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Per Diem/Haiku of the Day for November 2021: ekphrastic haiku

Per Diem/Haiku of the Day for November 2021 features Guest Editor Iliyana Stoyanova’s collection on the theme of ekphrastic haiku. This is what Iliyana has to say by way of introduction to this theme:

Ekphrastic poetry has fascinated me for a very long time and when I edited the 2017 BHS Members’ Anthology ‘Ekphrasis’ I realised that intentionally or not a lot of poets write haiku inspired by various art forms and they thoroughly enjoy doing that. There is a whole range of ekphrastic haiku: some are simple and descriptive, almost sketch-like; others reveal different layers and associations, something special and more personal about the poet’s individual response to the world of art.

Good ekphrastic haiku should present the reader an opportunity for a deeper appreciation and understanding both of the poem and the artwork behind it. I hope you enjoy this selection of ekphrastic haiku!

—Iliyana Stoyanova

See Also our Haiku of the Day Archive.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. re:

    umbilical pole
    on the belly of the sky —
    Jiu river reversed

    after the sculpture “The Endless Column” 1937
    by Constantin Brâncuși

    —Radu Şerban

    Really this haiku!

    Interestingly, as a haiku judge, I chose a haiku about The Endless Column as the winning entry:

    Extended Judge’s Report for 2013 World Monuments Fund Haiku Contest from Alan Summers

    the Endless Column –
    somewhere, another cricket
    is counting the stars

    Christina Oprea
    First Prize
    Site: Endless Column

    First Prize, The Endless Column

    Judge’s commentary (Alan Summers):
    “I kept coming back to the Endless Column which seemed to both represent a particular place and event but also so much struggle in so many countries, not just Romania, but every country through time.

    The mention of a cricket (another cricket) counting stars is a magical and memorable part of this haiku. The two images worked well bouncing off each other, and another cricket is counting the stars lifted this haiku quite literally beyond its immediate place to perhaps one of Japan’s favorite haiku writers, that of Issa, who felt at one with all insects in particular, because of his tough and challenging life.”

    “cricket” is an Autumn seasonal reference in Japanese haikai, a time of reflection, memories, and a certain wistful sadness.

    Also see the incredibly beautiful video, with haiku, of the amazing sites around the world!

    1. I love this. We bought a print of the painting on honeymoon and of course Starry, Starry Night by Don McLean was a favourite song of the time.

    1. I love this. We bought a print of the painting on honeymoon and of course Starry, Starry Night by Don McLean was a favourite song of the time.

  2. neon light
    three nighthawks
    lost in loneliness

    On the painting:
    Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

  3. the blue
    of the aubergine
    a spider is caught
    in the netsuke

    Alan Summers
    Publication credit: Snapshots Seven ed. John Barlow (2000)

    Netsuke, porcelain glazed and enamelled with aubergine and spider, Japan, 19th century, Edo style (Victoria and Albert Museum)

    This netsuke was probably produced in the Hirado kilns in Kyushu. The combination of an insect on fruit was a common theme and a symbol of impermanence. It was a particularly popular motif for netsuke carvers.

    aubergine and spider netsuke:

  4. Ekphrastic haiku can bring both the poem and the artwork alive! 🙂

    the cat’s in love
    night becomes Magritte
    with a bowler hat

    Alan Summers
    René Magritte’s Golconda 1953
    Publication: Asahi Shimbun (Japan, March 2020)

    blue note—
    the snow falls
    out of itself

    Blue Note by Murad Sayen
    Painting – Oil On Panel
    A small farm sits on a hill in Maine, the January full moon shines, and the night is well below zero. Contact Mast Cove Gallery, Kennebunkport Maine

    Publication credit:
    Nick Virgilio Writers House Poetry: Volume 1: haiku, senryu, and tanka
    ed. Henry Brann
    Publisher: upright remington press (29 July 2019)

    the blue guitar
    how many snails
    dream of race

    The Old Guitarist, from Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period
    The Man With the Blue Guitar by Wallace Stevens (a poem treatment published in 1937)
    Publication Credit: Frozen Butterfly issue 4 ed. John McManus
    (July 2016)

    unnamed night
    the aviator’s goggles
    shaking feathers

    “Untitled (Dark Owl)” 2013 by Peter Doig
    Ekphrasis: The British Haiku Society Members’ Anthology 2017 ed. Iliyana Stoyanova
    ISBN-13: 978-1906333089

    the crows changing
    into their colours

    Wheatfield with Crows, Auvers-sur-Oise, July 1890 Vincent van Gogh
    posted at Area 17

    the sodium streets
    sizzle in its rain

    Alan Summers
    Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (1942)
    Publication Credit: Weird Laburnum (September 2019)

    black cow soda
    the cherry topped stools
    that spin

    Alan Summers
    Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (1942)
    Publication Credit: Weird Laburnum (September 2019)

    Hirst’s butterflies disturbing the exhibits people

    ‘In and Out of Love (Butterfly Paintings and Ashtrays)’
    Damien Hirst
    Tate Modern retrospective 2012

    Alan Summers
    Publication Credits:
    Roadrunner 12.3 (December 2012)
    Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1, No.1 February 2013
    Collection: Does Fish-God Know (2012)

    girl in an owl
    a human gun for yellow

    Alan Summers
    Creation of The Birds
    by Remedios Varo (1957)

    Publication Credits:
    c.2.2. Anthology of short-verse ed. Brendan Slater & Alan Summers
    (Yet To Be Named Free Press 2013)

    Haiku Foundation:

    second dates…
    Norman Rockwell snow
    holds the front page

    News Kiosk in the Snow, the Norman Rockwell Santa Saturday Evening Post cover (December 20, 1941)

    Alan Summers
    Anthology Credit: Journeys 2015, An Anthology of International Haibun
    ed. Angelee Deodhar ISBN 978-1515359876

    a dreaming forest busy as Hitchcock

    Tom Ryan, Original Alfred Hitchcock Print “The Birds” (1963)

    Alan Summers

    from: The Comfort of Crows
    Hifsa Ashraf and Alan Summers
    (Velvet Dusk Publishing, December 2019)

    moonlighting crows in other colors

    Wheatfield with Crows, Auvers-sur-Oise, July 1890 Vincent van Gogh

    Alan Summers
    Journal Credit: Frogpond (39:1) Winter Issue 2016
    Anthology Credit: 2016 HSA Member Anthology Full of Moonlight

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