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

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Blossom Rain Haiku

blossom rain
already a memory
and yet ...

Second Place, New Zealand Poetry Society International Competition, 2023

Commentary by the judge, Anatoly Kudryavitsky: This marvellous haiku by Chen-ou Liu on another occasion could be the winning entry. Set in spring, it evokes the image of hanami, the Japanese cherry-blossom celebration emphasizing the welcoming of spring. The cherry blossom season evokes the feeling of the fullness of being; it's a wonderful affirmation of life, in all its glory. These days such events take place not only in Japan but all over the world -- and they stay in the participants' memories long after the festivities end. This is what this poem is about --- and it has a nice turn at the end where we find a very Issa-like line -- not a reference but just an allusion. Just enough to cast a thought, but not enough to enter the range of the obvious ... The mentioning of rain casts sadness on this piece, which is no surprise, really, as all the happening are already in the past and nothing is left except memories. A wonderful haiku-writing!