Tŷ Newydd haikus

chill spring whispering
and warmed spirits flourishing –
back to the real world

gwanwyn yn sibrwd
ac awenau ni’n symud –
’nôl i’r byd go iawn

In March 2020 I was on a course at Tŷ Newydd as part of being mentored as an emerging literary translator. In the conservatory there is a corkboard where people are invited to offer their reaction to the place, or the course they’re attending, in the form of a haiku or a piece of flash fiction. These are the poems I pinned up.

A typical haiku is a three-line observation about a fleeting moment, following the form and style of the Japanese haiku. Traditional haiku often consist of 17 elements, interpreted as ‘syllables’ in a pattern of 5–7–5, and often involving nature by way of a seasonal reference. 

The essence of haiku is ‘cutting’, often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a ‘cutting word’ – a kind of verbal punctuation mark. I’ve used dashes to indicate the cut instead.

Image and words ©Susan Walton 2020.

untitled haikus

small full point looms large
large white circle harvest moon
lingers unnoticed

atalnod llawn llwm
lloer llawn gynhaeaf ni byth
dy weld ti’n iawn

 
During September’s full moon I was at the Society for Editors and Proofreaders’ annual conference in the middle of brightly street-lit Birmingham. Two colleagues who produce The Editing Podcast set a haiku-writing competition for delegates. These were my efforts. They are my first attempts at haiku. The Welsh version is not a translation of the English, but it conveys the same idea.
 

Image by Bo Hansen of Bandshoot. Words ©Susan Walton 2019.