Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
As I started to make the preparations for this new series of CDHWT I didn't realize that there were 13 wednesdays to go instead of 12, so I had to make an extra choice for a HWT. This HWT I choose was this one "double entendre" (or "double meaning") and I for sure think this is a wonderful HWT to use.
Maybe you can remember the haiku in which Basho refers to a certain part of the male body as he wrote about "morningglory", that haiku is an example of this HWT "double entendre":
when my Morning Glory
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
I will tell you a little bit more about this HWT, and as you all know I have the opportunity to make these CD-HWT episodes, because of the granted permission by Jane Reichhold.
Anyone who has read translations of Japanese poetry has seen how much poets delighted in saying one thing and meaning something else. Often onlt translators knew the secret language and got the jokes that may or may not be explained in footnotes. In some cases (as in the above example by Basho) the pun was to cover up a sexual reference by speaking of something ordinary in such a way that its hidden meaning could be found by the initiated.
Another example by Basho can give you an idea about this HWT:
forbidden to say
how sleeves are wetted
in the bathroom
A wonderful example of "double entendre" I think, because in this haiku Basho hides this knowledge which was only known by other initiated man.
Okay back to the explanation of "double entendre". There are whole lists of words with double meanings -- spring rain = sexual emisions, and jade mountain = the Mound of Venus. But we have the same devices in English also, and haiku can use them in the very same way.
An example by Jane Reichhold:
touching each other
at the river
Here the ambiguity of the haiku can be taken as the reality that "when hills touch it is at a river" or one can think "out in the hills at the river a couple are touching each other". Or "on the hills of their bodies, a couple are touching each other in the wettest places".
|Credits: According to Shinto mythology the Sun goddess Amaterasu was the mother of the Moon Princess (Shita Teru Hime)|
An other example by this HWT in a poem by Basho:
the rainy image
of the bottom shining princess
the moon's face
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
To explain this "double entendre" I need the romaji translation also, so here the romaji translation follows:
kage wa ame no shita teru hime ka tsuki no kao
Shita Teru Hime (Shining Under Princess) was the daughter of the legendary ruler, Okunimushi, of Izumo Province, in a Shinto myth. She was considered the Mother of Waka poetry. Shita, as "bottom", probably meant "laver" or "last", in reference to her rank as a princess.
I think this is really a nice way of writing haiku, so here is an example of "double entendre" as I used in one of my haiku (from my archive):
petals of red roses around
my morning glory
And here is another one which I wrote somewhere in August 2014:
after a steaming hot summer night
with my paramour
I am not sure that this is really a "double entendre", but I felt this a somewhat mysterious haiku, so I think it's one in which this nice HWT is used.