Screeching Gulls – Haiku Writing Techniques – March 16, 2016

row boat

fisherman’s boat
sloshing in the evening calm
gulls screech for fish

© G.s.k. ‘16

§§§§§§§§§§§§

Carpe Diem #939 Old Pond

old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

In this haiku Basho uses the “sense switching” technique, a technique which we have seen in our second series of haiku writing techniques last year.

In the haiku by Basho, this very famous “old pond” the frog not only jumps into the water but also into the sound of water. The mind-puzzle that this haiku creates is how to separate the frog from the water, the sound of water from the water, the frog from the sound it will make entering water, and the sound from the old pond. It cannot be done because all these factors are one, but the reader arrives at this truth through having the senses scrambled.

Here are another couple of examples of haiku in which this technique is used by Basho:

cattle shed
dark sound of mosquitoes
in summer heat

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

pine and cedar
to admire the wind
smell the sound

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

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