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Quicksilver Hg4: Learning About Comparing Two Images

Quicksilver: the chronicles of a newcomer to the art of haiku

Quicksilver

Hg4

Learning About Comparing Two Images
By Laura Sherman

When I started writing haiku I thought one just had to express an idea in three lines. I focused on one image. Now I see the nuance of comparing two distinct images. When that puzzle piece clicked into place, a new door opened up for me.

Recently, I went to North Carolina (NC) with my family for a vacation. I was thinking about haiku (and this group) while I experienced the tranquility of mountains. I have taken to heart really looking at the world and writing from my experiences, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity!

Although I swore I’d stay offline, I couldn’t help checking in with my haiku buddies. With Alan Summer’s help (although he explained that I don’t need to credit him, I can’t help but include his name) I penned this:

Lake Cherokee an echo in each breaststroke

I had started with:

pine trees line
an arm of Lake Cherokee
breaststroke echoes

then I got to:

Lake Cherokee
I can hear my breath echo

as I swim breaststroke

What do you think? Which do you like best?

Here are two more I wrote, inspired by my family and NC:

cold river water
peach juice drips from my baby’s chin
as she shivers

(When Camille was almost two, I wanted to introduce her to peaches. I found a wonderful orchard and picked a few juicy ones. I then took her to a local river I loved, which was very cold, and sat with her there, so it wouldn’t make a huge mess.)

empty bucket
blueberry picking
with my toddler

(As one might predict, toddlers want to eat blueberries, not collect them.)

As always I would love to hear your thoughts on these haiku. How would you edit them?

And if you have any haiku to share, which illustrate the concept of comparing two images, please post them here in the comment section.

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Quicksilver is a column on troutswirl, the blog for The Haiku Foundation, devoted to showcasing the questions, ideas, and evolution of a beginner to the art of haiku, Laura Sherman. Each installment will feature some of Laura’s new work as well as her ideas and thought-processes concerning them. It is hoped that readers will respond with reactions, ideas, and advice on her work and provide feedback on how she might develop and improve her craft.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. The only way to learn about juxtaposition is to juxtapose. By using intuitive response to experience we will usually get it. To contrive a haiku is to miss the point. This is why Shiki, under the influence of Western scientific realism, decreed the direct observation of things. I would say this is a good start for any beginner of haiku. This is how to learn what juxtaposition is and how it works – unsullied by artificial device and secondhand opinion. Once we are adept at this understanding we can move into deeper haiku waters with a confidence born out of direct participation in the authentic haiku experience.

    — jp

  2. Maybe you should change the page title Quicksilver Hg4: Learning About Comparing Two Images – The Haiku Foundation to something more suited for your subject you write. I loved the post however.

  3. Having clarified the meaning and use of juxtaposition’s ‘compare and contrast’ mantra, another useful term to remember (the end result of the combining process) is : SYNERGY : ‘more than the sum total of its parts’ being the mantra for this. When we achieve effective *synergy* in our haiku we know it – silently.

    — jp
    http://www.facebook.com/haikucrossroads

  4. That would be a perfect project for me. I love writing about my family and having a goal like that would really drive me forward to create a collection. Thank you for the idea!

  5. Looking forward to more of your family haiku, Laura.

    I really like the idea, and I think you should consider a family collection at some later date. It could be a great project for Christmas/Holidays 2011.

    all my best,

    Alan

  6. Just be aware that ‘squats’ could have an unintended double meaning for some readers.

    But yes, little boys do squat, as they’re mostly too young to have creaky knees. 😉

  7. Yes, little boys (especially) do squat don’t they? When they’re really absorbed in something. It is exactly the right word.

    Otherwise, I’ll back up what Alan has suggested you think about for those 2 delightful haiku. I could see both moments very clearly.

  8. Yes, I haven’t quite grasped the flow of a haiku fully. I really like the way yours read, I like the flow.

    Cole was instructed to sit under the tree and wait to be called. It was a beautiful and informal wedding. We all stood around the couple to witness the ceremony. It was intimate.

    Cole chose to squat, I think because it was comfortable for him (oddly enough). It was quite cute actually. He wasn’t really nervous, but wanted me to be next to him. It took some convincing to have him be under the pine without me. 🙂 In the end he did a flawless job. I was very proud of him.

  9. Laura said:
    “I had considered taking out the word “squats,” but found it interesting that he chose to squat under the pine. It seemed so little boylike (and rather uncomfortable for someone of my age). However I wasn’t sure that “squats” was really a haiku word. I know it isn’t terribly elegant. :-)”

    Haiku words aren’t elegant at times, there’s a famous word from Basho and a certain one from Kaneko Tota which I can’t repeat here, but had a similar effect to Basho using colloquial language. 😉

    Laura said:
    “So, as a general rule, it’s better to start a line (rather than end one) with a preposition? I had it reversed. Darn!”

    I didn’t feel there was anything grammatical wrong with either haiku, but I find occasionally there’s an opportunity to prune verbs, but only on occasion. 😉

    “squats” had another connotation for me, and possibly some other readers, but I see why you wanted to suggest his uncomfortable position. It’s a young boy’s thing I think, when they don’t suffer from backache yet. 😉

    Was he uneasy, or shy? Or just playful, hiding under the pine?

    Alan

  10. Dear Alan,

    Wow, thank you so much! Your words mean so much to me. I honestly wasn’t sure if they’d translate to others. 🙂

    You’re right, writing these haiku made the two moments even more special for me (and it would be thrilling to me if it truly did enhance the moment for the other participants).

    Writing a haiku about these important days is a little like creating a scrapbook, recording the memory forever. I hope you’ll forgive me if I say it is a little magical.

    I like your versions.

    I had considered taking out the word “squats,” but found it interesting that he chose to squat under the pine. It seemed so little boylike (and rather uncomfortable for someone of my age). However I wasn’t sure that “squats” was really a haiku word. I know it isn’t terribly elegant. 🙂

    So, as a general rule, it’s better to start a line (rather than end one) with a preposition? I had it reversed. Darn!

  11. Wow, I love those haiku!

    I only have a couple of suggestions for you to think over.

    my brother’s wedding –
    my son squats under a pine
    clutching two rings

    or?

    my brother’s wedding –
    my son under a pine
    clutching two rings

    Simaen’s birthday cake
    sixty fireflies are released from
    their clear glass jar

    or?

    Simaen’s birthday cake
    sixty fireflies released
    from their glass jar

    I think it’s a great idea to write personal haiku, because you are capturing what I feel is so important for the haiku I like and write myself.

    Direct experience isn’t a “must” with haiku, but boy is it powerful. I bet you, and your brother; your son; and Simaen will remember so much about those days, just from a single haiku.

    I think they are wonderful whichever final version you go for, thank you so much for sharing something so personal.

    all my best,

    Alan

  12. Dear Alan,

    As always your thoughts are very helpful to me. I have really taken to heart your advice about writing out my thoughts in prose before I begin writing a haiku. You have shown me how helpful this technique is in capturing all the nuances of a scene.

    I appreciate all the excellent topic ideas! Thank you! 🙂

    Dear Sandra,

    Wow, that is an amazing piece. I always get so much out of Jane Reichhold’s articles. I love how she lays out numerous techniques.

    I love what your version of my blueberry picking haiku. I had been purposefully just reporting what I’d seen, but see that one can take creative license there a bit more. I’m also seeing that the “rules” aren’t quite a strict as I first thought.

    I talk to a lot of people about haiku on a daily basis. I love the idea of interesting others in this amazing art form. I find the biggest issue is that people think there are too many rules to understand (the biggest being syllable count).

    I recently wrote haiku for two different people. I wasn’t going to share them here, as they are rather personal, but I changed my mind. 🙂 I hope you don’t mind.

    One was for my only brother, describing the experience of watching my 6-year-old son wait to perform his task as ring bearer at his wedding.

    my brother’s wedding –
    my son squats under a pine
    clutching two rings

    At first I was a bit bothered by the two lines starting with “my brother” and “my son,” but then I thought it worked. Somehow (for me at least) it linked these two very important figures in my life together even more.

    The next was a ku that I wrote for a good friend turning 60. Again, I really only wrote it for him, but I thought I’d share it with you here.

    Simaen’s birthday cake
    sixty fireflies are released from
    their clear glass jar

    I would love your feedback. Do they work?

  13. Laura says:
    “I realized that it might be beneficial to get subject ideas for future articles from you. After all you are my mentors and probably know best how to guide me, so that I can learn and improve.”

    Hi Laura,
    We are all learning, and it’s always best to see what contemporary Japanese haiku writers are doing.

    Although writers outside Japan are attempting their own style outside Japanese practice, it’s always good to build up a library of good translations of current, as well as past, Japanese haiku, to break down and analyse, as well as appreciate in their own right.

    Laura says:
    “What topic should I write about for HG5?”

    I’ll be fascinated by what you feel you should next attempt. 😉

    Laura says:
    “What areas cause the most confusion?”

    Excellent question! 😉

    Laura says:
    “What is the next step a beginner should take?”

    Juxtaposition is a good method, but is only one of many techniques.

    Richard Gilbert is always worth reading as he reports on gendai haiku in Japan. Gendai (modern/contemporary) haiku is growing more and more in Japan, and although I’m a fan of “kigo” he has some strong points on haiku that needn’t contain a seasonal reference.

    Check out Richard’s article “The Disjunctive Dragonfly: A Study of Disjunctive Method and Definitions in Contemporary English‑language Haiku”:
    http://www.iyume.com/dragonfly/DisjunctiveDragonfly.htm

    Laura says:

    “With each step I read haiku from various poets, read articles about how to improve and go out into the world and record my thoughts through haiku.”

    That’s the key:
    1) read, read, read haiku
    2) read, read, read articles on haiku
    3) maintain notes recording anything around you, and record time, day, and date
    4) with those rough notes, your raw source material, you’ll never be sort of being able to pull out draft after draft of rough haiku.
    5) raw material allows you to go back time and time again if a draft haiku isn’t working.

    The key to good haiku is maintaining good notes, and then working on natural syntax, natural language, and immediacy (regardless if the experience is in the past or very recent).

    With good source material you can pick and choose which techniques to choose from, and not be limited by just one “tool” such as juxtaposition.

    Good clear natural language that is clearly understood is a must, and then you can choose which approach to make.

    A common mistake is to include inversions to make a haiku appear more meaningful.

    e.g. putting “water warm” in a line instead of the natural order of words such as “warm water” for instance.

    Another common mistake is to take out too many articles (definite or indefinite).

    Once you’ve clinched that you needn’t embellish a proto-haiku by inversion, unnatural syntax aka Dalekspeak or Tontoisms, then experiment with all the ongoing techniques and new ones too.

    One of my favourite haiku is:

    ni-ju oku kônen no gishyô omae no B-gata

    twenty billion light-years of perjury: your blood type is “B”

    Hoshinaga Fumio

    The article which contains this haiku, and many more is at:
    http://www.modernhaiku.org/essays/HoshinagaFumio.html

    Modern Haiku is a magazine worth subscribing to, and fortunately they publish a number of good articles online too.

    all my best,

    Alan, With Words

  14. empty bucket
    blueberry picking
    with my toddler

    which tells us exactly what’s going on, more a statement of fact than a poem. How about something like:

    empty bucket –
    my toddler’s
    big blue smile

    This one of mine was published in Kokako in 2006:

    smiling through
    her new purple lipstick:
    blueberry season

  15. Hello Laura,

    Recently you asked about examples of haiku that compare two images, here are a selection from The Heron’s Nest, annual paper edition 2009:

    zinnias …
    why yes my favourite
    was Harpo

    – Scott Mason

    open crocuses
    wind lifts the feathers
    on a starling’s throat

    – John Barlow

    swollen moon –
    the sudden urge
    to push

    – Francine Banwarth

    bird song
    the widening span
    of my son’s hand

    – Sandra Simpson

    And I append here, although I’m sure you’ll know it, some advice from Jane Reichhold (the haiku are by Jane):

    “The Technique of Comparison – In the words of Betty Drevniok: ‘In haiku the SOMETHING and the SOMETHING ELSE are set down together in clearly stated images. Together they complete and fulfill each other as ONE PARTICULAR EVENT.’ She rather leaves the reader to understand that the idea of comparison is showing how two different things are similar or share similar aspects.

    a spring nap
    downstream cherry trees
    in bud

    What is expressed, but not said, is the thought that buds on a tree can be compared to flowers taking a nap. One could also ask to what other images could cherry buds be compared? A long list of items can form in one’s mind and be substituted for the first line. Or one can turn the idea around and ask what in the spring landscape can be compared to a nap without naming things that close their eyes to sleep. By changing either of these images one can come up with one’s own haiku while getting a new appreciation and awareness of comparison.

    The Technique of Contrast – Now the job feels easier. All one has to do is to contrast images.

    long hard rain
    hanging in the willows
    tender new leaves

    The delight from this technique is the excitement that opposites creates. You have instant built-in interest in the most common haiku ‘moment’. And yet most of the surprises of life are the contrasts, and therefore this technique is a major one for haiku.”

    Read all of Jane’s “Haiku Techniques” article here:

    http://www.ahapoetry.com/h_t_techniques.html

  16. Each article of Quicksilver focuses on one area of haiku that I explore as I learn about this great art form. So far this path has been clear and my ideas have come from prior discussions (on this article series and others on troutswirl).

    I realized that it might be beneficial to get subject ideas for future articles from you. After all you are my mentors and probably know best how to guide me, so that I can learn and improve.

    What topic should I write about for HG5?

    What areas cause the most confusion?

    What is the next step a beginner should take?

    With each step I read haiku from various poets, read articles about how to improve and go out into the world and record my thoughts through haiku.

    Again, I want to thank you for taking your time to help me!

  17. Dear Alan,

    I love the idea of working toward a collection. It is a good goal! And yes, I agree that babies are hearty. It is a guiding principle for me. I find it interesting that I started questioning my action more when I sat down to write about it and then share it with the world.

    Dear Mark,

    Thank you for your thoughts and for the examples. It always helps me to see examples of haiku which illustrate a concept.

    I love the red quince poem. Wow! I looked up the flower and found this, “The red flowering quince produces large clusters of double fiery scarlet-red flowers.” It is a great example of juxtaposed images.

    Please don’t worry about adding your voice. It is really the point of this experiment. Can I learn through group mentoring and along the way encourage others to take the leap along with me? It really a wonderful treat for me to hear the different opinions and see what choices I have with haiku. So far I have learned a lot and am grateful to everyone.

    Dear Susanna,

    Thank you very much for writing in! It is an interesting idea to explore this further, but I would be concerned that the poem might become more about me than the image of a baby in a river eating a juicy peach. I just wanted to add a little splash of that emotion (no pun intended, well, maybe, just a little).

    Dear Deborah,

    Thank you for your thoughts on my haiku! Looking at this with fresh eyes and taking in the discussion on juxtaposed images, might someone think that I was comparing the flow of river water to the peach juice flowing from my baby’s mouth? (rather than simply recording that moment)

    Dear Susan,

    I appreciate hearing your thoughts and reactions to my haiku. Getting feedback is such a joy!

    Dear Balan,

    I appreciate your writing in and sharing your ideas. I like the empty bucket version best, too. It was interesting to play around with creating a new image, not connected to the scene, but the original is truer for me. It follows the idea of simply recording what one sees.

  18. Laura – I forgot to mention that I absolutely love your one-line version of “Lake Cherokee” – definitely my favorite version of that haiku.

  19. Laura, I enjoyed your ’empty bucket’ haiku the most. It required more thinking from the reader and so the reader has to contribute more, sharing and imbedding more in the haiku poem.

    Your ‘cold river water’ haiku I would prefer as:

    Peach juice dripping
    from my baby’s chin …
    shivering over the river.

    Balan

  20. I enjoyed all of your haiku posted here. I prefer the one line version of the Lake Cherokee one.
    I liked Debbie Kolodji’s version of your haiku very much. It is powerful and succinct.
    Although I also like your original version very much and do respond a bit differently to it than to Debbie’s version of the poem. It is true that the cold water contains the quality of a shiver, but I feel the shiver more in your version. Another possibility: cold river water/ peach juice from my baby’s chin/as she shivers Perhaps this connects the three images a bit more. I like your version of the blueberry-less bucket best.

  21. Laura,

    I see three different images in your “cold river water” haiku and would suggest dropping the last line.

    cold river water
    peach juice drips
    from my baby’s chin

    Somehow, the dripping combined with the cold river makes me shiver anyway.

  22. Having established that juxtaposition (contrast) is NOT ‘combination’ (as someone earlier on this thread suggested) the next layer of analysis we would point out is that images cover time as well as space.

    Provided we anchor and address our haiku in the NOW all is well. One or two images may be a past event, one or two images may be from the present moment. Of course, All the images may be from the now, but, not all from the past – at least not if it’s a haiku.

    This applies to ‘desk haiku’ also, of which there are several kinds. The only desk haiku that are typically worth their category of haiku are the ones that work from real memories of actual events – the more recent the better.

    on the black and white pier
    dad smiles and waves
    again

    Although this haiku illustrates a past event , the photograph is *being looked at in the present* by the author. This is a subtle juxtaposition we occasionally come across in the oceanic haiku literature. Some might even argue, as in this example, that we are also in the ‘past as a now’ – which, of course, in a secondary sense we are.

    — jp
    http://www.facebook.com/haikucrossroads

  23. @Laura –> As a reader, I’m curious to know more about how you, as a mother, respond to your baby’s shiver. Do you feel surprised, helpless, empathetic, worried? Is there a physical way to convey this so your experience is more present in the haiku?

  24. Laura, you wrote:

    “So there is a distinction between comparing two separate images (from two separate times and places) vs comparing two images within a scene? I definitely see how they are different, but I hadn’t considered this nuance before this conversation.”

    My comments on poet, pond, and frog were loosely inspired by a well-known position taken by Hasegawa Kai (who has given the subject far more thought than I have), and were offered as a pointer to a different approach than you appear to be currently taking. Your style is and will be your own, approach is a somewhat different matter, and I think it helps to know the options.

    As John Stevenson suggested near the beginning of your adventure, let these words pass through you. I’m not a teacher, just a person sharing a few thoughts.

    Juxtaposed images/groups-of-words/ideas can be drawn from a single scene, in your case often a tender and familial one (I’m reminded of the great Mary Cassatt), or they can be connected in other ways.

    It may be she will disagree with me, but this poem by Fay Aoyagi comes to mind.

    a firm handshake
    from the female lawyer
    red quince blossoming

    did an actual handshake with a lawyer take place? Yes, most likely. Was quince blossoming nearby? Probably not. Whether yes or no, the flowers aren’t in the poem for decoration, I think.

    The other point I tried to make, and I could have been more clear: if you use two images from within the same scene, they can be close together or far apart. An example of the latter, by Marlene Mountain:

    above the mountain mountains of the moon

    telescopes in one line from the implied viewer to the summit of a mountain to mountains of the moon.

    Just sharing some observations, I don’t think you should put a leak in the bucket on my account (I’m ambivalent about adding another voice here, admire your resolve).

  25. Laura said:

    “Dear Alan,

    Thank you for weighing in. And again, thank you for your help with this haiku. Your posting brings up another question I have wondered about. Is a haiku stronger if it has multiple meanings? Or is it valid to just share an experience, allowing for no other interpretation?”

    I think first of all the writing has to be good whatever approach is made to a final haiku draft.

    A haiku isn’t necessarily strong or stronger if it has multiple meanings, if the writing itself isn’t strong.

    If it’s sharing an experience, and on face value it appear to have another layer of meaning, it could still be okay, as long as it has some resonance, something to echo on within the reader in some shape or manner.

    As it’s almost a duty for a poet to work towards a collection at some point, we all need variety in that proto-collection, and so there is no wrong in having “quieter” haiku.

    Laura says:

    “Maybe I don’t trust the reader enough. Honestly this is another thing I struggle with. How much should I explain and how much should I leave for the reader to figure out?”

    I do believe this is a perennial question for any writer at any stage. Some poems are just stronger for some reason if they have clear cut diction with no ambiguity at all.

    I have found that we in the West seem to fall into the trap of “flat readings” of haiku or other short/micropoetry.

    I will often find at least one other layer of meaning, of understanding, experience etc… in someone’s piece, whether they know it’s there themselves or not.

    Babies are hardy creatures, otherwise races, human and otherwise, would have died out centuries ago. 😉

    A baby cocooned too much is a baby overly vulnerable to illnesses later on in life. Enjoy your time as a mother, and as a writer chronicling your time as a mother. 😉

    all my best,

    Alan

  26. Dear Gabi and Mark,

    So there is a distinction between comparing two separate images (from two separate times and places) vs comparing two images within a scene? I definitely see how they are different, but I hadn’t considered this nuance before this conversation.

    So do you think it might be stronger to say?

    leaky water bucket
    blueberry picking
    with my toddler

    Dear Alan,

    Thank you for weighing in. And again, thank you for your help with this haiku. Your posting brings up another question I have wondered about. Is a haiku stronger if it has multiple meanings? Or is it valid to just share an experience, allowing for no other interpretation?

    Dear Sandra,

    Wow, I am very honored. Thank you!

    I truly strive to show not tell in all aspects of my writing. It is an important rule. I am definitely willing to look at whether the shivering line breaks that rule. It is a good point.

    When I wrote this haiku I actually was concerned that someone may think that I was a bad mother. After all I subjected my baby to cold water! That’s why I included it, to add that aspect, that worry to the piece. It was capturing a motherhood moment. There are so many decisions a mother has to make every day. It’s hard not to question it a bit. (In this case, she was fine and seemed to enjoy the experience, but still I wondered if someone might be shocked by my action that day)

    Now I think some may look at this haiku and think about a baby sitting in cold water, but I wondered if they’d see her shivering. Maybe I don’t trust the reader enough. Honestly this is another thing I struggle with. How much should I explain and how much should I leave for the reader to figure out?

    Thank you all for taking the time to help me sort through these issues. I always get so much out of each of these conversations and am truly grateful to all of you!

  27. The one-liner is very good Laura, well done. I attempt them occasionally, but have probably not yet done anything as successful as yours. It is a poem full of possibilities.

    With this one:

    cold river water
    peach juice drips from my baby’s chin
    as she shivers

    I might suggest dropping L3 as it “tells not shows”:

    river water
    dripping from my baby’s chin
    peach juice

    or:

    cold river water –
    peach juice drips
    from my baby’s chin

    The shiver is there for the reader to intuit. Do you think so?

  28. The term JUXTAPOSITION is correct. ‘Combination’ would be misleading. The case for ‘juxtaposition’ as primary in a typical haiku’s ‘set up’ images is that, although placed side by side, the two images are yet to be combined to produce a third entity, namely, the ‘punchline’. The opposition of the primary two images produces the rationale for a third.The spark across the gap’ ignites an effect.. This is why JUXTAPOSITION is to be preferred over ‘combination’ – for the sake of functional clarity and common sense understanding.

    Test it here :

    old pond
    a frog jumps in
    sound of water
    ~ Bashō

    — jp
    http://www.facebook.com/haikucrossroads

  29. re:

    Lake Cherokee an echo in each breaststroke

    To me there are three possible readings:
    1) swimming in Lake Cherokee

    2) swimming somewhere else, maybe a local government run public swimming pool, or a private spa/health club, and remembering the lake and associated memories of the vacation:
    http://www.lakecherokee.net/id2.htm
    http://www.cherokeelakeinfo.com/trash.shtml
    http://www.cherokeelakeinfo.com/info.shtml

    3) I’ll leave that one to your imagination. 😉

  30. toriawase, combining two images, is the theme of your study this time.

    I just remembered a lesson for our local Japanese school children, when they learned about toriawase.

    They were asked to write two lines (5/7 or 7/5) from some real experience.
    The empty line would be “something that makes me happy” or “something that makes me sad”.

    Next they were introduced to some kigo that imply these feelings and could choose an appropriate kigo for the empty line to finish their haiku composition.

    Toriawase is also translated as “juxtaposition”, but I prefer the word “combination”.

    The kids were from grammar school.
    Some of it is here
    http://happyhaiku.blogspot.com/2004/01/teaching-children.html

    Gabi

    example from a first-grader

    bright autumn sky –
    I played hide and seek
    with my friend Yuki

    ten takashi Yuuki chan to oni-gokko

    First Grade, Misaki school

  31. Or,

    there is a pond. Beside the pond is a poet. As he contemplates the pond, he remembers/imagines a frog jumping into water and the sound that makes, and the cultural association that evokes in him and his audience. He juxtaposes the two ideas/images. They did not happen at once or in the same place.

    re: your haiku. Lake/swimmer, riverwater/baby, bucket/toddler– In each case, they appear to be (correct me if I’m wrong) parts of the same scene. In close proximity. A valid choice (as is Gabi’s example), but there are others.

  32. Dear Laura,
    consider this

    there is an old pond, and when the frog jumps in, there is a sound

    How many images does that give you?

    There is a lake and the swimmer in the lake hears her breaststroke.

    The opposite of “combining two images” (toriawase) is the “one image” (ichibutsu jitate).
    Each of these types of tradtitional Japanese haiku can be used with or without a kireji (and make the life of a translator rather difficult …)

    How this relates to ELH is another aspect you have to consider.

    Greetings from autumn in Japan.
    Gabi

  33. Laura,

    I like your one-liner, and also prefer breaststroke as one word, especially because the name Cherokee, for me, raises all sorts of associations that prompt me to search for a cross-cultural resonance with your second “distinct image”. I don’t find an obvious connection, and so return to your likely meaning/s.

    You’re making great progress, thanks for sharing!

  34. Hi Laura,

    Is there a reason why you’ve chosen to use ‘breast stroke’ instead of the more usual way of writing the name of the swimming style, ‘breaststroke’?

    Lake Cherokee an echo in each breast stroke

    Though we know (I would hope! 😉 ) the difference between a breast stroke and the breaststroke, the ambiguity created by the two terms in context of a lake seems to work better here in the one line form than it would if rendered in 3 lines. It’s a more complex ku.

    …and I think I can detect Alan’s humour in it. 🙂

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