Carpe Diem has had a series of posts linking haiku with sculpture. This may be something of a departure for writers, like myself, who have looked to the natural world for inspiration, but it has given rise to many really interesting poems.
I found it quite a challenge but it opened up new ideas and ways of seeing.
cool lawn; bronze sculpture;
graceful struts entwine upwards;
I can’t remember where I took this photo, but I love the mass of large, spiky, in-yer-face leaves.
I checked around to see if I could find any poems about cardoons. The internet is not exactly thick with them but I did find one, about a baboon but including cardoon.
Flowers in a bed tend to give me the impression that they are posing, not for a photo, but for a haiku. I couldn’t find any ready written so here is my haiku on these magnificent plants.
Round cardoon heads stand above
rosettes of huge leaves.
Recently I’ve been re-reading Poem for the Day One edited by Nicholas Albery. Today’s poem is a section of Rupert Brooke‘s ‘The Old Vicarage: Grantchester‘ written in 1912 while he was on a long journey in Germany. . It starts:-
Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester.
In this expression of homesickness he describes the beauties of rural England in detail. It sounds idyllic.
Reading it I began to wonder how much of the idealisation of homeland/motherland/fatherland is created not by those in it but by those away. I suspect that most countries have a body of nostalgic literature, often poetry, written by the exiled, the war bound or the long-time traveller.
Such idylls are very pervasive. Do they still affect the way people vote or even fight?
I google ‘sea-slug’;
my screen fills with images;
all are beautiful.
Above the burning
hills: false clouds of smoke. The land
made ready for growth.
On the surface this doesn’t seem very kigoish, but in Japan farmers burn the old grass off the hillsides in preparation for planting – thus it is a kigo of Spring.
Recently, however, I stumbled on an article on Pope the gardener in the blog Eighteenth Century Media. Apparently Pope was famous, not only as a poet, but also as a gardener, and friends and fans frequently asked his advice on major and minor aspects of gardening. He may have designed gardens; he certainly had things to say about them.
He favoured the classical style (modern in his day) in which there was a balance between nature and artifice, display and restraint, variety and simplicity. This balance was not just aesthetically pleasing but morally as well. Restraint and ‘consulting the genius of the place’ showed good taste and self control.
Among his writings are a number of Epistles written in verse. One of these, The Epistle to Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington, although about the use and abuse of riches, also contains a lot of advice on gardening. As a detailed how-to of horticulture it might not be very useful but it’s aesthetics might be useful for any kind of design.
Oft have you hinted to your brother peer
A certain truth, which many buy too dear:
Something there is, more needful than expense,
And something previous even to taste – ’tis sense:
For those of us who don’t have a fortune to spend on our gardens, it’s comforting to think that all we need is sense, which is free.
Departure is a huge topic – every time we go to work or shopping or wherever, we depart from where we are. Sometimes we depart further afield on holiday, to visit or to escape. We may be tourists or refugees; we have departed willingly or fearfully. Some kind of departure is inevitable.
Everything departs: spring or rainy season, animals or plants, days of celebration or grief.
Since haiku are usually about nature I have chosen to look at departures in the natural world.
Each season to its
own time. Each bird to its own
song. Then both have flown.