This week’s podcast examines transformational and multiple synesthesia, in the company of Nicholas Klacsanzky. Nicholas has really helped me out this week. Thank you so much Nicholas.

Our guest this week is Goran Gatalica, a prolific haiku poet and someone whose work we have already enjoyed, in episode 11.

Thank you, as always, for the feedback that you gave me from last week’s podcast. I’ve enjoyed reading your haiku using proximal sense switching, it’s always lovely to hear that I’ve inspired you to try new things or to try a technique once more.

Some of you asked about the butterflies. Well, the Puccini they were dancing to was Nessun Dorma, sung by Pavarotti. And yes, they are still with me:

the cabbage whites
dancing together
in the twilight

Transformational synesthesia:

In this technique “one sense becomes another”. (1) This technique has been used more in traditional Japanese haiku than in western haiku. I can vouch for that as I have had a devil of a problem finding this technique used n contemporary work.

First off I’ll give you some examples from the Japanese tradition. Nicholas found and sent me the following haiku which were written by the Japanese maser of the haiku, Bashö, but I don’t know who translated them into English:

First a smell which transforms into a visual image:

their fragrance
is whiter than peach blossoms–
the daffodils

Next aural transforms into a smell

as the bell tone fades
blossom scents take up the ringing . . .
evening shade

But what of contemporary haiku?

Aural becomes a touch in this haiku by Raffael de Gruttola (2)

endless day—
a train whistle widens
in the cold air

here visual to that of smell in a haiku by Nicholas Klacsanzky

of its smell—
March snow

and also by Nicolas aural transforms to visual

the swallow’s cry
with a silver hue

and now for my contribution, visual to taste

the mud brown taste
of lake fish

So far we have looked at combining two senses, but what about more than two? Using more than two senses in your haiku. Do you think this can work or is it sensory overload which leads to a lack of focus or direction? What do you think?
Here’s an example I wrote to illustrate the point, let me know what you think:

yellow sand—
an odour of fish
in the sound of the waves

That one is pretty much in its raw state, but you can see what I mean.

I’d love to read some of your transformational synesthesia or multiple sense switching haiku. You can send them to me via email, from the poetrypea website. Perhaps I can do a special podcast with haiku from you.

On to our guest poet. This week it’s someone we first met in episode 11, Goran Gatalica. As with many of our guests he is a scientist who writes poetry. He is quite prolific and has been published in many journals and haiku anthologies. You may have heard me congratulating him a number of times. If you’d like to read more of his work see the links at the end.

In a week when the topic of migration has brought the European Union another political crisis, Goran, in his senryu, reminds us that whatever you think about migration, when all is said and done, we are actually talking about human beings. His piece:

during war –
children in a boat
sharing a whisper

It’s quite a sobering isn’t it?

I think I would just like to say thank you to Goran for his moving poem and leave it at that.

Thank you for coming along this week and listening I hope you’ve enjoyed the haiku and senryu featured here and that I’ve inspired you to go off and try some new t techniques. Don’t forget to let me know if you try out them out.

Join me next Monday when will be looking at the technique which Jane Reichhold calls: As is above:is below. (3) I’m looking forward to it already.

See you next week, keep writing…

You’ll find all the links you need on the website in the show notes for this podcast. Remember if there’s something missing just send me an email and I’ll send you the information. Take care

  1. Paul Miller Haiku Toolbox: Synesthesia
  2. Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku
  3. Jane Reichhold Writing and enjoying Haiku. A hands on guide.

Links to Nicholas Klacsanzky
Haiku Commentary
His book with his father, Zen and Son
His book with Jacob Salzer, How Many Become One
The Nook book: Yanty’s Butterfly:

Links to Goran Gatalica

  1. Haiku Universe
  2. Haiku Masters
  3. VerseWrights
Week 33: The Colour of Money

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