Monday, June 19, 2017

Butterfly Dream: House Clearance Haiku by Alan Summers

English Original

house clearance
room by room by room
my mother disappears

Blithe Spirit, 26:1, March 2016

Alan Summers

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Alan Summers, Japan Times award-winning writer, is the incoming President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society. He enjoys French and Indian cuisine; and scrambled or poached eggs with spinach for breakfast. His book Writing Poetry: the haiku way is due out during 2017.  Blog:


  1. Alan's use of repetition is visually and emotionally effective, showing what it takes to get house clearance done.

  2. Thank you for showcasing this haiku and translating it!

    I was delighted to have this haiku picked out of 660 nominations around the world to become a winner for a Touchstone Individual Poem Award for 2016 awarded by The Haiku Foundation.

    From the panel of judges:

    “When I read haiku, I’m looking for an unexpected view on the well-known. I’m curious to learn about an open secret (after Robert Spiess). I’m looking for a simple (but not banal) and lucid language that expresses something extraordinary within the ordinary, something which I never read before in that way as well as something that is of beauty beyond time.

    ‘house clearance’ represents the pure power of haiku. Layers of meaning ascending from deeper layers of the mind (‘room by room by room’) in relation to existential truth (‘my mother disappears’). Perhaps one finds a human contradiction: memories can only get preserved vividly after “clearance.”

    “An emotional and vivid image that brings sadness at first reading while effectively pointing out that taking away the physical doesn’t remove the memory.”

  3. Dear esteemed poet,greetings! delighted to read the original and
    needless to mention the poignancy of meaning behind the layers and how compressed ! Like and reread the same.
    with regards