4 responses to “Daylight

  1. daylight
    this ancient garden
    all to myself

    I love the presentation. I also like ducks and keep some in my backyard and brook. The haiku strikes me as being flat though. There’s no insight. There’s no imagery to “see through”. It’s statement-ku. One might say that it was written in Basho’s spirit of “Lightness” or Shiki’s “Shasei’, but the poet intrudes with his claim to the garden, and so is unlike either.

    Perhaps if I read it as senryu with some wry self-effacement? There is the contrast between the ancient garden and the daylight which can, by definition, only last a day.

    And then there’s the, perhaps, pompous hubris of the poet who thinks the “ancient” garden is “all to myself”. He too (like the daylight and all the other poets) will come and go. The garden is unaltered despite his claim.

  2. It’s good to see another of your fine haiga works, Gerald. Is it of a garden in Singapore or China, I wonder, or was the haiku written when still in Kyoto? In it I sense your longing to return.
    Upinvermont might be being a bit harsh, I feel, in using the word ‘pompous’ for your innocent feeling of wonder at finding yourself alone and able to enjoy such a privilege, but he may have a point about flatness if you take the poem on its own. The beauty of haiga, though, is that the poem is contrasted with the picture … and the latter tells us here that you are not absolutely alone, for there are ducks. This is nice to savour. I like, too, the contrast of the plausibly lively ducks in an ancient garden, where trees, rocks and water provide a deep hush.

    • Thanks Tito, I in no way mean to assert that the author is pompous (unless deliberately so) and only in the context of its possibly being read as a senryu—which commonly has as its aim the humor of human foibles. Only harsh inasmuch as a senryu may be playfully harsh.

  3. Thanks for the comments. Tito, the garden was a samurai’s garden in Chiran, Japan. The poem is not intended to stand alone. It is purely a subjective response to a direct experience. The visual appeal of the ducks in this haiga is clear. However, for me, the ducks also carry a symbolic value, which I believe, reinforces, or maybe even deepens, the sentiments in the poem. Upinvermont’s concern about the haiku does suggest a legitimate question about the function(s) of the verbal elements of a haiga.