Friday, August 26, 2011

Haiga and Twitter

Two years ago, Marilyn Sholin told me to embrace Twitter and I asked "why?"  Like a lot of folks I've talked with, I couldn't figure out what the point was.  Why connect with a bunch of people you don't know just to see them tweet nonsense?  But, I have a lot of respect for Marilyn so I limped along with Twitter, still not getting it until a couple of weeks ago when I decided to give it a fair trial.  I think I'm starting to understand.

Don't get me wrong, in the general torrent of the Twitter stream, there is a lot of flotsam and jetsam but, now that I'm getting my feet wet, it feels like taking a snapshot of the universal mind.  One tiny but revealing snapshot.  This morning I came across @gennepher (Jenny).  I don't know Jenny or where in the world she happens to be.  All I know is what is on her profile:

@gennepher Wherever I am at the moment
Creative person, enjoying life's journey, the travel is important, not the journey's end. My haiga can be found at

She used a word, haiga, I wasn't familiar with and that sent me to Wikipedia which gave me the information below.  Then I went to Jenny's blog and saw her lovely and peaceful haiga, a combination of haiku or micropoetry and image.  And, somewhere within I now recognize the connection between us.

I proceeded to do my own decidedly non-traditional haiga which resulted in the image above, taken last weekend at River Falls.

Information from Wikipedia:

Haiga (俳画 haiga?, haikai drawing) is a style of Japanese painting based on the aesthetics of haikai, from whichhaiku poetry derives, which often accompanied such poems in a single piece. Like the poetic forms it accompanied, haiga was based on simple, yet often profound, observations of the everyday world. Stephen Addisspoints out that "since they are both created with the same brush and ink, adding an image to a haiku poem was... a natural activity.

Just as haiku often internally juxtapose two images, haiga may also contain a juxtaposition between the haiku itself and the art work. The art work does not necessarily directly represent the images presented in the haiku.



  1. I agree that there can be a lot of less than desirable stuff on Twitter (though FB is much worse) but I find it to be a rich source of info when mined well, and I do share that info. There are many artists on Twitter and I've delighted in the great ones I've found there. For a writer, it's also a great source of info.

  2. Thank you Joyce. I'm glad you find my haiga resonated with you. I enjoy doing it when the mood takes me.

    I like the way you have presented an explanation of haiga.

    By the way here is an excellent site I love to visit often. The haiga here is beautiful.

    I was introduced to haiku and haiga and other forms of poetry on Twitter. It is a fantastic medium for shorter versions of poetry
    You should do more haiga and post it on Twitter. It is beautiful the haiga you have done above, the combination of your own photograph and your words.

    Your photographs/digital artwork lends itself to haiga.

    All the best