Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
March is running towards its end and we have just a few days to go. This month we are exploring the haiku writing techniques which are used by one of the greatest haiku poets ever, Matsuo Basho (1644-1694). In a way I see him as my sensei, because through his haiku I fell in love with this beautiful tiny poetry form from the far east. Let's go and explorer another haiku writing technique used by Basho.
The haiku writing technique we have today isn't an easy one to understand. Maybe you can remember our first series of CD-HWT at the beginning of last year. One of the haiku writing techniques I tried to explain was "sabi" ... and that's the haiku writing technique which we are going to explore here (again.). This is the haiku by Basho (in a beautiful translation by Jane Reichhold) which will be used to explain this "sabi".
dreaming rice cakes
fastened to folded ferns
a grass pillow
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
As Jane says about this haiku writing technique: "It is questionable whether this is actually a writing technique, but the concept is so vital to Asian poetry that it needs to be included".
lips taking a sip
from a stone mouth
So you see, we are rather on our own with this! I have translated this as: sabi (SAH-BEE)- aged/loneliness - A quality of images used in poetry that expresses something aged or weathered with a hint of sadness because of being abandoned. A split-rail fence sagging with overgrown vines has sabi; a freshly painted picket fence does not." As a technique, one puts together images and verbs which create this desired atmosphere. Often in English this hallowed state is sought by using the word "old" and by writing of cemeteries and grandmas.
sign of happiness and freedom -
bleached with stones
jeans almost falling apart
can't throw them away