Once upon a time, I took a writing class. Well, actually, I’ve taken many a writing class, but there’s this one particular one that I’m thinking of right now.
One of the women in the class showed up for a writing workshop with copies of an essay she’d written that contained a hot-and-heavy lovemaking scene.
She used all sorts of blush-inducing words like “throbbing tunnel” and “thrusting organ”.
Yikes! How in the world was our group supposed to discuss this essay out loud, stay on track, and not hurt the writer’s feelings?
She really had just wanted to write about an intimate moment, and you could tell she had tried really hard to keep it clean. That’s why she said “tunnel” instead of — well, you know — and “organ” instead of — well, again, you know.
I will never forget that instructor’s advice. He said the best love scenes were the love scenes that left something to the imagination … that the harder a writer tried to accurately describe all the ins-and-outs of sex, the dirtier it would end up sounding. The trick was to tell just enough and then …
And then let the reader’s imagination take over.
And that’s exactly what I thought of when I read Chapter 100 in the book Haiku Mind. The chapter is about love and passion. The haiku that kicks it off was written by Masajo Suzuki and goes like this:
shall we die together,
my lover whispers —
Oh. La. La.
At the moment this happened, surely this couple must have been snuggling. They must have been looking up at the stars, quiet and close and kissing and touching, wrapped in a blanket together, her breathing in the air he breathed out. They must have been in love — a consuming, fiery love. I mean, after all, they contemplated dying together.
See what I mean about the reader’s imagination?
All the writer has to do is suggest the outline of a love scene and the reader will quickly jump into the act.
And since this is the case, it strikes me then, that haiku is the perfect medium for writing a love scene.
You can’t go on too long. You can’t describe “throbbing tunnels” and “thrusting organs” because, well, you simply don’t have the space. (I’m sure I’ve just invited someone to prove me wrong.)
But I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. According to Patricia Donegan, the writer of the book Haiku Mind, the author of this haiku was 88 years-old when she wrote it.
Now that’s something to strive for — passion at any age.
Find Haiku Mind on Amazon:
Haiku Mind: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness and Open Your Heart
Love and Passion haiku excerpted from Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan, (c) 2008. Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.Shambhala.com.