Shasei Haiku

Spring Trees in Bloom Beside Driveway
Dollar Photo Club

Dogwoods bloom

sea of green, pink and white

shade the traveler 


© Carol Campbell

Logo Carpe Diem March 2016 (2)


In this haiku Basho uses the so called “sketch” or “shasei” technique. Though this technique is often given Shiki’s term “shasei” or “shajitsu” it’s not really a technique which is invented by Shiki. This technique has been in use since the beginning of poetry in Asia. The poetic principle is “to depict the thing just as it is”. There are some inspirations for haiku that are best said as simply as possible. Shiki wrote his haiku almost all with this “shasei”, but Shiki realized himself in 1893 that the overuse of this technique could produce many lackluster haiku, so it should never be the only method employed in a haiku.

While I was preparing this episode I ran through all the haiku by Basho to find a few other examples of this “shasei” and I ran into these beauties in which he used “shasei”:

early autumn
the sea and rice fields
one green

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

thousand daisies
around the farmer’s house –
lowing of a cow

© Chèvrefeuille

Do you see the real scene, the scene as it is? I think so. It’s a depiction of a real scene which I saw a while ago … and it came in mind as I was thinking about my “shasei” haiku.

❤ ❤ ❤

Published by: writersdream9

I have been writing all my life but for the most part, it has been a secret. My parents did not believe writing was a good way to earn money so I hid my poems. Then one day, I wanted to comment on an essay that a friend had written and found myself with a blog. That quiet whisper inside said, "You can write your poetry and no one will ever know.". I knew nothing of followers and the like at that time. So, here I am trying to learn my craft and enjoying every moment of it. My personal details are, I'm 57, married for 39 years, have one grown son who is God's gift to us and last but not least at all, I'm a Baha'i which basically means that I love all humanity.

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20 thoughts on “Shasei Haiku”

  1. even though dogwoods typically aren’t that fragrant, these trees provide a visual bouquet and feast for the eyes, especially as we bounce into spring.

    Liked by 1 person

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