Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year Haiku

I'm stealing this idea from Stephen Penz, over at First Known When Lost.  I hope you don't mind, Stephen.   As Stephen pointed out, there are various ways of taking haiku, so here's a few more to play with.

On jolly New Year's Day
     My last year's bills drop in
          To pay their compliments
                       -- Anon --

A cheerful way to begin the New Year.  My credit card bills won't arrive for another week, so they are a bit more considerate.

Such a fine first dream.  .  .
   But they laughed at me.  .  . they said
             I had made it up
                                     -- Takuchi --

First dream of the year.  .  .
I kept it a dark secret.  .  .
       Smiling to myself
                -- Sho-u --

A sad first dream:  compassion?
A good first dream: congratulations?
A fine first dream:  envy?

Still .  .  . I guess this year too
     Will prove only so-so.
                      -- Issa --

Pessimistic?  Or, fear of offending the gods with high expectations.  Can't remember which one, but I read that in one culture, it is dangerous to talk about how well things are going because the gods are always listening.    I think there's one brand of Christianity, one of whose main tenets is that we are not down here to be happy.

Still, with all that in mind, I do wish you all


Note from Wikipedia entry:
"Traditionally, the contents of the dream would foretell the luck of the dreamer in the ensuing year. In Japan, the night of December 31 was often passed without sleeping, thus the hatsuyume was often the dream seen the night of January 1. This explains why January 2 (the day after the night of the "first dream") is known as Hatsuyume in the traditional Japanese calendar."
" . Since 1873, the Japanese New Year has been celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year, New Year's Day."

 The haiku come from A Little Treasury of Haiku,  trans. by Peter Beilenson.


  1. Are my best days gone?
    Will my future be worthwhile?
    Only time will tell.

    Happy New Year, Fred, from R. T. at Beyond Eastrod -- the revived blog (see the explanation -- of sorts -- at Beyond Eastrod).

  2. Thanks for the New Year's Day treat, Fred. The fourth one is my favorite and I like the tidbit about January 2nd.

  3. R. T.,

    :Yup, got your message about Beyond Eastrod. Are you going to abandon Crime and Detectives completely or do both?

    Our best years are yet to come.

    Hoping to avoid my past mistakes and looking forward to the new ones!

    Happy New Year!

  4. Madame Vauquer,

    My favorite is the third. The poet is wise enough to keep his good fortune to himself. As the second one points out, sharing is not always a good idea.

  5. Being a Catholic (even a lapsed one), I'm well aware of the danger of too eagerly looking forward to the New Year. :) My mother would occasionally warn us not to laugh too much, because something bad might happen. Awful, I know. But that's part and parcel of the Catholic thing. GUILT. To this day I'm a little leery of wishing for a really happy New Year. But sometimes I throw caution to the winds. Ha.

  6. Yvette,

    Being an ex-Catholic myself, I know whereof you speak. Wishing someone a really happy new year is almost an act of defiance.

  7. Di,

    And a Happy New Year to you.