’s:

    lavender scent
    I fail to become
    a bee

  2. Below is excerpted from Fay's article, titled "Dissection of the Haiku Tradition," which can be accessed at

    You may not realize what I failed to become. On the surface, what I wanted to write about was my failure of finding Mr. Right that year again. Still, I am taking a bath on New Year’s Eve like the beloved wife of Sumio Mori. I may not be a swan, but I am a bird that has strong wings to fly.