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Heeding Haiku With HA: To Derive Inspiration From Poetry # 2

Sarojini Naidu: A Love Song from the North


Tell me no more of thy love, papeeha,

Wouldst thou recall to my heart, papeeha,

Dreams of delight that are gone,

When swift to my side came the feet of my lover

With stars of the dusk and the dawn?

I see the soft wings of the clouds on the river,

And jewelled with raindrops the mango-leaves quiver,

And tender boughs flower on the plain…..

But what is their beauty to me, papeeha,

Beauty of blossom and shower, papeeha,

That brings not my lover again? 

Tell me no more of thy love, papeeha,

Wouldst thou revive in my heart, papeeha

Grief for the joy that is gone?

I hear the bright peacock in glimmering woodlands

Cry to its mate in the dawn;

I hear the black koel’s slow, tremulous wooing,

And sweet in the gardens the calling and cooing

Of passionate bulbul and dove….

But what is their music to me, papeeha

Songs of their laughter and love, papeeha,

To me, forsaken of love?

This is the second of the total five haiku/tanka prompts, where we derive inspiration from poetry: from the written words of some exceptional poets. This week, we analyze the poem, A Love Song from the North, by Sarojini Naidu. Her melancholic tone has a beauty to it which is enriched with such enticing imagery in this poem. To derive inspiration from her words, I would like you to accompany me through this journey of sounds, voices and music and the dance and colors of the birds and the feelings they leave us compounded with and what all they leave us longing for.

Basic guidelines:

  • English Haiku is a three-line poem structured in syllable count of 5-7-5. It visualizes an image, an expression or experience which can be measured in the time it takes you to inhale and exhale. Including a season word or kigo is an important element of haiku.
  • English Tanka is a five-line poem structured in syllable pattern of  5-7-5-7-7. The first two lines and the last two lines picture images and the third line is a pivotal line i.e. it signifies a grammatically correct meaning and completes the image either when paired with the first two lines or when paired with the last two lines.
  • Most importantly, feel free and write, do not be burdened by the rules or guidelines. Enjoy crafting a haiku or tanka. And after when you have made the post, you can submit the links to your posts in the linking widget below.

Happy Writing!

*You can also include these two tags with your post: HeedingHaikuWithHA and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.

** Translation:

Papeeha:- Jacobin Cuckoo or Common Hawk Cuckoo

Koel: Cuckoo, of genus, Eudynamys

Bulbul: Persian Nightingale

*** If you liked the poem, here is another one by Sarojini Naidu which I like: Palanquin Bearers

Image source

About anmol

Anmol is an independent journalist, writer, and poet from India. They report on gender, health, food, and culture. Their work has appeared in the BMJ, Whetstone South Asia, Autostraddle, Mint Lounge, and other platforms.

8 comments on “Heeding Haiku With HA: To Derive Inspiration From Poetry # 2

  1. Pingback: Sing Your Love Song (Tanka) | A Glass of Bubbly

  2. brian miller
    May 28, 2014

    this is love, in the
    entrail’s steam after slaughter;
    what is left of me?


  3. Pingback: Heeding Haiku with HA! May 29, 2014 (Tanka) | Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

  4. Bastet
    May 29, 2014

    Thanks for this lovely prompt HA…I enjoyed it very much!


  5. Pingback: No Escaping (Tanka) | Blog It or Lose It!

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