Haiku with Hidden Messages

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As I explained in the early pages of this book using the analogy of an iceberg, omission and hidden messages are inseparably related. A well calculated omission generates a penetrating unspoken message.
An implied message born from omission is vitally indispensable to haiku. An implied message or "yo-in" is what you infer from what is expressed in words. As a poem using only a small number of words, haiku is destined to have in store a broad and profound array of implications. "Yo-in"is a boundless world of imagination which is touched off by each spoken word.
Without further elaboration, let's appreciate yo-in in some haiku made by haiku beginner students:


mokusei no nioi ni itsuno mani ka eki (Yasushi)
sweet osmanthus fragrance station drawn closer

The student is walking on the familiar path to the station. Normally he toils the distance but this particular morning a sweet fragrance comes from somewhere. "What a sweet smell !" he enjoys and walks on to meet another good smell and still another in succession: "Oh, this house has a blooming osmanthus, too!" he is excited. We can imagine a quiet residential district with rows of houses having a fragrant tree or two in the garden. Perhaps he reached the station before he knew while he enjoyed the pleasing smell on the way. This haiku gives us unspoken messages or yo-in for the sweet smell, the scene and the fresh excitement of the writer's.

biwa mukeba pun to nioeru ka no amaku (Kikuro)
peeling loquat scent rising so sweet

Kikuro likes loquat very much, I suppose. He peels the fruit and confirms the familiar smell,"Yes, this is it." Here we receive a hidden message of his momentary sentiment as he peeled and ate it.