Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Carpe Diem Haiku Writing Techniques #17 Leap Linkage

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize for this late publishing of our new CD-HWT episode, I am in the nightshift, so it escaped at my attention.
Second our new kukai has started. This time the theme is WINTER and you can submit a maximum of three new haiku (only haiku) to our emailaddress ( before December 23rd 10.00 PM (CET). Please write "kukai winter" in the subject-line.
Third I am busy with creating a new E-book in which I have gathered all the submitted haiku for the kukai "juxtaposition" and "peace of mind", soon to come.

In this second series of CD-HWT I have chosen to tell you more about not so well known haiku writing techniques to improve your haiku skills. As you all know Jane Reichhold has written a lot about haiku and the techniques to write/compose them. I am glad that she gave me the permission to use her knowledge here for you.

This week I have a haiku writing technique for those who are writing haiku for a long time, so those haiku poets have already certain skills, but of course for those haiku poets who are new or not that long busy with haiku, this can also be a great haiku writing technique to use or to experiment with.

Matsuo Basho
This week our HWT is Leap Linkage. As a writer's skills increase, and as he or she reads many haiku, as we all do here at CDHK, either their own or others, such easy leaps quickly fade in excitement. Being human, we seem destined to seek the next level of difficulty and to find new thrills. So the writer begins to attempt leaps that a reader new to haiku may not follow and therefore judge to be nonsense. The nice thing about this aspect is that when one begins to read haiku by a certain author, one will find some of the haiku simply meaningless,but years later, with many haiku experiences, the reader will discover the truth or poetry or beauty in a haiku that seemed dead and closed earlier. I think the important point in creating with this technique is that the writer should always be totally aware of his or her truth. Poets of the surrealistic often make leaps which simply seem impossible to follow - an example would be the work of Paul Celan (1920-1970), where the reader simply has to go on faith that the author knew what he was writing about. This is rare in haiku. Usually, if you think about the words long enough and deeply enough, you can find the author's truth.

a fish opens a door
in the lake

© Jane Reichhold

As you all know Basho was basically a renga-master and due to his renga-writing skills, Basho was a master at making wild, wide leaps in the linking of the images of his poems.

swinging bridge
first one thinks of
meeting horses

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

Here the linkage leap is so wide that it may need a footnote of explanation for readers four centuries and Thousand of miles away to follow it. This is one of the problems of making an innovative or wide leap - how to get the reader's mind to track it over the abyss without getting lost. The important point in creating with this technique is that the writer is always totally aware of his or her truth.

Not an easy haiku writing technique I think, but worth to give it a try. I don't know if I can write a haiku with this "leap linkage", but I have given it a try.

sky diver
flies down to earth
like Icarus

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... a nice one I think, but did I use this technique? I am not sure about that ... What do you think?

This episode, this challenge, is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until November 7th at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode, our first CD-Special by Ese, our kukai "peace of mind" winner, later on. For now ... good luck!


  1. Very interesting...fine haiku Chevrefeuille...not sure if you made that leap at first second glance you definitely leaped!

  2. Thanks for supplying us with so much input during you're on nightshift.

  3. Thank you for Paul the style...Aesop's language has been known from ancient times: in Greece first, famous Aesop's Fables; also Russian fabulist Ivan Krylov (18-19c.)...
    Your haiku leaped, adore 'earth like Icarus' - layers in it.

  4. Dive and fly - what else can be a that big leap ;)

  5. very interesting; luv the bit of mythology in your haiku

    much love...

  6. It took me awhile, but I think I understand the one with the fish. Not sure that I was able to fully capture the leap but there it is! :)

  7. you always provide us with lovely haiku :) thanks!

  8. Oh I always find 'leap linkage' a tricky technique to pull off...