Kimono / #HaikuSeed / Editor’s Garden

Today’s #HaikuSeed is kimono

Kimono is one of my favorite Japanese words to use in haiku. Cherry blossom is another one at the top of the list, obviously. Well, they are two of my favorites whether I’m writing haiku or not. I guess I romanticize Japan and many things from the country. I think it is so because I’ve read many haiku from the Japanese masters like Basho which mesmerized me with their beauty, simplicity, mellowness, sensory and visual descriptions; and somewhere in my head, all of it tied to Japan which must be an inherent source and ingredient in all these verses that have inspired and moved me when I first learnt about haiku all those years ago.

in the garden, a nettle shoot
tugs at her pink kimono
asking her to stay

I remember working on the above haiku to the point of frustration because I didn’t quite feel I was able to create the image that I wanted. But this version is the best I could do for the idea I had in my mind.

The origin idea was a woman and her lover meeting in a garden under moonlight. After spending an intimate time together, the woman says goodbye and begins to leave. A nettle shoot tugs her kimono and she stops. I wanted that to represent her lover longing for her to stay longer. I couldn’t make it work. So I removed the lover aspect from the haiku and made it just a description of a trivial moment. Now as I recollect the time I wrote this, the dissatisfaction that I couldn’t make the original idea work has resurfaced…

Below is another haiku I’ve written some time ago involving a kimono . I realize I might always be linking a kimono with a green garden, both the haiku put the woman in the kimono in a garden.

dew on grass blades
cling to the hem
of her pink kimono

Obviously demonstrating my love for the two Japanese words I mentioned earlier is this haiku here:

from the folds
of her silk kimono
cherry blossoms tumble

— Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta
Founding Editor
@coffeeandhaiku

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