Sketching with Shiki

sketching from life —
eggplants are harder to do
than pumpkins                                           Masaoka Shiki
shapely drops of glossy purple
among rotund orange globes                   Kim M. Russell, 19th January 2020

Image result for paintings and artwork aubergines and pumpkins"
Image found on Pixels

My response to Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #112 Transformation: sketching from life (Shiki’s Shasei technique)

In this weekend’s meditation, we are returning to a feature introduced a while ago, called ‘Carpe Diem Transformation’, in which the challenge is to ‘re-build’ a given haiku into a tanka.

The given haiku is by Masaoka Shiki, using his ‘shasei’ technique, as explained by Jane Reichhold. The poetic principle is to ‘depict the thing just as it is’, without using any associations, contrasts, comparisons, wordplays, puns or riddles, just stating what we see without anything else happening in the haiku or tanka.

Here is the haiku we are working with:

kaboocha yori nasu muzukashiki shasei kana

Sketching from life —
eggplants are harder to do
than pumpkins

Masaoka Shiki (Tr. Burton Watson)

8 thoughts on “Sketching with Shiki

  1. I have always loved the rotund orange globes.
    Maybe if I ever have a greenhouse, I will try growing eggplant. It’s also a bit of a contentious vegetable to cook with, but when done right, it’s wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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