Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Haiga: spill your tanka

artwork courtesy of Karen A. Smith; dedicated to Sanford Goldstein
—Prune Juice, #10, July 2013

This is known as a haiga, sort of; haiga typically refers to a marriage between illustration and haiku, though mine contains a tanka (or kyoka) instead. I call this one, not surprisingly, a "cartoon haiga." 

Most poets in the tanka community probably are very familiar with the concept of "spilling." The expression above is attributed to Sanford Goldstein, scholar/professor, translator, and tanka master of the past few decades—also candid mentor and kind friend to many of us. I'm not a terribly prolific writer; Sanford told me several times to get myself to a cafe (as he himself would do) and then "spill" (without "thinking")! Maybe someday I'll better heed his advice, though I suspect I'll always prefer my own home, where my words tend to come out in the form of occasional sputters instead of flowing out.

For those in the U.S.: H A P P Y  T H A N K S G I V I N G!


  1. Love your "cartoon-haiga." I don't believe I could ever write in a cafe, although many writers apparently do. Everybody's different.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving--but skip the coffee beans!

  2. This brought a chuckle, Janet. And I found your notes very edifying. I, too, do not think that I could write in a cafe - although one of my kids insists it's one of the few places that he can write. I suppose: where there's a will - there's a place. Smiles.

  3. I like complete quiet to write.
    Thanks you two - and I didn't inhale any coffee beans this Thanksgiving!

  4. This was fun to see/read! I enjoyed your process notes too. I prefer writing at home or outdoors...too much going in a cafe for me to feel like my writing can flow. But hey, whatever works! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Janet!

  5. I like writing in a cafe. My husband and I go to one every afternoon for coffee and to read or to write. I've learned to tune out other people. I also tune them in, trying to observe without being noticed.


  6. Glad to see you stopping by again, Adelaide.
    What a nice thing to do together every day!