At Stillhollow Pond

young bamboo swaying, ………………………………..under dawn redwoods

yet the gloom toward evening ……………………….terrapin floats leisurely –

of the grubby old pond ……………………………………the old pond

(Reiko Hayahara) ……………………………………………………(Mari Kawaguchi)

Trying to compose 5-7-5 haiku on the set theme of ‘the old pond’ during a stroll late in May around Nagatani-ike in the hills of Senri (North Osaka), proved a rewarding exercise … in more ways than one.

Firstly, as the last lines of the two haiku above (and the one printed in the Houchi Shimbun) will show, many found that slight divergence from the 5-7-5 template was to their liking. Brought up in freedom, 5-7-5 felt a little artificial in English. This was educational. What is entirely natural in the Japanese language did not feel quite the same in English.

Secondly, Kaoru Geka’s (reverse furuike ya) ‘masterpiece’ featured in the resultant newspaper article, through which Hailstone was able to advertise its workshops and publications. If you click on the photo, you should be able to make out the pictures of Akira and Stephen (who are fingering the new spring dawn-redwood leaves) and to read Kaoru’s poem.

Here’s one more (this time, with an irregular middle line) from the evening at the Pond. In Japanese, the moorhen is known as ban.

rending the stillness

of the old pond –

the moorhen’s trilling

(Mizuho Shibuya)

報知新聞 20.6.08

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One Response to “At Stillhollow Pond”

  1. For another of Mari’s terrapin haiku, see ‘Urban Ginko 2’ post above.

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