Sunday, September 4, 2016

To the Lighthouse: Erotic Haiku

                                                                                                          flood of moonlight ...
                                                                                                          the drip, drip, drip
                                                                                                          of her lingerie

Historically speaking, haiku was rarely used as a poetic form to express eroticism. It's mainly because haiku traditionally tended to shy away from "strong passion and romantic love." Although eroticism was not a traditional topic of haiku, there were some written by female poets, such as the following one by Chiyojo (1703-1775):

moonflowers in bloom
when a woman’s skin
gleams through the dusk
As time passed and haiku became more widely publicized, there were poets  from a wide range of cultural backgrounds to study and broaden various writing topics. Rod Willmot, one of the pioneering figures in the North American haiku community, has championed "haiku focusing on human psychology and eroticism." In 1983 he edited a collection, titled Erotic Haiku, in which he suggested that "in true eroticism ... awareness and involvement coexist exquisite tension, a tension that is really the essence of haiku." And from an artistic perspective, the renowned poet Patrick Gillespie thinks that "eroticism and haiku are a perfect fit. Just as the haiku is the art of indirection, so too erotica. Whereas the explicit is an imaginative endpoint, the best haiku are a suggestive starting point for the imagination.  Suggestiveness is all – allusion, inference, and association.  And when haiku fail because they were made too explicit, eroticism fails for the same reason: eroticism becomes pornographic."

The following is a refreshing collection of erotic haiku that, I hope, will keep you "cool" on a "hot" summer day:

Night begins to gather         between her breasts

George Swede

beyond the dark
where I disrobe
an iris in bloom

Katsura Nobuko

the sound of spring rain on top of our moaning

Chen-ou Liu

waxy glistening of leaves
sometimes I’d come
along your thigh

Gabriel Rosenstock

in your panties
slightly pulled down
a crisp fallen leaf

Hiroaki Sato

lunar eclipse
a nipple peeks
over her dress

Paula Fisher 

old lovers
only her left nipple
becomes erect      

Lee Gurga

stripped bare
she closes the blinds
to the leafless tree

Jeffrey Winke

deserted beach --
a bikini top
rolls in on a wave

Michael Dylan Welch

Updated, October 19:

In honour of Haiku Canada’s fortieth anniversary, in 2017, Black Moss Press will publish a new version of its internationally famous Erotic Haiku edited by Rod Wilmot. Judged by George Swede and Terry Ann Carter, this contest is open to all poets with Canadian citizenship.

I was notified yesterday that four of my submitted haiku were accepted for this new landmark anthology:

I feel
something aroused
naked mannequin

Failed Haiku, 1:8, August 2016

flood of moonlight ...
the drip, drip, drip
of her lingerie

Haiku Canada Review, 10:1, February 2016

Rated R --
the orgasm
of sudden rain

NeverEnding Story, April 19, 2015

rain striking rain...
the firmness of her breasts

VerseWrights, March, 2014

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