Saturday, June 16, 2012

The XIV Calico Cat haiku contest

Well, friends...I'm delighted to tell you that I've won this XIV Calico Cat haiku contest held by Origa!

As if you didn't know already! As if i hadn't shouted loudly enough from my Facebook page!

But this was such an unexpected honor, as there were many many beautiful entries and for me it was totally a spur-of-the-moment decision to enter this contest...being drawn in by the image and the fact that it was dedicated to the memory of Hortensia Anderson who passed away recently and whose work I had always admired immensely... that i cannot help feeling thrilled with the outcome!

In the contest we were asked to write haiku on the theme "Moment of eternity" based on this sumi-e painting above, done by Origa herself. Origa doesn't need any introduction in the haiku circle, but for others she is a Russian poet as well as an artist. She conducted the contest single-handedly, even translated all the poems (the Japanese translations by Isao Yasuda) and brought out the results within a week.

You can read the results and the winning poems by clicking on this link:

And here is her commentary on my poem:

Dear friends, I am happy to announce the RESULTS of the contest. As always, I was looking for faithfulness to the theme of the painting, employment of its images, evidence of “haiku spirit” corresponding to this memorial edition. Thank you all for your love for haiku which spans continents!

Our First Prize winner is

*********SANJUKTAA, India -- САНДЖЮКТАА, Индиия -- CONGRATULATIONS !!!********

the last poem
signed with a flourish --
falling star

This is a classic example of the embodiment of a HAIKU as a unique poetic genre establishing connection between the creativity of Nature and human art. Two concrete images are juxtaposed: a signature on a finished poem, and a falling star. A poet finished his creation with a flourish (great wording here!) – and next moment, a star has fallen. Or, the flourish and the fall could have occurred simultaneously, as a synchronous act. The main point is that the poet participates in the nature’s creativity, follows it -- zōka zuijun (where zōka means the working of the universe, the activity of the universe, the Creative -- a relatively new term coined by scholars Hori Nobuo, Horikiri Minoru, and David L. Barnhill) by merging his art with it, adding to its beauty, celebrating it. Remember, how Bashō valued an artist’s ability to recognize and follow the natural mode of creativity? To him, all great art was based on this creativity. As Barnhill pointed out (“The Creative in Bashō’s View of Nature and Art”), for Bashō, “Humans are incomplete unless they achieve a unity with the moon and flowers and become a companion to the four seasons.” In this haiku, the poet seems to have achieved it – and so does the author of the haiku. The creative work is brought to culmination – tsukusu as Bashō called it (another “new” term used in haiku theory). In the context of our contest’s special edition, we also think of Hortensia’s last poem and the “flourish” as a hidden metaphor for a “falling star”. Apart of the theoretical approach, this is simply a beautiful, intense, instant “ah!” moment stunner haiku -- BRAVA, Sanjuktaa! Sumi-e 'Moment of Eternity' goes to India.

Now you tell me, don't I have a good reason to feel pleased as punch?


Alan Summers said...


Alan, With Words

Anonymous said...

Yes, you absolutely do have every right to feel pleased as punch. Relish the feeling . . . Your poem is lovely, Sanjukta!

sanjuktaa said...

Many thanks Alan and anonymous! Is this Margaret?

Anonymous said...

Yes! I guess the blogger button typed me in as anonymous instead of through my gmail account. Yes, congratulations, Sanjukta! Best, M.

Iris said...

Congratulations Sanjuktaa :)

sanjuktaa said...

Thanks a lot, Iris!

Christine L. Villa said...

I'm so proud of you! Congratulations! :-)

sanjuktaa said...

Many thanks, Chrissi, for this and all the other comments you've left. Hugs...