Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Well ... this 6th anniversary month is almost over, so the end is near of our celebrations. Next month I have chosen the theme "Autumn". I think that theme says enough. Next month we are celebrating Autumn, in my opinion the most beautiful season, but that's for later this week.
For this episode I looked back into our rich history and I ran into an episode about Richard Wright in our Ghost Writer feature back in 2014. And than I thought ... maybe I can bring him back for one day here at our Haiku Kai.
|Richard Wright (1908-1960)
|Cover: Haiku: This Other World by Richard Wright
In all, he wrote over 4,000 haiku, from which he chose, before he died, the 817 he preferred. Rather than a deviation from his self-appointed role as spokesman for black Americans of his time, Richard Wright's haiku, disciplined and steeped in beauty, are a culmination: not only do they give added scope to his work but they bring to it a universality that transcends both race and color without ever denying them.
Wright wrote his haiku obsessively--in bed, in cafes, in restaurants, in both Paris and the French countryside. His daughter Julia believes, quite rightly, that her father's haiku were "self-developed antidotes against illness, and that breaking down words into syllables matched the shortness of his breath." They also offered the novelist and essayist a new form of expression and a new vision: with the threat of death constantly before him, he found inspiration, beauty, and insights in and through the haiku form. The discovery and writing of haiku also helped him come to terms with nature and the earth, which in his early years he had viewed as hostile and equated with suffering and physical hunger. Fighting illness and frequently bedridden, deeply upset by the recent loss of his mother, Ella, Wright continued, as his daughter notes, "to spin these poems of light out of the gathering darkness."
For this episode I love to challenge you to create a Renga With Richard Wright. That means: I will give you six haiku. You may choose your own line-up and add your two-lined stanzas. Here are the six haiku to work with:
I am nobody:
A red sinking autumn sun
Took my name away.
Keep straight down this block,
Then turn right where you will find
A peach tree blooming.
Make up you mind, Snail!
You are half inside your house,
And halfway out!
You moths must leave now;
I am turning out the light
And going to sleep.
All right, You Sparrows;
The sun has set and you can now
Stop your chattering!
Landed upon another
In the dew-wet grass.