top of page

writeALONG! 14 February

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

A TUESDAY FEATURE

host: Muskaan Ahuja

guest editor: Susan Beth Furst



THE PAINTER


“O my Luve is like a red, red rose”


--- Robert Burns


As I think about the art of reading and writing haiku, I think about color. The poet’s use of color, either stated or implied, can set a scene, evoke an emotion, and create a mood. It can make the poem more beautiful and effective.


One of my favorite poets, Yosa Buson, who was also an accomplished painter, is often referred

to as the “painterly poet,” because of his rich use of imagery and color. Reading his haiku is like taking part in the painting of a masterpiece, fully revealed as you finish the last line.



Lighting the lantern—

the yellow chrysanthemums

lose their color


--- Buson



As I read “Lighting the lantern,” my eyes are drawn to the words, yellow chrysanthemums. Can

you see the yellow glow as the lantern is lit and the chrysanthemums “lose their color?” A

beautiful breathtaking moment!



The mason’s finger

bleeds

near azaleas


--- Buson



In “The mason’s finger,” color is not specifically stated. And yet I see red suggested by the

bleeding finger. Perhaps the mason cut his finger while pruning an azalea bush. Can you feel it? And what about the color of the azalea blossoms? I see white stained with red or maybe a light pink. What do you see?



Green plum—

it draws her eyebrows

together


--- Buson



Can you taste the sour in “Green plum?” Do you think that the haiku would have the same

effect without Buson’s use of the word green?


Can you write a “painterly haiku?” You can post your poems and comments below.




*Verse translations by Robert Hass






Tags:

119 views29 comments
bottom of page