Little Creatures – Violets – March, 7, 2015

tiny violets
in soon passing forget me no –
cold winter mornings

§§§

sweet violets
ah – forget me not
in winter

© G.s.k. ‘15

In Italy violets are more often than not called “non ti scordar di me” or “forget me not” (as I think they may be called in English as well) and are a symbol of remembrance and specifically remembered love …  when they begin to bloom in early spring, because they grow so close to the ground, they are called “love grass (erba d’amore)”.  In the Victorian era, in the “language of flowers” the violet was associated with fidelity and true eternal love and it is said that this was one of the reasons that many were scandalized when in  D.H. Lawrence’s book (Lady Chatterley’s Lover)  he writes about an erotic exchange of violets between Lady Chatterley and her lover.

If you’ve got the patience to read a translation of an Italian page … this page is very interesting and it’s the source of the information I’ve related to you above, but there’s much, much more – like for example that The violet is the flower dedicated to “International Missing Children’s Day” (May 25th). (Non Ti Scordar Di Me).

tiny May flower
for all the world’s lost children
forget me not

© G.s.k. ‘15

 – The photograph I borrowed comes from a delightful blog all about violets that you called: Violet Dreams at Whispering Earth )   🙂

Here is some lovely violet haiku from various haiku masters:

yamaji kite naniyara yukashi sumire-gusa

coming along the mountain path,
there is something touching
about these violets

© Basho (Tr. R.H.Blyth)

suwaritaru fune wo agareba sumire kana

getting off the boat
that had grounded, –
the violets!

© Buson (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

Basho’s verse is extended and “explained” by Gyodai:

sumire tsumeba chiisaki haru no kokoro kana

picking a violet, –
the slender
heart of spring!

© Gyodai

tsumu mo ashi tsumanu mo ashiki sumire kana

to pluck it is a pity,
to leave it is a pity,
Ah, this violet!

© Naojo

fragile and a beauty,
the purple leaves like velvet,
cherished in the rain

© Chèvrefeuille

fragile beauty,
these purple leaves like velvet,
cherished in the rain

© Chèvrefeuille

(Chèvrefeuille added this note to his last haiku … By the way … I think you have noticed it. In these two haiku by myself I have used punctuation and that’s new for my haiku … I never use punctuation, because without punctuation the reader, you, can decide the tone by yourself. With punctuation I take your freedom of mind away … and that’s certainly not my way of being a haiku poet.

The above haiku can be found along with the whole original (and interesting) post at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai

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