Monday, August 18, 2014

Butterfly Dream: Moonbow Haiku by Sandip Chauhan

English Original

moonbow ...
in a grain of wheat
a farmer’s song

2nd Place, 2014 International Matsuo Basho Award for Haiku Poetry

Sandip Chauhan

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

月虹 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

月虹 ...

Bio Sketch

Sandip Chauhan holds a PhD in Punjabi Literature from Punjabi University in Patiala, India. She writes mainly in Punjabi and English. Publications include two haiku anthologies: In One Breath - a Haiku moment , 2013 and Kokil Anb Suhavi Bole /ਕੋਕਿਲ ਅੰਬਿ ਸੁਹਾਵੀ ਬੋਲੇ , 2014, where haiku and its aesthetics are introduced in Punjabi for the first time. She currently resides in northern Virginia, USA.


  1. L1 sets the context, scenic and emotive, while the Blakeian sentiment in allusive Ls 2&3 enhances the tone and mood of the poem, indicating a promising future for the farmer.

    Below is excerpted from William Blake's "Auguries of Innocence:"

    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.

    Note: A moonbow (also known as a lunar rainbow, black rainbow, white rainbow, lunar bow, or space rainbow) is a rainbow produced by light reflected off the surface of the moon (as opposed to direct sunlight) refracting off of moisture laden clouds in the atmosphere. Moonbows are relatively faint, due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon. They are always in the opposite part of the sky from the moon.

    Because the light is usually too faint to excite the cone color receptors in human eyes, it is difficult for the human eye to discern colors in a moonbow. As a result, they often appear to be white.[1] However, the colors in a moonbow do appear in long exposure photographs -- excerpted from the Wikipedia entry, Moonbow

  2. I asked Robert D. Wilson to comment on these two winning entries and here's what he had to say:
    i want to take the opportunity to present two hokku written by our very own; Rita Odeh and Sandip Chauhan, i loved both of these entries. Can you please comment and evaluate

    1° Prize: Rita Odeh (Israel)

    only the
    kite's string remains . . .
    autumn breeze

    2° Prize: Sandip Chauhan (U.S.A.)

    Moonbow . . .
    in a grain of wheat
    a farmer's song

    Robert D. Wilson:
    Moonbow is an excellent activity biased hokku that allows for a surplus of interpretation. I would have awarded it the first prize. Odeh's is a well crafted but easy to interpret.

  3. Dalvir:

    Thanks for sharing these two haiku and Robert Wilson's comments.

    I think Rita's haiku can be improved by using different line breaks:

    only the kite's string
    remains . . .
    autumn breeze

    And I wonder if a flipped version (whose tone is different from that of the original) might enhance the poem:

    autumn breeze
    only the kite's string

    Just some thoughts for your consideration.