COOL MOONLIGHT

Where I live, we are now entering the hottest part of the summer.  In these times the two great contrasts are heat and coolness, and each gives meaning to the other.

In old hokku, the moon at night was always seen as a cool contrast to the heat of sun in the day.  But coolness may also be expressed by sound, and when we have sound added to sight, that enhances the cool sensation, as we see in this old hokku by Fuseki:

Tsuki suzushi   uma arai iru  kawa no oto
moon cool        horse wash-is  river ‘s sound

We may loosely translate it in daoku form as:

(Summer)

Cool moonlight;
The sound of horses
Bathing in the river.

It is very objective and clear, giving us only the essence of the scene/event, without any comment or opinion — any “thinking” — added by the writer; and that is the definition of daoku — objective hokku.

 

David

3 thoughts on “COOL MOONLIGHT

  1. Gabriel Rosenstock

    You often refer to the difficulty of writing hokku (or haiku!) in the city. What about
    hokku-like response to landscape photography?
    https://www.rosenstockandrosenstock.com/
    This is what is attempted above, hopefully in the spirit of the ancients. A ‘virtual going to the pine, the bamboo’, so to speak.

    REPLY:
    Well, of course it requires imagination in the absence of sound,touch,taste and smell. Maybe it should be a new genre of brief verse — “photoku.”

    David

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