Equinox Babies

Midsummer, when we celebrate daylight, in leisure and fulfillment. Candy for kids and kisses for lovers. In festive for friendship, we dance and we drink, we find what we searched for and deep in the woods the woman, the man, vow in moans to the night, for fertility and for next year in March, already waiting for spring and equinox babies. Older we hail to this night, to the memory of skin against moss

after its leafing
a midsummer maypole —
waits for its lovers

Midsommar by Eva Bonnier

Jilly wants us to break the rules slightly for today’s haibun at dVerse by selecting kigo applying to your local season. What can be more natural than writing about Swedish midsummer and the fact that many babies are born at spring equinox.

June 25, 2018

46 responses to “Equinox Babies

  1. I think this is very fresh and new in the haibun world. The truth is, if we are going to keep strickly to the Japanese forms (in all purity), we have to not only learn the language, but reborn in another place, into another culture. Otherwise, we are just barbarians attempting something in ignorance.

    Your haibun, and your haiku are excellent.

    • One does not have to learn the language to write classic Japanese forms but, one must learn to respect the forms and to learn about the Japanese culture. Which you obviously do not based on your comment. I am glad you live under the shadow of many mountains. So do those of us who respect the Japanese forms and write to them. You are not unique.

      • On the contrary. I highly prize all cultures. I also have seen the eyes rolled when those cultures are appropriated. I don’t do Japanese forms with disrespect, but most of what we do in English is not true to Japanese forms. We will disagree on this… so be it!

        Have a lovely day!

  2. Nice take on this one. It is interesting to see when the surge of babies come on…Sometimes it is the snowed-in times of January – March that bring on babies in September- October.

  3. Oh indeed….the Swedes do know how to celebrate the summer solstice! “a midsummer maypole” seems to me to be a perfect Swedish kigo. Tak sa mycket! 🙂

  4. Nice, Bjorn. And I agree with Kanzen …..you need to study the Japanese culture to get the intentions of the Japanese approach to haibun, tanka, haiku, etc. At least a passing knowledge of it. Of course, it takes much more than a passing knowledge of it to become inventive and comfortable. Just my opinion.

    • I see the answer to this as a many-fold… of course the world today is very different than when Basho wrote his innovative hokku, breaking the tradition of the time. Sweden is very different too, and you have to be able to to comprehend the idea behind the writing. Probably Basho would find more common ground with Shakespeare than with a contemporary Japanese poet. I do not think it’s breaking the rules by looking at nature and seasons around us rather than trying to comprehend the importance of Japanese season festivals.

      To understand the ideas and philosophy behind poetry (any poetry actually) and put your own experience is what we all need to do. Some classical kigo works well in Sweden, others are just strange (and probably strange to modern Japanese poets as well).

      As a parallel you could say that Pablo Neruda violated the tradition of sonnets by removing the rhyme and the meter… but if you think that the main subject of the sonnet is love and that the volta is the crucial element this is innovation.

      • I’ll have to think on what you write here. Very different from my education in these medieval Japanese forms, but I am open to a lot of innovation. Looking at nature around us is the essence of many (most?) tanka and haiku… at least to my understanding of this issue. Thanks, Bjorn.

  5. Most of us are interlopers as we attempt to write in any of the classic forms–still it stretches our knowledge, expands our horizons, and in my case has altered my writing style.

  6. “The memory of skin against moss,” says everything. There’s a certain kind of playfulness in this work, which seems so natural to the idea of midsummer lovemaking. Also, lovers are perhaps there only to be waited for.
    It’s good to read you again, Björn. 🙂

  7. One day i’d like to experience the 24 hours of daylight for myself.. but not the opposite long night.

  8. Basho himself said, “Do not imitate the ancients. Seek what they sought.” Your haibun holds to this maxim. I enjoy how you integrate the essence of midsummer. Sweden-style, into the haibun form. Your respect for nature and this tradition complement those of any of the classic Japanese haibunists. Well done!

  9. What a glorious celebration of midsummer. I also like the way you write of remembering the exuberance of youthful passion later in life.

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