in a toyless cage
the parakeet discovers
a feather to twirl
Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg (1929-1996), art by Mary E. Rodning, and translation into Japanese and calligraphy by Hiromi Inoue.
A nice collaboration (I do not know or read Japanese, so I don’t know about it, other than the looks of the writing is aesthetically pleasing). The cruelty—I suppose it is unintentional—of a captive spirit is stated matter of factly. It is a powerful piece. The three elements work well together, but the haiku easily stands alone.
– Dana Grover
This is powerfully sad and shows how pathetic it is to capture a free spirit (wild bird) and keep it prisoner in a cage. I find that objectionable. The feather seems to symbolise the loneliness of the bird.
– Martha Magenta
To me, it shows desperation with ingenuity and intelligence of a captured being, but do animals have emotions such as being bored? This is a debate that’s been going on for a long time. I noticed that this was written in the 5-7-5 format and I can imagine the difficulty of writing the first line without telling too much, which to me it does.
Since the image already shows a cage why not emphasize it and not repeat what’s already shown?
the parakeet discovers
a feather to twirl
Just thinking of the possibilities, where I could be wrong as well. My 2 cents disclaimer.
Wow. I think it’s very potent. To me, it speaks clear of how horribly sad and senseless it is to confine another being created to be wild and free. I can only hope it conveys the message to others on how very wrong and inhumane imprisoning a fellow earthling is, along with the selfishness and cruelty of it.
– Michelle Hyatt
L1 might work better without “in a” since “parakeet” and
“cage” suggest being within.
– Edwin Lomere
I think the poem is quite strong. It oscillates nicely between a theme of making the most of what you’ve got (“a feather to twirl”), and one of being trapped with little available to you (“a toyless cage”).
– Dave Read
Wow… I have mixed feelings regarding this particular haiku, but the intention to convey loneliness is stark and well-taken. First, it saddens me that the little fellow doesn’t have any material/objects to keep itself occupied and happy while being confined.
You see, I have an African Grey that never knew of being in the wild, (I spoon-fed her during infancy) but she escaped twice—once in Maryland and another time in Georgia. One of her phrases is, ‘Help me.” In her last escape, she stayed away for about a week (I forgot the exact time frame).
She ( Lilo) ended up flying onto a gentleman’s lap as he and his brother were chatting in an open garage. Because of posting Lilo’s description/markings and behaviour patterns in a nearby pet store, I was blessed to have her returned to me. She has a 6-foot cage, several toys, eats fresh fruit and seeds daily (she growls at vegetables) and is rarely confined. At this time in my life, I can’t imagine not having her as my companion (she can live up to 60 years+).
I have spoken with many people, including friends, who believe birds should be free. Well, I must say horses should be free too. 🙂
Many animals can be domesticated. More importantly, to me, they should be treated with as much kindness as the next person. I have to admit most of my friends have 4-legged pets. It just so happened a little bird who truly talks to me became my best friend. That is not to say I’m not fond of felines & canines as well.
– Lovette Carter
Since the haiku portion of the haiga has been commented on at length, I will do my best to discuss the art.
The white between the words and the cage, to me, portrays the loneliness the parakeet is feeling.
Most of the color is used on the bird itself, while the cage and the cage’s stand is painted lightly. This allows the viewer to focus on the bird as the main subject and see that with the play with the feather, the bird is perhaps drawn away from its loneliness. Even the poet’s name is written in green, which could point to the parakeet being a metaphor for the poet’s life.
At the bottom right, there is what appears to be a dark blue chair, which is an appropriate color for sadness.
Though simple, the emotions of the haiku runs through the art, and perhaps gives a glimpse into the true feelings of the poet.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky
What do you think or feel about this haiga? Let us know in the comments.