Thursday, March 24, 2016

Carpe Diem #946 spring evening

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Poets often used ambiguity to hide the fact that they were writing, about themselves. They would refer to "an old man" or "the traveler", when in fact it was the author having the experience. By doing this, the technique moved the poem from the individual into the universal. This technique was known as "hiding the author". That, however. is not our haiku writing technique for today.

I love to say first something about the technique mentioned above "hiding the author". I think that's one of the stronger rules of haiku. In your haiku there is no need to show yourself, but I also think that it isn't a sin if you mention yourself in your haiku. You are the poet and therefore I think you can and may be part of your haiku, but ... don't overdo that.

Today it's all about a variation on the above "hiding the author" technique. Here is the haiku to which the title of this post refers:

a bell at sunset
also was not heard
a spring evening

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

The variation on "hiding the author" as shown in the haiku by Basho is known as "hidden subject". By using this technique the poet wrote about a subject that could not be sensed but only imagined. Asian poets, like Basho and other classical haiku poets, often praised a missing thing. Frequently this was done as a lament for a deceased person, but it was also a way of forcing the reader to think beyond the poem to imagine something that was not expressed in the words.

Basho experimented with this technique and Jane Reichhold ( to whom I am very grateful that she gave permission to use all of her work) mentions, next to the earlier haiku by the master, another one in which he used this technique.

no bell ringing
what does the village do
on a spring evening

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This technique "hidden object" is a nice way to use in your haiku and that's your challenge for today.

Here is my attempt:

mist covers the heath
slowly, slowly the sun rises -
a skylark's song

© Chèvrefeuille

Not as strong as I had hoped, but I think it fits the haiku writing technique for today.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, grass pillow, later on. For now .... have fun, be inspired and share your inspired poem(s) with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

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