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Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:55 am
by Jenny
Haiku by Japanese Master Basho (1644-1694)

Won't you come and see
loneliness? Just one leaf
from the kiri tree.

Re: Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:14 pm
by Jenny
I don't know Kiri/Paulownia trees very well, so I don't know why one leaf of a Kiri tree would be 'loneliness'. Unless the whole tree had nothing but one leaf! Lonely indeed!

Jenny

Re: Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:59 pm
by edfrank
Jenny,

The haiku seems to be comparing a person cut off from society and other people with a leaf being cut off from a tree. The leaf is lonely because it is no longer part of the tree and no longer has teh company of the other leaves.

Re: Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:13 pm
by James Parton
Jenny,

The tree is also called Royal Paulownia or the Empress Tree. I have also heard them called Princess Trees. They have very large leaves. Similar to that of Catalpa but even larger. They have beautiful very fragrant ( sometimes overwhelmingly so ) blossoms in May which overwinter in fuzzy buds which develop the previous year. A deep hard freeze sometimes kills them preventing them from blooming the following spring. They are very fast growers. I had one near my steps when I lived down in Deep Gap and cut it back one year. It grew back in one summer growing six feet in a single summer! They have seed pods in fall which many people dislike because they tend to litter up the yard. The wood is soft. I have heard it called " Cottonwood " here in the south. Sometimes the wood is used in the furniture trade. Like Ailanthus ( Tree of Heaven or Paradise Tree ) Paulownia is often invasive and is considered a weed tree, dispite it's beautiful large leaved habit and flowers, here in the southern US.

James

Re: Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:15 pm
by Jenny
Beautiful picture James and good to get to know this tree.

Ed, Oh no! That is lonely! Good interpretation. Thank you.

Jenny

Re: Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:41 pm
by Steve Galehouse
It's curious theses non-native, "invasive" trees have such a positive connotation from their native lands, with common names translated as "Tree-of-Heaven" and "Empress Tree".

They may think they're doing us a favor, or sharing the wealth.

Steve

Re: Haiku-Kiri Tree (Paulownia Tree)

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:59 am
by James Parton
Steve,

I have always found Tree of Heaven and Empress Tree both to be attractive trees. Beauty has nothing to do with them being invasive to an ecosystem.

JP