Banana Rain ~ for Carpe Diem Late Autumn Kigo #309, Bashoo (banana plant) – Haiga

©13 Banana Rain 3 sml 6x



banana leaf clatter

into the light stillness of rain



Altered Photograph

I’m finding a dilemma as I place words around these kigo words for haiku. Where am I in my own thinking?

A kigo word, as traditionally understood, is accepted as a seasonal reference word—particularly from a Japanese point of view. I like that.

I also think it is redundant to repeat a seasonal reference twice in one haiku—there is such a premium on words in haiku, why duplicate what is being shown?

For me (as a writer and as a reader) my background does not always fit into this understanding of some kigo well. When this happens, using a word I understand as a seasonal reference, such as “autumn” (or something like “leaf fall”), seems reasonable. It brings the haiku into the season even though another word which may be a kigo in the Japanese context (and some may understand it as such), is already there.

When banana (or banana plant) is understood as a reference to autumn then using the word “autumn” is repeating the season and unnecessary. On the other hand, for me banana/banana plant is not connected to autumn in the same way as it is through traditional Japanese kigo understanding and I bring the haiku into the season with the word autumn.

I go back and forth on this issue. From what point of understanding is the haiku being written and who is reading the haiku? Mostly I can not control who will read the haiku. As a writer though, I think I should understand to some degree who is writing. 

I’ve noticed this throughout these months of kigo exploration. I suppose technically it might be best to accept the kigo as the only word necessary for a seasonal reference when I’m focused on the word as kigo. Then again. . . . it’s fun to think about it in both ways. 

My response to prompt #309, Bashoo (banana plant) for the Carpe Diem September 2013 prompts, which are centered around traditional “kigo” or “season words” for autumn. Bashoo (banana plant) is a late autumn kigo.

September on Carpe Diem has been divided into three different seasons of traditional autumn kigo: Early Autumn, Mid Autumn and Late Autumn. The informative prompt and responses to this prompt can be found on the Carpe Diem Blog.

You are invited to respond to these prompts as well.

Have fun. Explore haiku. Aloha—Rick

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