New Year’s Haiku #PoetryFriday

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 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 Noguchi1875 – 1947

the pine tree of Shiogoshi

The pine tree of Shiogoshi
Trickles all night long
Shiny drops of moonlight.

Matsuo Bashō 1644 – 1694

Well, moon
now you have young pines!
young bamboo!

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.

pine new year haiku

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?

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20 thoughts on “New Year’s Haiku #PoetryFriday

  1. Christie, the postcard is gorgeous! And, I love your search for meaning and became a part of the story. Just beautiful…..the trickling pine tree, the new bamboo pines under the moon and the blessings from you. I feel so fortunate to have stopped by today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Snow days open up such creative possibilities, don’t they! I love that you’re participating in the postcard exchange (I hemmed and hawed about that and never did sign up.) and enjoyed reading about your process. That Basho poem is gorgeous, and your use of the word, matsu, is perfect for your haiku!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hooray for snow day creativity! On our snow day, I did not meet my goal of getting the ornaments off our tree. Now it seems perfect that we should let its blessing stand in our house a bit longer!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your haiku makes me long for snow, something we have had so little of. Don’t laugh; we really need it hear in CO. And I love the intro to your own words, Christie, all beautiful to read! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The journey to your haiku is much like how I work on a poem. I search for inspiration. Poetry leads us on joyous paths for the just right words. You’ve found the word matsu. I like saying that word. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

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