Thursday, October 16, 2014

Carpe Diem "Ask Jane ..." #4

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's my pleasure to publish the fourth episode of Carpe Diem "Ask Jane ..." This time Jen of Blog It Or Lose It had a question for her. I think Jane has given a nice answer to this question.


Dear Jane --

In your appendix in Basho: The Complete Haiku, you mention “pseudo-science” or “other reality” as a haiku technique. I've been toying with this technique but am never quite sure when I've crossed the line dividing the possible and the unbelievable. Can you please explain this technique a little further?
All the best --


Dear Jen,
Thank you for asking about this little-appreciated haiku technique. As far as I know you are the first person to be interested in it. I think of this technique as the one used by artists, so that fits with how I think of you from reading your comments on the website.

Artists, including Basho, often see the world a bit differently than other people. Our minds move more easily off the conventional idea into our also-comfortable realm of fantasy. When we dare to write our haiku from this place, they can seem strange or new to others, yet there is, to us, perfect sense in our way of thinking. To us, what we see or experience there is so real that we report it as a normal phenomenon. Thus my name “pseudo-science.”
I do not think you need to worry about crossing the line between “the possible and the unbelievable.” Listen to your heart. If a haiku comes to your mind, it is your haiku and is entirely valid. You can revise it to make it as good as possible, but stick with your original inspiration / ideas / images. They are your gifts from the Universe.

While thinking of your question I noticed on my desk this haiku:
rain watering
the dry soil of the soul

Most of the time we do not think of the soul as having ‘dry soil or earth’ in it or rain being able to water regrets (so they bloom again as we think of them), but these words came to my mind while watching our first rain of the season so they are a part of this haiku.
May you be blessed with many new ideas about the world for your haiku. May you have the courage to make them your own and share them!

\o/ Jane

It's great to read this answer, this article, and maybe you can try to use it in your haiku. I am looking forward to those haiku. You can share them in the comment-field of this post.


Chèvrefeuille, your host


  1. Really amazing - thank you Jen, and wonderful from Jane. Thanks to Chevrefeuille

  2. I love this question and find this most helpful, thank you so much...I find writing haiku is very much like an artist and that one can be more abstract.

  3. Love the one word ending in this haiku ~ I am trying to do some haiku without the 17 syllable rule ~ I assume you just 'follow your heart' as you indicated so just write it and let it flow and forget the counting of syllables???? ~ thanks,

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  4. Thanks for having Jane share with this Haiku Kai! Learning everyday!

  5. Thank you so much, Jane, for answering this question! Your response is so helpful -- and more reassuring than I can possibly express.

    Oddly enough - when I registered for college 20ish years ago (more or less, LOL) - I did so as an art major. Then I became sidetracked and ended up training to be an English teacher. (That didn't happen either.) When you called pseudo-science an artist's technique everything sort of clicked into place.

    But ... I'm rambling ....

    The haiku you've included here is exquisite. Not only in meaning, but in that you can almost hear the hissing of the rain hitting that dry soil.

    Onward, then -- and with courage :)
    Namaste -