Haiku by Basho

Not spilling the glistening dew,
the bush clover,
undulating
[1]

白露をこぼさぬ萩のうねりかな
shiratsuyu wo kobosanu hagi no uneri kana

12 1/4″ W x 43″ H Japanese Scroll
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase

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H3017 Haiku by Basho – Not spilling the glistening dew …
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase

Not spilling the glistening dew,
the bush clover,
undulating
[1]

shiratsuyu wo
kobosanu hagi no
uneri kana
白露を
こぼさぬ萩の
うねりかな
bashou 芭蕉

Asataro Miyamori suggests the translation:

The lespedeza flowers sway and sway,
But not enough to shake down their white dews.
[2]

Miyamori goes on to write, “The hagi or lespedeza is an autumn herb with graceful pliant stems and little lovely flowers, either red or white. A beautiful verse quite worthy of the graceful flower.” [2]

E. S. Stephenson suggests the even lengthier translation:

Ah! those feathery, willow-like banches of the hagi curving so softly –
How tenderly they cradle the dew-drops and do not let them fall!
[3]

Stephenson explains, “This pombungling [sic] paraphrase can give but a poor idea of what Basho’s seventeen syllables convey to a Japanese. But anyone who has seen the hagi in the freshness of the morning in some old Japanese garden, with the shining dew-drops nestling on those dainty branches, can feel the truth and beauty of Basho’s word-picture – and appreciate the unerring artistry that gives you the essential character of the plant so simply and yet so graphically.” [3]

Robert Aitken suggests the translation:

The bush clover flowers
don’t let their white dew fall
despite their swaying.
[4]

References:

[1] Translation by Timothy L. Jackowski, Takase Studios, LLC.

[2] 209.

[3] Anonymous. (2015). Theosophical Path: Illustrated Monthly …, Volume 16. Arkose Press. United States. 164.

[4]