Creating Feeling and Image Within Haiku
Haiku, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting and impressive forms of poetry, as it often says so much in just three phrases, just a few words. One of the most common focuses for haiku poems is seasons or nature, especially in earlier haiku, as it is easier to include great descriptive words that can create an image and effect, again only needing a few words.
A haiku that focuses on seasons or nature and greatly creates a clear image is one by Yosa Buson. Buson’s translated haiku goes, “The petals fall, and the river takes them–, plum tree on the bank” (Buson 218). In this poem, Buson is clearly describing a time or a season because we get a few hints in a few words that describe occurrences in nature. Petals falling into a river and a plum tree create calming feelings, but also a very clear, maybe even beautiful, image in one’s head about what the scene looks like. It is also said that, “Focusing on the seasons also allowed the poets to convey the experience of being embedded in the earth’s rituals and cycles” (Buson 217). This is telling as it can be said that these specific haikus that focus on seasons and nature also can have even deeper meanings for the reader to discover and feel. Those meanings being feeling connected with the earth and a particular time of year that maybe the reader will already have images and feelings attached to.
Buson, Yosa. “Haiku.” An Exaltation of Forms: Contemporary Poets Celebrate the Diversity of Their Art. Edited by Anne Finch and Kathrine Varnes, U of Michigan P, 2002, p. 217–218.