Issue #0 – “First Blossoms” is now published!
Top Haiku Features with Commentary
Featuring few brilliant haiku brought to blossom by terrific writers, seeded by #HaikuSeed prompts.
#HaikuSeed: weeding, roadside, crane, moss, jolly, scarf(more…)
the crane and the heron
The image of a crane and heron standing still is quite trivial and the haiku wouldn’t be doing much if it was just describing it without doing something more with the juxtaposing image. I felt that early spring doesn’t give any life to the triviality of this moment even though spring itself and the birds are full of it. Instead, the writer’s creative use of playing statues brought all the life into the haiku. Not only is it an entertaining way of saying that the birds are standing still like statues, it could also mean that the crane and the heron are actively playing a game of statue. This interpretation brings back memories from childhood where we as kids shout “statue!” pointing at a person and the person has to literally freeze in place and stay still like a statue. The idea of a crane and heron playing this game is quite amusing.
In short, Haiku Horticulture is a weeklong writing process where writers work on an idea seeded by #HaikuSeed_HH prompt that yields one haiku at the end of the cultivation period.
Writing a haiku is a lot like cultivating a plant. You sow a seed, an idea sprouts from it in your mind. You see the potential, so you pour your efforts into the seedling. You cultivate it with patience and care, trimming the leaves that are detrimental to the growth of the plant if necessary. And after some time, a flourishing bloom appears in your garden.
With Haiku Horticulture, we expect you, the writer, to ruminate on and cultivate your haiku for one week before you decide it has bloomed fully from the first day you have seen it sprout from Haiku Horticulture prompt (#HaikuSeed_HH).
We often stick with our first idea. We often also neglect the potential our ideas have and trade it for fruits that can be reaped instantly, a sign of impatience. We want to make haiku writers see the fruits of patience in haiku writing. We also want to help haiku writers understand and observe more closely how their mind and heart shift and change perspectives ever so slightly, maybe just a word or two. It may not be quite different from the first version, but you would have spent a week cultivating it and you’d know that this version of your haiku is the best expression of your idea.
Haiku Writing and Submission Guidelines
Below we outline a rough idea about how you could approach writing a haiku for Haiku Horticulture:
- Write a haiku (Day 1)
This version is the one you’d post if it was any other prompt. Keep it in your notes. This is haiku you want to cultivate and get it to bloom. Submit this as an entry for Sprout (Version 1).
- Cultivate your haiku (Day 2-6)
Over the next few days, work on your haiku, see if can be improved. You can do anything that is required to cultivate it – change one word or re-write the whole haiku, but do not change the core idea that you’ve used in Sprout (Version 1). Keep a track of all the different variations you have tried in your notes. Select on of them and submit it as an entry for Cultivation (Version 2).
- See your haiku bloom (Day 7)
You have spent a week cultivating your haiku and it has bloomed to its full potential. Submit this as an entry for Bloom (Version 3).
We expect you to submit 3 versions of your haiku through the submission form in the order in which you’ve written them over a period of 7 days. As described earlier, the 3 versions are named Sprout (Version 1), Cultivation (Version 2), Bloom (Version 3).
While evaluating the best written haiku for a feature on Haiku Seed Journal‘s Haiku Horticulture column, only the final version i.e., Bloom (version 3) will be considered. But we shall post all 3 versions of the selected haiku in order to showcase how haiku evolve over time in a creator’s mind before they become the simple yet tremendously artistic verses that they are.
Haiku Horticulture – Twice a Month
- The prompt post Haiku Horticulture – Prompt shall be posted on Mondays of weeks #1 and #3 every month. Submissions close on Mondays of weeks #2 and #4 respectively.
- The feature post Haiku Horticulture – Showcase shall be posted at the end of weeks #2 and #4 every month after selection process is completed.
- The 3 versions need not be written exactly on the days we mentioned above. We know great haiku can often be written impromptu, but our initiative focuses on patience and cultivation. So we hope you honor the spirit of Haiku Horticulture initiative by cultivating your haiku for a few days until you can say to yourself your haiku has fully bloomed.
- The progress you show in the 3 haiku versions need not be drastic. It could be as simple as remove one word or adding one from your initial versions.
— Sankara Jayanth Sudanagunta
The sheer dimensions of mountains means there are a lot of natural and seasonal elements that could be used as a kigo. The terrain of mountains as seasons change, the localized weather around them, the light and shadow play that goes on throughout the day – especially at sunrise and sunset, the flora and fauna, so on.
wings of sunlight
on either side
I remember wanting to write about birds, maybe snow cranes, flying out from behind a mountain peak at sunset. I played with the idea a little before I realized when the sun goes down directly behind a mountain peak, the mountain’s silhouette breaks the sunlight into slanting columns on either side. So I did away with the birds and lent the wings to the mountain itself. On reflection, this haiku has drifted a little further into romanticism than I’d have let it had I been conscious about it when I was writing.(more…)