I took advantage of our two snow days off from school last week (thanks, winter storm Grayson!), to paint my postcards for my first postcard exchange organized by Jone Rush MacCulloch. (Click here to learn more.) The exchange is based on Nengajo, the Japanese custom on sending New Years postcards. I hemmed and hawed about what theme to use and what instantly came to mind was pine needles or pine boughs. To me, they symbolize winter, but not the holidays. I’ve always loved seeing homes decorated for the holidays leave pine boughs up just a little bit longer. While they have been removed from the tree, they are still so full of life. Upon further exploration, I discovered that pine is the official symbol of the new year in Japan. Imagine that!
For inspiration before writing my own haiku, I did a scan of poetry featuring pine and came up with these lovely examples.
I hear you call, pine tree, I hear you upon the hill, by the silent pond
where the lotus flowers bloom, I hear you call, pine tree.
What is it you call, pine tree, when the rain falls, when the winds
blow, and when the stars appear, what is it you call, pine tree?
I hear you call, pine tree, but I am blind, and do not know how to
reach you, pine tree. Who will take me to you, pine tree?
Yone Noguchi, 1875 – 1947
The pine tree of Shiogoshi
Trickles all night long
Shiny drops of moonlight.
Matsuo Bashō 1644 – 1694
now you have young pines!
Issa 1763 – 1828, translated by D.G. Lanoue
And now for my haiku, written for this years’ postcard exchange. Matsu is the Japanese word for pine.
matsu leaves of green
longevity, virtue, youth
blessing your new year
Christie Wyman, 2018
Jan at Bookseedstudio is our hostess on this Poetry Friday. Won’t you join us there?