Writing Technique: Sabi

Written for:  Carpe Diem #947, Grass Pillow
Sabi refers to the passing of time, which creates a feeling of sadness, longing and melancholy. It’s about transient imagery, how things convey how they’ve lived – their age, their knowledge. Sabi by itself refers to the natural progression of time, and carries with it an understanding that all things will grow old and become less conventionally beautiful. However, things described as “sabi” carry their age with dignity and grace. At the heart of being “sabi” is the idea of authenticity.

dreaming rice cakes
fastened to folded ferns
a grass pillow

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

rocky spring
lips taking a sip
from a stone mouth

© Jane Reichhold

wearing blue jeans
sign of happiness and freedom –
bleached with stones
jeans almost falling apart
can’t throw them away

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

Here is my attempt:

on hiking trail
come across ancient beauty
tree gouged by lightning


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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