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writeALONG! 14 February

Updated: Feb 14, 2023


host: Muskaan Ahuja

guest editor: Susan Beth Furst


“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


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


--- 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


120 views29 comments


lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Feb 24, 2023



Taj Mahal

old Agra market filled

with chapathi rolling marble


feedback please


lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Feb 24, 2023



cobalt-sulphate blue sky

shopkeeper gets me

the choice of my sari


feedback please


Feb 18, 2023


This was an ekphrastic verse I wrote in the beginning.

morning light uneasy rooster awaits his master to scatter millet

Mamba Journal, September 2020


ranch fence to the sea—

a small herd of coastal deer

graze with the cattle


flex in the glass

a rainbow full

of sweet pea

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