haiku friday



Vertical tree trunks with all their needles fallen – larches in winter.



I found the grammar and vocabulary notes for this haiku quite interesting, so I will include them here as well.

  • 落葉松 (“larch”) is written with kanji meaning “fall”, “leaf”, and “pine”; so, “pine that drops its needles”, or a deciduous pine.  All trees of the pine family have 松 in their name, and their needles are referred to as 葉, the same kanji/word used for the leaves of broad-leaved trees.
  • 直幹 is literally “straight trunk”.  So 落葉松は直幹 is “the larches are straight-trunked”, or “the larches show their straight trunks”.
  • おちば is the usual reading for 落葉, “falling/fallen leaves”.
  • しつくして is the ーて form of しつくす; し is from する (“do”), and ーつくす is a verb suffix meaning “[do] fully/completely”.  落葉 followed by a form of する makes a verb, “to drop (its/their) leaves”, so 落葉しつくして means “having fully dropped its/their leaves”.


Taken, as always, from The Essence of Modern Haiku.

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