The scent of the plum
The scent of the plum (ume)
Chased again and again
By winter’s wind
梅が香に 追いもどさるる 寒さかな
Ume ga ka ni/ Oimo dosa ruru/ Samusa kana
Meaning of Basho’s Scent of Plum Blossoms
Who does not recall an early spring, the scent of the plum blossom, chased away by the cold, again and again?
Until spring is here to stay.
Line one, 梅, ume, the Japanese plum tree symbolizes spring’s start, because its early blossoms flower in February and March.
Line two, 追いもどさ is a bit of a struggle for me. Chased, pursued, run after, driven away are all candidates as the action verb. るる may be translated as continuously, but I have chose “again and again”. Line three 寒 is “cold”, but I used winter’s wind to keep Basho’s 4-7-4 pattern.
This simple haiku’s beauty lies in the ending rhyme of the three lines:
kani – ruru – kana
Land of Oz
Wonder of wonders, I came across a small grove of “ume” trees blossoming and bearing fruit in the sandy soil of a pond created out of an old sand pit. The tree is more akin to an apricot and the fruit is tart and sweet. The birds and the local animals enjoy the fruit, but I get my share.