Monday, March 7, 2016

Carpe Diem #934 Onions

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It is a joy and a pleasure to make this month of Carpe Diem for you all. And of course that's all because I am a big fan of Basho and his way of writing haiku.

Today I have another nice HWT for you which was frequently used by Basho and here is the haiku on which this episode is based:

a morning of snow
only the onions in the garden
blaze the trail

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This HWT we have seen earlier here at CDHK, I think it was in our second series of CD-HWT, but then I introduced it as a regular HWT and not specifically used by Basho. In this month we are trying to improve our haiku writing skills by looking at the haiku writing techniques used by Basho and by doing that I hope we will try to compose our haiku in the way of Basho.

This HWT is called Narrowing Focus and it was used often by Buson (1716-1784)) because, he as an artist, a painter, was a very visual person. Basho and earlier poets were completely comfortable in using this haiku writing technique.
The above poem starts basically with a wide-angle lens on the world in the 1st line, then switches to a normal lens for the 2nd line and zooms in for a close up in the end. The technique sounds simple, and when done well it's very effective in bringing the reader's attention down to one basic element or fact of the haiku.
In this poem Basho added another element to the technique with the idea that the close-up image - the trail at one's feet - is covered up with snow so it cannot be seen.

Persimmon Tree

I did some research and I think that I found a few other examples of haiku by Basho in which he uses this HWT.

old village
not a house without
a persimmon tree

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

a grassy plain
the moon is a young sprout
from Pine Island seed

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

And of course I had to create one myself with this HWT, but I wasn't inspired enough so I ran through my archives and found the following haiku in which I have used this HWT.

in the moonlight
Wisteria flowers look fragile -
a gust of wind
© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 10th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, a new Tokubetsudesu episode, later on. For now ... have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment