Crossing Paths: haiga & article

Please see publication details at end.


by Ruth Mittelholtz


Haiga is a traditional Japanese art-and-literature form integrating an image and a haiku. The image and haiku are not intended to be illustration and explanation; rather, the visual and word images work together poetically. Ideally, image and haiku are each complete in themselves and can stand alone. Putting them together adds another dimension to the haiku and to the image.

My interest in haiga stems from my love of imagery in both visual art and in poetry. At its most basic a haiku consists of two verbal images which together express an emotion (“show, don’t tell” as teachers of creative writing of all genres implore.) The (ideally) clear and concrete verbally-expressed images of a haiku should leave much to the imagination of the reader, who ‘completes’ the haiku.

Ancient Japanese haiga consist of simple brush-and-ink drawing and calligraphy. Nowadays in Japan and in languages and cultures round the world, various media are used including painting, collage, drawing, photography and computer-generated imagery, as well as brush and ink. Many excellent examples of traditional and modern haiga and scholarly articles can be found at edited websites by googling “haiga.”

I enjoy the challenge of bringing together imagery from visual art and poetry, and the challenge of doing so within a tightly defined form. Many of my haiga are inspired by the natural wonders of Grey and Bruce Counties, Ontario, Canada.


The haiga has been published at Daily Haiga Sept 28 2010

The haiga and article have been published in  Mosaic Arts, Entertainment & Lifestyle, Vol. 18, No. 4, October 2010. Published by The Ginger Press, 848 2nd Avenue East, Owen Sound, Ontario, N4K 2H3, Canada.

©Ruth Mittelholtz 2016