First a haiku by Kikaku (1661-1707) followed by a revision by his teacher, Matsuo Bashō, followed by my revised version and some background information:

red dragonfly

break off its wings

sour cherry

© Kikaku (1661-1707)


sour cherry

add wings to it

red dragonfly

©️ Bashō


puckered lips

sour cherry with wings

red dragonfly

©️2018 Ontheland

What was all that about? My interpretation is that Kikaku was talking about eating dragonflies. Many insects, including dragonflies are edible and part of the Japanese diet. Typically legs and wings are not eaten. Whether red dragonflies are inedible or only for those who like tart flavours I don’t know. I prefer Basho’s version over Kikaku’s. He retains the humour and eliminates disregard for the life of the dragonfly…a hard act to follow.

In response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #34 Revise That Haiku … Kikaku’s Dragonfly

Also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend mini Challenge: Insects and Bugs

9 thoughts on “dragonfly

  1. An interesting perspective, Janice! I spotted two metallic blue dragonflies in the garden this afternoon but they didn’t whet my appetite. They were, however, beautiful and I intend to keep my camera to hand in case I see more. 😊 How about linking this up to my insect and bug prompt over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads?

    Liked by 1 person

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