Visions Unseen

I guess I’m hooked!

Responding to another of Susi’s Haiku challenges …
IWH Haiku Challenge #5 (Picture interpretation)


Clouds create visions
of memories incomplete
and dreams that fade


Winds intense and cold
swirl around my aching heart —
disturbing my soul

NOTE: I just discovered this type of Haiku is called Senryū and is a bit different than the traditional Japanese Haiku (which generally references nature/seasons). It’s still written in the traditional 5-7-5 syllables per line but focuses on human nature and/or emotions.

17 thoughts on “Visions Unseen

  1. The combination picture/haiku is often understood to be the style known as Haiga which is usually presented as a simple observation all of us might have but with some sense of a profound insight. I might be mistaken but I seem to recall associating the Senryu as a kind of oriental limerick… meaning a biting or humourous poem.

    I either case, not only is the exercise very good for the brain but offers us the opportunity to delve into the deeper layers of language. I find the Japanese poetry particularly difficult with my Westernized brain but well worth the effort. Regardless, I find your first one particularly wistful and captures the sense of a fleeting thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Geez, tildeb! Must we always consider the mechanics of things? Sometimes it’s just satisfying to accept something for what it is. 🙄

      Actually, you’re not entirely correct (according to Google) about Haiga. Here is what I read … Haiga are typically painted by haiku poets, and often accompanied by a haiku poem. My interpretation of this is the painting comes first and then is accompanied by a Haiku. Obviously I didn’t paint the picture … I merely interpreted what someone else painted.

      In any event, thank you for reading and for your compliment.


      • This will get me in trouble, I know, and I’ll be accused of all kinds of snobbery, but here’s the thing: art depends on mechanics. Remember, you can only get out of art what you bring to it, meaning the ‘language’ of communication in art must be mutually understood between artist and audience. That’s why mechanics of the form are the blueprints. Discard the blueprints and one has no grammar; the ‘artist’ simply emotes for the sake of emoting, which is highly selfish (and that’s fine) but not anything shareable, which is what art is: a shared experience of insight into one’s self. Without disciplined mechanics by the artist, what the audience gains is like watching someone cry and then being expected to compliment the artist for the emotive display.
        It’s not really the point of art, not the reasons for what the emoting represents, and that’s where the meaning lies for the audience. That’s where self discovery happens through art and not the emotice display.

        So, yeah, it is the mechanics that makes art art, so that’s what I first pay attention to. That’s what lies at the heart of art – a communication and not self expression – that differentiates surface messages (being told something by the artist) from artistic insight (the mechanics to share the journey with the audience).

        The musical analogy is the difference between making sounds on the one hand (pretty sounds, angry sounds, happy sounds… you get the idea) to following the exacting discipline of musical form on the other (the art of music). To communicate through music – a shared journey of insight into one’s self – means using the form (and bending it on purpose or even breaking the rules for a reason) to communicate. Without the mechanics, the discipline, the form, one may have at best making interesting sounds people don’t really know what to do with. It’s the difference between personal expression (look at me, Mom!) and art (let’s go on this journey into you, the audience member, together).

        I say this to show how we know we’ve encountered art because this is what we find in literature, architecture, painting, sculpting, music, dance, and so on. It’s all about the audience understanding what they are experiencing and then applying this insight into themselves. And that requires understanding the need for form (mechanics).


        • I think you summed it up, tildeb, when you previously mentioned your “westernized brain.”

          Poetry, painting, song, etc. are demonstrations of the inner soul and have nothing to do with “mechanics.” If the audience understands, so be it. If not, the artist has still found satisfaction and fulfilled their inner desires to express themselves. Naturally, it brings satisfaction if the audience relates, but this is not the underlying goal nor the aspiration of the artist.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, this understanding you offer is exactly why art is now widely considered what anyone says it is, why today’s ‘art’ is all about the ‘artist’, all about ‘the context’ all about ‘the message’, all about why the art world uses a nebulous terminology and lingo and pretends there’s obscure profundity in a meat sculpture or bottle of urine, or a stripe of colour, that those who really get today’s art live in a rarefied world of high culture avant garde people, seeing what most cannot see, the few yet chosen who are in possession of the means to see the profoundness of this ‘art’ hidden in plain sight from the general public.

            The problem with all this is that it’s not art we’re talking about but self expression. The two are not synonyms. Claiming self expression to be art is really an excuses to explain why the ‘work’ does not possess the reasonable request for a disciplined language the audience can understand. This request is waved away by ‘artistes’ and the apologentsia who prop them up as if the request were an unnecessary burden to satisfy only the low standards of the gauche and proletariat.

            That is… until one beholds real art… and is left breathless with wonder and awe and a deep and personal connection to the work itself and perhaps not even knowing why or how. And that’s a shame.


            • So does this mean you feel Picasso didn’t offer a “disciplined language” in his art? That he was simply painting for the “avant garde” people?

              tildeb, I do understand where you’re coming from. You’ve demonstrated how you see the world in numerous comments throughout the blogosphere. And I’m not being critical. This is who you are. But remember … we all see the world in our own way. As far as beholding “real art” — I have often been left “breathless with wonder and awe” at many artistic creations that might be considered by others (you?) as “gauche and proletariat.”

              Liked by 1 person

            • Hang on, Nan; I suggested those of us who do not understand some secret insight but dare to question the hoi paloi are considered gauche and proletariat for not taking their word for it. In other words, I am saying art is for the audience and not the select pretenders who presume a personal expression and claim to being art is the real deal.

              As for Picasso, he very intentionally introduced a new language – cubism – and to appreciate his art means we have to understand the form FIRST. Again, we only get out of art what we put into it, meaning we have to have a shared language and that understanding these mechanics are in fact fundamental to art qua art. Personal expressions are simply that. Not art. Personal expressions. There’s a significant difference.


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