< Describe The Scene As lt ls >

My advice to you. dear readers, is that the first step of haiku practice is for you to describe the scene you see as it is. When you draw a picture, you begin with the practice of "dessin"(designing), namely,describing an object. I suggest that you do the same for haiku.

To describe or sketch a scene means first to capture a scene with your own eyes, second reflect it on your mind, and third describe what you feel by means of the reflected scene. For example, you see beautiful cherry blossoms, and describe your admiring heart by means of the reflected flowers like:

sakimichi te
koboruru nana mo
nakari keri (Kyoshi)
prime bloom
not a single petal

This haiku shows the case of perfect oneness of the poet's heart and the blossoms that gives birth to a poem. Objective description or "sha-sei" is not superficial viewing but observing your excitement or even irresistable feelings in emotional detachment. In other words, a cool self observes another excited self, providing a different view of your own profile, and prevents your haiku from becoming a sphere of self conceit and righteousness.

Like so many different faces and bodies, Personality determines what is reflected on your heart and how it is reflected. Personality, when expressed in haiku, presents itself in unique feeling and viewpoint, rendering haiku all the more interesting.

Another day comes with another series of haiku, which is possible because of the objective description. A new haiku is born of your heart and objective description of it. Your feelings at time of description will remain intact in your haiku beyond passage of time.

"Hana" or flower is a season word of haiku which means cherry flowers. Let me introduce some haiku I made describing.the life of flowers.

sakisome te
hajimaru hana no
hibi narishi

virgin blooms
days of flowers
about to unfold

hanabie no
kotoba to matte
araware shi

early spring
cold returning
season Word featured

hanabie mo
ame mo hoteru no
mado no soto

cold and rain
early flower season
outside hotel window

mite hand no michi
hana no naka

looking back
path and self
all in flowers

mada hana o chirasu ni oshiki amenare do flowers in bloom still
pitiless rain

saki michite
chiru hokawa nashi
hana no ame

past prime days
rain ushering

sokoni ima
oto naki sekai
hana fubuki

out there
soundless world
flowers falling

ame fureba
kale fukeba
hana oshimu hibi

rain falling
wind blowing
pity for flowers

hana chirasu
ameni uruou
daichi ari

ruining flowers
rain cultivating
thirsty earth

shiba nurete
shizumoru mono ni
hana no kuzu

bed of vet lawn
flower petals

It may help you better understand the concept of objective descriptionw when you compare the following with our modern counterparts:

fuji hitotsu
uzuni nokoshite
wakaba kana

Mount Fuji alone
left uncovered
new leaves growing

You see a vast stretch of lively green leaves in a fresh mood of early summer. But Mt.Fuji, still crowned With ren]aining snow, stands out in a beautiful lofty posture. You feel like Watching a grand picture, don't you?

Author of this haiku, Buson lived from 1716 to 1783 in the middle of the Edo period. He was seriously concerned about the declining quality of haiku following the death of Bash-o. Buson tried hard to renovate haiku and made a lot of excellent poems. Buson and his colleagues put up a slogan "Return to Basho" and their works were respectably called "Renaissance School."

It was no wonder that Buson was good at picturesque haiku. He was highly appreciated as a representative painting artist of his day while well known as a haiku poet.

nano hana ya
tsuki va higashi ni
hi wa niShi ni

the moon in the east
the sun in the west

botan chitte
uchi kasanari nu
nisan pen

tree peony falling
petals in layers
two to three

These haiku are well known.