As a haikuist, what color do you most associate with haiku?
This question puzzled a lot of haikuists, and I didn’t get as many responses to my question as I’ve gotten in my other haiku posts.
Personally, when I first think of a color associated with haiku, I think of green, because many of my haiku deal with trees and leaves. I think this has to do with where I was born and raised. In Oregon, there was so much green. Another color that often appears in my haiku is gray, because I often think of gray skies, rain, and fog that I grew up with.
brisk morning walk . . .
pine needles scent
wooded hills . . .
the evening downpour
fogs distant city lights
Modern Haiku, Summer 1996
Consider these responses from other haikuists:
Hmmmmm . . . looking through my stuff I find black, blue, blaze orange . . . but I am thinking blue most often:
too many blues to name
This was in The Key West Citizen, the daily paper from a place whose waters and sky are so many kinds of blue in motion.
Great question. My mind goes to white as I consider your query. Blyth’s four volume set features the seasons, and I love winter. I have written lots of haiku with snow and shades of grey. These days, though, my mind turns to yellow. A filling station owner was shot and killed recently just a stone’s throw from the church where I serve. So far, I have set down a draft to work on:
bordered with marigolds
in yellow tape
I think of a creamy brown (weird, I know). But I don’t actually have a haiku to go with it! I just generally associate the art form with this color.
I have at least 77 haiku using the color blue. I’m cheating a bit, as I have many using “the blues.”
Here is one:
the Midnight Sun Cafe
plays Delta blues
Here is one with the color:
she waters a potted plant . . .
three blue eggs
I think this is, for me, the most difficult question you have
asked for your blog. I see in color, but most of what I write seems
to be devoid of color. Snow, rain, and even dust might appear in a
poem — shades of white and gray.
But at times color pokes through:
Sharing the Sun: Haiku Society of America Member’s
I really did think about your question and could not come up with a color unless transparent is a “color.” I think of Emerson and his “transparent eyeball” walking through the universe. He was laughed at and subject of a famous cartoon. But I wonder. . . .
I don’t really think of any colour at all when I think of haiku. Nature has many colours, and they’re all equally fair game for haiku. And many of my haiku tend to be more domestic, anyway. An interesting question to think about.
For what it’s worth, I have a lengthy unpublished paper on Richard Wright’s use of colour in his haiku. He used many different colours liberally (and not just black and white as one might guess, given the focus of his fiction and nonfiction).
–Michael Dylan Welch
I have to tell you, I took a glance at my haiku, but all I found were different colors every time. And even in those different colors, there were nuances of colors. To me, a color is something to give subtle indications in writing. Each color has a subliminal response in the human brain.
I’m looking forward to others’ responses, that’s for sure.
There you have it! Next time, I’ll ask a simpler question. Many thanks to those who responded with such thoughtful comments and haiku!
Copyright 2012 By Charlotte Digregorio.