Buson’s spring rain

Spring Rain
Spring Rain

As we saw off the end of winter with plum blossoms, it’s time to welcome spring with rain!

After I did the drawings for the Wang Wei poem, a friend sent a haiku by Buson which could also be the starting point for an interesting image. This was made into a proper haiku in English by my friend from the word for word translation he had found. Thanks Tom Radcliffe!

Mossy roof, spring rain.
Abandoned in the gutter
is a child’s rag ball.

As I was researching the potential for an illustration for the Buson haiku, I found a curious connection between the two poets. Here’s the poem written by Buson on his deathbed. (Unfortunately not a true haiku in English but the poignant immediacy comes through clearly.)

winter warbler;
long ago in Wang Wei’s
hedge also

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer


4 thoughts on “Buson’s spring rain

  1. Interesting! I always see the image from ground-level, but that’s because it reminds me of a particular house in San Marino, where I used to go walking (should probably be trending and call it ‘urban hiking’) in LA. There, the house was in a declivity, low enough you could see the roof without actually being above it. I think one of the reasons the poem affects me so strongly is it reminds me of that place, which was an island of beauty in a sea of Los Angeles.

    I really like the rain-effect!

  2. Yes, there’s always the risk of a disconnect between one person’s vision and another’s. The haiku got me thinking of Japanese architecture and I went with that as the vocabulary is so rich but the wonderful thing about something so spare and evocative is that it can be transferred to any context – even modern LA.

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