Sharp Chicken


sharp bites
of fried chicken
summer picnic

In this haiku I continued to use the technique of synesthesia. By now you may be wondering….

What is synesthesia?

Synesthesia is a condition in which one sense (for example, hearing) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as sight. Another form of synesthesia joins objects such as letters, shapes, numbers or people’s names with a sensory perception such as smell, color or flavor. The word synesthesia comes from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception). Therefore, synesthesia literally means “joined perception.”

The famous Haikuist Basho used synesthesia in the following haiku.

the sea darkens…
the wild duck’s call
is faintly white

As you can see here, at least to Basho, in this haiku, the ‘sound’ of the duck’s call is seen as the color white.

During some of my more painful migraines I can experience synesthesia where I experience sound as a a visual and even touch as a sound. I have a friend who ‘sees’ moods that she associates with people as colors in her mind. She can as perfect pitch but she associates each pitch as a color. As a musician she can do things that others just dream about.

I hope that the past two postings have piqued your interest to look at your senses in a different way.

9 responses »

    • It would depend on the individual. There are many different types of synie’s (as they like to be called). There are those who hear sound when they touch something, there are those who feel touch when they hear sound.

      I once developed a design course for a university. A couple of lectures were about this topic. I feel that designers and such should be aware that there is more than one way to intrepet sensory input. One lecture was called “Do you see Red as I see Red” but that is another thread.

      What I find fun with haiku is attempting apply what little knowledge I do have about sensory data interpretation and use words to paint a broad picture with a tiny brush.

  1. and I feel one day i will understand Haiku..
    ‘you make me really want to try it!
    Thanks for this lesson..
    I will save it and work on it…
    Take Care…..
    You Matter…

  2. Dear Fierce…. (it made me smile to type that, like it was something I always wanted to do….)

    More Sharp Chicken

    Excellent post,
    very thoughtful and calm
    much like musical water.

    🙂 Love it! And very informative! I had observed this in Basho’s work, but never knew it was a specific technique, defined and, as you can see, understandably explained so others may use it. I saw you dropped in to read one of my posts, and came to look at your site. I’ll definitely be back…. especially as I now follow you and will be notified when you post. I love finding new blogs, and look forward to reading more of your haiku and musings…. when I can get away from my own; it’s getting pretty time consuming…..

    • Thank you for visiting. I am glad that my sharing has deepened your appreciation of Basho. Very observant of you to catch it! I look forward to reason more of your writings.

  3. Pingback: Haiku Tip #2 Editing « FierceBuddhist

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