KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Ekphrastic Haibun: 244 words

The Tricoteuse

by Angelee Deodhar
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
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 comprises somber colors, contrasted with the woven red fabric on the loom. Painting by Vincent van Gogh: Weaver Facing Left with Spinning Wheel

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. Whether in a Charvet or a carpet of the finest silk from Herat, the weaves are similar and the warp cannot exist without the weft. This reminds me of world religions: Are we not all the warp and weft of a giant tapestry?

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

that moon again
at my window
autumn loneliness



Publisher’s Notes:

1. The epigraph above is from paragraph 10 of Vincent van Gogh’s letter of 11 March 1883 to his brother Theo (source: WebExhibits online museum: van Gogh’s letters, Unabridged and Annotated).

2. The painting above by Vincent van Gogh is in the public domain, and the reproduction was downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.

The original oil on canvas resides in the Tompkins Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Dr. Angelee Deodhar
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is an eye surgeon by profession as well as a haiku poet, translator, and artist who 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 has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi.

Ms. Deodhar has edited two anthologies of international haibun, Journeys and Journeys 2015. The second volume includes a total of 145 haibun, by 31 poets of international repute. She is now working on the third collection of haibun from around the world, Journeys 2016.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Angelee Deodhar: A life in haiku, an interview by Raamesh Gowri Raghavan in Glo Talk (30 June 2014)

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