summer breeze painting my old guitar
Words and art © Momolu Freeman
I believe Freeman made the right decision to make this a one liner. When you have too few words, it is often better to make a haiku one line instead of two or three.
my old guitar
my old guitar
painting my old guitar
… seems to have less impact on the reader and does not look as appealing on the page.
The one line version also encourages readers to see the double meaning easier. It can be read as “summer breeze/painting my old guitar” or without a stop as “summer evening painting my old guitar.” The first one is a contrast/comparison, and the second one is implying the summer breeze is painting the old guitar, either by splashing paint unto the guitar with its force, or by staining the guitar with whatever is in the surroundings. It could also be metaphorical, as the wind could be painting the guitar in an unseen way, painting it with its currents and unseen shapes.
“Summer,” the seasonal reference or kigo, is that of romance, relaxation, joy, but also the burning sun which crumbles crops. This being paired with painting an old guitar is poignant. Indeed, in a summer breeze, we can feel something of memories and the renewal of those memories. Like painting an old guitar, a summer breeze brings many memories back of joy, but also maybe of sadness or reminiscence.
No season is black and white, especially in haiku. Though seasons have themes, each season has counterpoints we can be aware of.
The “r” sound in the haiku gives the effect of wind rustling through trees and maybe the guitar itself. The “i” sound in “painting” and “guitar” seems to give greater emphasis and maybe a sense of the toil in the process of painting a guitar.
The art gives an indication of the seriousness of the topic as well. The guitar appears to have been given African attributes, and points to African-American tradition in the blues and other music based on the guitar. Though America is a young country in relative terms, the ancient African heritage brought to America by way of slavery has had a profound impact on music, from blues, jazz, rock, funk, soul, disco, house, and much more.
This haiku might be less of pointing towards a personal experience, and more of a collective experience, how Africans are reclaiming their heritage and finding it through the strains and strands of history.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky