Little Creatures with Chiyo-ni (spiders) – haiku – April 26, 2015

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draped across the door
a single spider’s web
floats on the wind

walking in the woods
a spider’s web caress
crosses my cheek

storm winds blow
– skittering across the plant
tiny red spiders

summer evening
hiding in the bathtub

© G.s.k. ‘15

One of my favourite haiku poets is Chiyo-ni (1703-1775).  She lived and wrote in the same period of Basho and was very influenced by his vision of haiku, though she has her own distinctive voice, as we can see in the haiku chosen by Chèvrefeuille for this morning’s Little Creature’s episode:

a single spider’s thread
ties the duckweed
to the shore
© Chiyo-ni

Chiyo-ni (1703-1775)

... she stood not only in nature, but was part of nature and that makes her haiku so strong in their images.

“Oneness with nature” seems especially resonant in Chiyo-ni’s haiku. Basho’s theory of oneness with nature was that the poet should make a faithful or honest sketch of nature. In the Sanzohi (1702), Basho’s disciple, Doho, explains his teacher’s theory: “Learn about the pine from the pine and the bamboo from the bamboo–the poet should detach his mind from self . . . and enter into the object . . . so the poem forms itself when poet and object become one.” This experience is analogous to the Buddhist idea of satori, or enlightenment, what Kenneth Yasuda called the “haiku moment.” When writing haiku, Chiyo-ni immersed herself in nature, honestly observing what she saw …”

“Chiyo-ni’s style is pure, like white jade, without ornament, without carving, natural. Both her life and writing style are clear/pure. She lives simply, as if with a stone for a pillow, and spring water to brush her teeth. She is like a small pine, embodying a female style that is subtle, fresh, and beautiful. Chiyo-ni knows the Way, is in harmony with Nature. One can better know the universe, through each thing in the Phenomena, as in Chiyo-ni’s haiku, than through her books.”

                      Quote by Shoin

here are  the essential points of Basho’s haiku theory:

“Basho’s style of haiku was formulated by others over the years. His well-known fundamentals usually include: sabi (detached loneliness), wabi (poverty of spirit), hosomi (slenderness, sparseness), shiori (tenderness), sokkyo (spontaneity), makoto (sincerity), fuga (elegance), karumi (simplicity), kyakkan byosha (objectivity), and shiZen to hitotsu ni naru (oneness with nature).”

Written for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Spiders please drop by and take a look at the full post!

12 thoughts on “Little Creatures with Chiyo-ni (spiders) – haiku – April 26, 2015

  1. I really enjoyed your writings – and the notations.
    Great job of all of it – but – a minor thing – a typo “cheak” – cheek? yes?

    Still, didn’t take away my appreciation of it – and I loved the images – fascinating to see webs in the early morning dew. 😀


  2. Wonderful post Georgia … this haiku by Chiyo-Ni is one of my favorites, because of that thin silverly web of the spider … that’s so fragile and so strong as the haiku by Chiyo-Ni


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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