Learning Soseki: My First Haiku


Across bushy trees:
warm winds blow leaves into dancing,
the lake lay still.




Tried my hand at writing a haiku as a response to this week’s challenge from The Blacklight Candelabra | Advanced Writing Challenges, a writing event I joined only recently. Thinking Japanese always gets my favourite Asian novelist to mind–Natsume Soseki, who is also considered a master of the Haiku. He’s really good, I first wrote about him here if you would like to read. For 3 lines and 13 words, I spent a good three hours imagining how Soseki would translate my thoughts into writing—I’ve decided right away that the subject will be the photo above which I took two weeks ago when I went for a leisurely hike at the Botanical Gardens in Blue Mountains. I had to transport myself back into that moment when I was right inside that scene. It was a perfect day under the hot summer sun, the warm breeze brushing my cheeks. I remember how the tranquil lake made me feel so refreshed—it was so relaxing.

Now on to what the challenge was about, more than writing a Haiku—one has to come up with a Culturally and Linguistically Authentic Haiku in three ways: (1) form – which got me reading about Haiku’s different legitimate forms, (2) Syllable structure and consonant restrictions, and (3) The subject matter NATURE–as traditional Japanese as it can be. More than painting nature into words, I’ve learned in this challenge that Haiku is about human transformations—the nature within. From the Blog Event post, this quote appears (which made me linger longer on the challenge than I would have if it wasn’t there):

“[…] one thing that I think makes a real haiku is when the changes in nature reflect deep transformations in oneself.”
-Steve McCarty

So there goes my first haiku. I hope I made Soseki proud. It would have been an honour to call him Sensei.


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Sailing with the wind, fighting my way out of loneliness and into life, I seek the face of God day by day as I walk in the light of His daily sufficient grace.

5 thoughts on “Learning Soseki: My First Haiku”

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