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“The loneliness Of autumn on the beach More even than that of Suma In the surf Mingled with small shells Petals of the bush clover”

Written by Matsuo Basho in 1689 on his travels to the NorthTranslated by R.H. Blyth in “Haiku” (Hokuseido Press)

The delicate, flowering bush clover has been a favorite motif with Japanese poets since time immemorial. Small pink flowers are borne at the end of arching stems and mix attractively with dainty leaves. It is a vigorous, deciduous shrub of the pea family, and several wild species can be found growing on damp hills and moors. There is a white-flowered variety, but the parti-colored pink types are more common. In the 10th century, no aristocratic villa would have been complete without the modest bush clover, blooming in a dew-drenched garden. Today, there is still a corner in our hearts and small gardens for this charming autumn bush.