Today’s Haiku (March 31, 2010)

春霞菩薩は象に乗りたまひ   上野一考

haru-gasumi bosatsu wa zô ni noritamai

spring mist

a Buddhist deity rides

an elephant

Ikko Ueno

from “Gendai Haiku No Kanshõ 101” (Modern Haiku Appreciation 101) edited by Kai Hasegawa, Shinshokan, Tokyo 2001

Maark Brooks, a good friend of mine and a fantastic poet suggested, I may use ‘bodhisattva’ instead of “a Buddhist deity.’

I wondered how many people understand ‘bodhisattva.’     BUT I should trust readers more….

spring mist
the bodhisattva rides
an elephant

5 responses to “Today’s Haiku (March 31, 2010)

  1. I like the “feel” of bodhisattva, the prosody, if you will.
    Perhaps with the indefinate article ‘a’?
    Maybe that conflicts with ‘an’…

  2. Michael Nickels-Wisdom

    I, too, like the use of “bodhisattva”. It has connotations in the English-speaking world brought to us by the beat writers, so is not so very unfamiliar. Also, I think the matter of which article to use before “bodhisattva” depends on the background of the haiku. Is a *particular* bodhisattva meant, or just any nonspecific one? If particular, then “the” seems appropriate; otherwise, “a” would be fine, and might even spring the poem open to a variety of meanings. Thank you for presenting us with this haiku.

  3. Hi Fay,

    Fugen Bosatsu usually rides the elephant.

    Thanks for introducing this haiku !!

    Gabi from Okayama

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