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The Tricoteuse: Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

16 May 2017, Posted by Editor in Fiction

THE TRICOTEUSE

“A weaver who has to direct and to interweave a great many little threads has no time to philosophize about it, but rather he is so absorbed in his work that he doesn’t think but acts, and he feels how things must go more than he can explain it.”.

                                                          – Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

A heddle made of cord or wire, suspended on a shaft of a loom has an eye where each thread of the warp goes through. There can be near a thousand heddles used for fine or wide warps. This reminds me of world religions .Are we not all the warp and weft of a giant tapestry ?

 

Whether it is a Charvet or a carpet of the finest silk from Herat, the weaves are similar  and the warp cannot exist without the woof. Does it matter then which faiths we follow ,whether we worship only the threads from which the fabric was woven or the fabric as a whole?

 

While living in Nuenen in 1884,Van Gogh made paintings and drawings of weavers over a six-month period. In these paintings, there’s a feeling of distance, like someone looking into the scene. In Weaver Facing Left with Spinning Wheel,* the painting is made with somber colors, contrasted against the woven red fabric on the loom.

 

Are we then the Moirai or Madame Defarge measuring out our fellowmen’s’ lives in yarn to cut them down at will?

 

such stillness-

the cicadas’ song sunk

deep Into the rocks

 

Notes:

1) The Van Gogh quote used  is from  https://www.createspace.com/4465772

2) First published in a slightly different form in KYSO Flash (Issue 6, Fall 2016) http://www.kysoflash.com/Issue6/DeodharTricoteuse.aspx

 


About the author:

Dr. Ms Angelee Deodhar, an eye surgeon by profession, a haiku poet, translator, and artist lives and works in Chandigarh, India. Her haiku, haibun and haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed online, too. To promote haiku in India, she translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi.

She is editor of the Journeys series (Journeys, Journeys 2015 and Journeys 2017). Journeys 2017, the third anthology of international haibun, has just been released on Amazon.

 

Journeys 2017 – https://www.amazon.com/Journeys-2017-Anthology-International-Haibun/dp/1541387031/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488914176&sr=8-1&keywords=angelee+deodhar

Journeys 2015 – https://www.amazon.com/Journeys-2015-Anthology-International-Haibun-ebook/dp/B015MZUYLW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1488914176&sr=8-2&keywords=angelee+deodhar

 

Art Credit: Vincent van Gogh – Weaver – Wikimedia Commons

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  • Sumita G.

    Beautiful!!!
    It’s always a delight to read Angelee’s amazing works. She very effortlessly weaves the words together to create haiku, poems and haibun. Such a treat!
    – Sumita G., RI, USA

    Reply
  • Mary Jo Balistreri

    I am always refreshed, stimulated, inspired by Angelee’s haibun. They are remarkable. I’m partial to Van Gogh so this one particularly resonates.

    Jo

    Reply
  • Angelee Deodhar

    Thank you so much,Sumita,love angelee

    Reply
  • Arvinder kaur

    Very deep and touching ! The image is haunting ! so very well done Angelee ! – love, arvinder

    Reply
  • John McDonalld

    Enjoyed this

    Reply
  • Paresh Tiwari

    I have always maintained that every great work of literature has at the very least two major threads of meaning running through it. Just like two coins of the same story. Sometimes even if it is not very apparent, these multi-layers are what distinguish a work with literary merit and those that don’t. It’s always such a pleasure to read Angelee’s works because she has mastered the art of saying so much in so little. She has always been an inspiration and will continue to be so.

    – Paresh

    Reply
    • Angelee Deodhar

      Thank you for your kind words,Paresh,I am grateful for your encouragement and support,love and light,angelee

      Reply
  • Tom Clausen

    Grateful for this wonderful perspective and weaving of life haibun! Well done, Angelee! Amazing to think of all those threads woven together and all of us too…

    Reply
  • Nobuyuki Yuasa

    I enjoyed reading this haibun very much. The idea of weaving threads of different colours into a tapestry is exactly what we need to maintain world peace. But who will be the weaver? I am afraid we have too many weavers trying to maintain that his or her design is the only pattern that should be accepted. In this part of the world where I live we had at one time very strong silk industry. A spinning factory not far from here was recognized as a world heritage not long ago. Unfortunately, weaving factories are gone. But we have individual weavers still trying to maintain traditional local weaving techniques. They produce beautiful products. One question I have. I do not quite understand the why Angelee quotes Basho’s poem at the end. Can anyone kindly instruct me on this point?

    Reply
    • Angelee Deodhar

      Dear Nobuyuki Yuasa san,
      Thank you so much for the kind comments you have made about this ekphrastic haibun.I am honoured indeed.

      The haiku by Basho used here, takes forward the link to the last line,where ,now the looms and knitting needles are noiseless,silent,unmoving in the the stillness of death.

      In the other version of this same haibun published by Clare McQueen,in her online magazine Kyso Flash,the haiku read:

      that moon again
      at my window
      autumn loneliness

      Very Sincerely and gratefully,yours,angelee

      Reply
  • Raveesh Varma

    This is a difficult one: on one side you have the weaver “absorbed in his work”, in “such stillness-“. On the other, you have “…Madame Defarge measuring out our fellowman’s lives in yarn to cut them down at will”. There is involuntary creation at one hand and imposed will and destruction on the other. The skill of a craftsman at work doing what comes naturally to him, at one hand, and implacable human ego on the other. The reference to the Moirai adds another level of difficulty, because who can appeal to Olympus: “That which overcomes gods and men moves not the brazen heart of the Stygian Zeus.”? So is Olympus simply a reflection of human ego? Or is destruction simply creation, looked at from the other side? There is so much to think about here. Well done!

    Reply

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