As I haven’t painted (or posted on this blog for that matter!) since the summer, when I spotted a post this week from An Mayou, an artist and haiku poet from Colorado, requesting some words to accompany her excellent piece of artwork, I decided to have a go.
The objective of a haiga is not to produce a haiku that simply describes what’s in the image, because the viewer/reader absorbs this information visually, but to combine it with one that is either in direct contrast with or complements the image. The resulting artistic collaboration should create a completely new narrative in the reader’s mind according to his/her own experience.
In An’s painting, the bareness of the dark trees with their stark branches suggested loneliness or grief to me, so I decided to write about a memory, in this case, the memory of spring and of someone who has departed. I hinted at the season through the use of a kigo (a season word) in this case ‘bluebells’, as they are abundant then. ‘Winter’ is itself a season that suggests death, so from the outset it is a sad path travelled in this haiga.
I am honoured that An loves the resulting haiga and has invited me to share it!