top of page

haikaiTALKS Q 29: a saturday gathering

*** Q #29 ***


haikaiTALKS Q #29: a saturday gathering_under the banyan tree

host: Kala Ramesh

Hearty Congratulations, to Vidya Shankar!

Mona Bedi has picked Vidya’s answer as the best reply to her Q!

For the last discission, click here:

Dear Kala,

Thank you for letting me know that Mona has picked my answer as the best to her question. Thank you, Mona, for that question. And thank you, Lakshmi, for guiding me to the question.

Kala, here is my question for this week.

With haiku crossing borders, not just geographical but going beyond traditional Japanese kigo, I keep coming across a lot of terms that come from a poet's native, the association of which may be lost to certain sections of readers.

As a free-verse poet, I would often bring elements of Indian culture into my poems. But I do not know how to do that with haiku, so I have hardly done that.

Let me share a couple of examples with you where I have used Indian, more specifically, South Indian terms.

In one of my haiku (which is still waiting to be edited and hence not sharing it here entirely), I used the term 'kani konna'. Kala suggested I change it to 'kani konna blossom' so that readers will not have to Google it. I remembered this piece of advice when I wrote the following haiku:

sampangi garlands...

a bee sings

an invocation

(published in THF, Haiku Dialogue - The Language of Flowers, June 1, 2022)

Sometimes it is not possible to bring about such hints in a verse and the poet might have to provide footnotes. But I understand that footnotes, like resorting to Google, are not often encouraged. And reasonably so, for haiku is all about simplicity and being in the moment and footnotes and Google searches can sometimes take away the aha moment of the verse.

My question is:

Have you used a term that is unique to your geographical/native location? How have you brought about its significance in your haiku, at least in a small way, without you having to provide footnotes or the reader having to run to Google? Have you also written haiku where you have provided footnotes that do not disrupt the aha effect of your poem?

Thank you once again, Kala, for the opportunity.


Vidya Shankar


Trivenians are given time until midnight of 18th JUNE (IST) - two weeks because I want our poets to think about this Q. And to share your poems and comments on this topic.

Waiting to read your responses!

your host,


183 views19 comments
bottom of page