Haiga and Haiku

Featured Image Above: A Haiga, a drawing by my niece Kerri, with my attached Haiku

I’m a member of an on-line photography group, which has been interesting and fun for me. Each day we have a different topic/prompt to do, and yesterday’s topic was “Haiga”; Haiga is a style of Japanese painting that incorporates the aesthetics of haikai. Haiga are typically painted by haiku poets, and often accompanied by a haiku poem. Like the poetic form it accompanied, haiga was based on simple, yet often profound, observations of the everyday world. Stephen Addiss points out that “since they are both created with the same brush and ink, adding an image to a haiku poem was… a natural activity.” Well below I am sharing with you my response to the prompt. The pen and ink picture was painted by Carole in 1975(the year we met), and I wrote the attached Haiku in 2019.

Ivor Steven (c) January 2021


My attached music/video, is a new song by ‘Sigur Ros’, from their yet to be release album, coming out on December the 8th… Their music here is a perfect example of how even though we don’t understand the language and lyrics, the musical performance and their glorious sound is a pure delight to listen to…. I hope you enjoy this 8 min piece of music excellence…

Music (a Haiku)

Live music matters 

As we climb every mountain  

Proudly, all shall sing 

Ivor Steven (c) Nov 2020

The theme of Sigur Ros’s song…
Composed in the 14th or 15th century Odin’s Raven Magic is an Icelandic poem in the ancient Edda tradition (Edda – a term that describes two Icelandic manuscripts which together are the main sources of Norse mythology and Skáldic poetry) its anonymous author clearly had an intimate knowledge of the Edda literature and mythology which alludes to a number of pagan motifs which are now lost. The poem recounts a great banquet held by the gods in Valhalla while they were absorbed in their feasting, ominous signs appeared that could foretell the end of the worlds of the gods and men. The album ‘Odin’s Raven Magic’ is an orchestral collaboration between Sigur Rós, Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, Steindór Andersen and Maria Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir which premiered 18 years ago at the Barbican Centre in London and is now finally almost two decades later being released. The performance honours the poem, dramatic and beautiful, classical and contemporary. A stone marimba was built especially for the performance by Páll Guðmundsson. Odin’s Raven Magic – the poem – had been relegated from mainstream ancient literature ever since 1867, when Norwegian scholar Sophus Bugge claimed it was a 17th century fabrication. This theory has since been toppled with literary and linguistic arguments and new research has concluded that Odin’s Raven Magic was indeed authentic and has finally been reintroduced to the Edda.