Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A New Beginning, and Yet…: A Haibun

first sunrise…
to wear or not to wear
my father’s face

On the night before I left for Canada, Father said to me in a matter-of-fact tone, “The most valuable thing I’ve given you is your life. From now on, it solely belongs to you, and you’re on your own journey. My final words to you are that the life of your own should be spent this way: when looking back at it, you'll not have regrets of any wasted time or the failure to accomplish something significant."

deepening twilight…
I read Basho’s death poem
once again


Note: Historically speaking, Basho didn’t write the formal death poem on his deathbed, but the following haiku, being his last poem recorded, is generally viewed as his poem of farewell.

sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

Published in Chrysanthemum, #12, October 2012