Saturday, December 17, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Street Cars Haiku by Ken Sawitri

English Original

whirring street cars --
a bell cricket snatches
the silence

Cattails, January 2015

Ken Sawitri

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

大街汽車的塵囂 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

大街汽车的尘嚣 --

Bio Sketch

Ken Sawitri completed her degree in psychology at the University of Indonesia in 1993. Her haiku won the Second Prize in the 2013 Diogen Summer Haiku Contest. She dedicated her haiku to her motherland  in Listen The Spice Whispers, Haiku from Indonesian Archipelago and recorded her journey in the haiku posted at

1 comment:

  1. Ken's use of the type II cutting technique ("a division of Yin["silence"]and Yang" ["whirring"]) is visually and emotionally effective, and her verb choice ("snatches") deepens the emotional/psychological impact of the poem.

    Note: Below is excerpted from My "To the Lighthouse" post, "Three Formulations about the Use of Cutting," which can be accessed at

    …The more complex uses of kireji that come into prominence later on break down this linguistically confined structure of the sentence unit in favor of freer poetic play across the gap made by ya, other cutting-words, or syntactic breaks which cleave the poem in two …

    Later in the seventeenth century when Danrin poets formulated their ideas about kireji, the discussion might be presented in terms of Yin-Yang metaphysics or simply in terms of a discrimination set up within a hokku between a "this" opposed to a "that." A work from 1680 put it in a refreshingly slangy way:

    The kireji is that which clearly expresses a division of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang mean the existence of an interesting confrontation within a poem (okashiku ikku no uchi ni arasoi aru o iu nari). For instance, something or other presented in a hokku is that?-no, it's not that but this, etc. 46

    Eisenstein, circa 1929, would have replaced Yin with thesis and Yang with antithesis and cast the whole matter in the mold of his peculiar dialectic, but he would certainly have gone along with this Japanese poet's notion of arasoi, "confrontation." "By what, then, is montage characterized and, consequently, its cell -- the shot?" he asked himself in "The Cinematographic Principle and the Ideogram." "By collision. By the conflict of two pieces in opposition to each other. By conflict. By collision." And the phrases of hokku were, he insisted, "montage phrases," and hence they generated their meaning by a like dynamic process....