The poetry byway is an "adventure trail" for people who love the Cascade Lakes National Scenic byway and would like to celebrate it in poetry. Mail your submissions to email@example.com if you'd like to join this "community write" opportunity. Thanks to the Deschutes National Forest for permitting this exploration.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Season Words (for haiku artists).
Season words for Cascade Lakes
National Scenic Byway Poetry Trail.
There are many characteristics of haiku, and the one we’ll focus on here is the “season word.”
forms of haiku include a “season word” – which is a reference to season or in
some ways geography. There is actually a
list of a hundred “season words” – but some are pretty specific to Japan, such
as the spring word that means “nightingale”.
If you read or hear a haiku about viewing cherry blossoms, you likely
are hearing a spring poem.
might be represented simply by “snow” or some variation on “cold.” But there
are other concepts associated with the season – some of them cultural, like the
“viewing of cherry blossoms.”
is a deliciously contextual language, and the different Japanese poetry forms
often include a great deal of wordplay based on how a character can be
pronounced, what it means in Japanese or Chinese, and a great deal more. In
English traditions there have been a number of attempts to create a set of
season words. Sometimes the traditional season words work fine for us, but
sometimes they don’t. That’s why this exercise is to generate “season words”
you could associate with the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway area and the
“poetry trail” in particular.
We are now creating a list of seasonal allusions relevant to this
place and geography – which will also inform the official “season word list”
for the poetry trail.
For those of you “from
here” or familiar with the area, you might want to branch out to the other
seasons. For those of you “not from here”, we invite you to imagine “what that word
might be if you knew.”
In either case, submit your season word (and season you think it best conveys!) to
firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll post them here.