Narrowing Focus Technique

Written for:  Carpe Diem Special #934, onions

a morning of snow
only the onions in the garden
blaze the trail

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This HWT is called Narrowing Focus and it was used often by Buson (1716-1784)) because, he as an artist, a painter, was a very visual person. Basho and earlier poets were completely comfortable in using this haiku writing technique.
The above poem starts basically with a wide-angle lens on the world in the 1st line, then switches to a normal lens for the 2nd line and zooms in for a close up in the end. The technique sounds simple, and when done well it’s very effective in bringing the reader’s attention down to one basic element or fact of the haiku.
In this poem Basho added another element to the technique with the idea that the close-up image – the trail at one’s feet – is covered up with snow so it cannot be seen.

in the moonlight
Wisteria flowers look fragile –
a gust of wind

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

Here is my attempt:

at the wedding
all those lovely pastel gowns–
the bride

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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2 Responses to Narrowing Focus Technique

  1. This is a nice example of a haiku in which narrowing focus is used in a great way.

    Liked by 1 person

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