Written for: Carpe Diem #939, Old Pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)
In this haiku Basho uses the “sense switching” technique, a technique which we have seen in our second series of haiku writing techniques last year.
This is a favorite of the Japanese poetry masters, but one they used with a great deal of discretion. It is simply to speak of the sensory aspect of a thing and then change in another sensory organ. Usually it involves hearing something one sees, or switching between seeing and tasting.
In the haiku by Basho, this very famous “old pond” the frog not only jumps into the water but also into the sound of water. The mind-puzzle that this haiku creates is how to separate the frog from the water, the sound of water from the water, the frog from the sound it will make entering water, and the sound from the old pond. It cannot be done because all these factors are one, but the reader arrives at this truth through having the senses scrambled.
ride on the shoulder of the spring breeze
smell the wind
© Chèvrefeuille (our host)
Here is my attempt:
splash into the lake
a weeping willow