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Montage #29

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Montage #29,
presented by Allan Burns,
is now up
on The Haiku Foundation website.

#29’s theme is “Autumn Colors” and features the work of Natsume Sōseki, Carolyn Hall and vincent tripi.

Bay in autumn:
The sounds of a stake
Driven into the ground.

Sōseki

Colouring itself across the pond the autumn wind

tripi

valley oak
all the colors of fall
in a single leaf

Hall

Has seasonality in English-language haiku become too predictable? Have the seasonal images and feelings associated with autumn/fall, for example, become overworked?

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Of the three poets – including all their poems – I related most intimately to those by Carolyn Hall. She is a poet whose work I have admired on previous occasions in other journals; I love her sensitive approach to, and relationship with nature and all living things. I shall read her poems several times more.

  2. Well, also the seasons correspond with the ages of man too….autumn has many deep psychological meanings….
    not to mention the five senses adding depth and tactile reinforcement.

  3. The words, spring, summer, fall, winter, will bring predictable images to mind. That alone isn’t enough for a good haiku. There needs something particular, individual to the poet, unique to the moment. Common phrases–falling leves, dry leavaes, blowing leaves, etc.–will set the time of year, but the particular moment is up to the perceptive and creative talent of the poet. Not to have seasonal images in haiku would mean eliminating kigo, a key element in haiku.

    Adelaide

  4. “I guess not many ELH use them or come up with their own seasonal aspects of human activities in autumn.”

    Actually, there are a lot of elh with seasonal references that are either human activities, such as going back to school, raking leaves, chopping wood, hunting, etc., or holidays, such as Halloween, All Souls’ Day, Election Day, Veterans’ Day, and Thanksgiving. And a lot of those are obviously different than what you’d find in J haiku.

    late geese
    up a dry fork
    All Souls’ Day

    –Burnell Lippy, late geese up a dry fork (Red Moon Press, 2003)

  5. “Has seasonality in English-language haiku become too predictable?
    Have the seasonal images and feelings associated with autumn/fall, for example, become overworked?”

    I just finished all the kigo related to humanity and autumn …
    and I guess not many ELH use them or come up with their own seasonal aspects of human activities in autumn.

    To check it out, click on my name and go from there …
    Gabi

  6. A five-tiered waterfall:
    A maple color
    On each tier. Soseki

    a red-tail’s echo…
    the reservoir the color
    of surrounding pines Burns

    I know that a three-tiered waterfall has a special meaning in Japanese…but don’t know for sure what that is…just have heard it referred to. I wonder if the five-tiered waterfall has any special meaning. To me the word “reservoir” holds the implied meaning of sustaining life…and the pines, the implied meaning of “ever” green. So much meaning in these two I think.

  7. In response to the questions Scott posed:

    There is, of course, predictability in the rhythm of the seasons themselves. That fact is reflected in seasonal poetry, both Japanese and English-language, and lies behind the concept of kigo. Haiku are often concerned with the subtlest variations in imagery and feeling, and good readers of haiku have to respond at a similarly fine level. Personally, I could never imagine becoming bored with autumn in all its various moods–some of which are captured deftly in these haiku. To me, life seems too short for that.

    When I read a haiku such as vincent tripi’s (from the current Montage)

    Not falling
    caterpillar
    on the falling leaf

    I believe in endless possibilities for our perceptions and our haiku.

    (The spacing of this haiku, btw, cannot be reproduced properly in this environment–but you can check the current Montage gallery to see the correct indentations.)

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