#Haikai Challenge #100 (8/17/19): Milky Way (amanogawa). Lit. ‘River of Heaven’ #Haiku #Senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

Hope you enjoyed your moon-gazing, haijin! Congratulations to last week’s contributors:

Haikai Challenge Participants
1. Jules
2. Reena Saxena
3. Dwight L. Roth
4. Suzanne
5. Jane Dougherty
6. Linda Lee Lyberg
7. Xenia Tran
8. Tessa
9. Janice
10. Kerfe Roig
11. Revived Writer

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


Mid-August in New York already feels like Fall–when the last summer heat and humidity ain’t around! I’ve seen maple leaves fall in my backyard. The temperatures, for the most part, have begun to cool. And Labor Day is just over two weeks away.

Seems like the right time to contemplate the Milky Way (amanogawa).

I know, I know. We did this one last year–in mid-September, no less:

One night, long ago, I looked up at the night sky from the vantage point of rural vermont. A veritable sea of stars illuminated the dark. Every Northern Hemisphere constellation in season seemed to appear in radiant glory. I have never forgotten it.
So this week, we turn our attention to the traditional, early autumn kigo of the Milky Way (amanogawa). The literal translation of amanogawa is “river of heaven.” Think of a rural view of the stars of our home galaxy flowing across the abyss, and you can understand why.

Well, who can deny the awe of seeing our own celestial neighborhood?

The Milky Way is the galaxy[nb 1] that contains the Solar System, with the name describing the galaxy’s appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. The term Milky Way is a translation of the Latin via lactea, from the Greek γαλαξίας κύκλος (galaxías kýklos, “milky circle”).[17][18][19] From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within. Galileo Galilei first resolved the band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. Until the early 1920s, most astronomers thought that the Milky Way contained all the stars in the Universe.[20] Following the 1920 Great Debate between the astronomers Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis,[21] observations by Edwin Hubble showed that the Milky Way is just one of many galaxies.

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with a diameter between 150,000 and 200,000 light-years (ly).[22][23][24][25] It is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars[26][27] and more than 100 billion planets.[28][29] The Solar System is located at a radius of 26,490 (± 100) light-years from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of the Orion Arm, one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust. The stars in the innermost 10,000 light-years form a bulge and one or more bars that radiate from the bulge. The galactic center is an intense radio source known as Sagittarius A*, assumed to be a supermassive black hole of 4.100 (± 0.034) million solar masses.

This week, write the haikai poem of your choice (haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga, renga, etc.) that alludes to the Milky Way (amanogawa).

As always:

Here’s how the challenge works:

1. write the haikai poem of your choice.
2. post the link of your post to Mister Linky.
3. pingback by posting the link to the challenge on your site.
4. read and comment on other contributors’ posts.

This week marks the 100th Haikai Challenge! Thank you, all, for your support and participation!

May you enjoy the taste of the “River of Heaven,” haijin!

26 replies »

  1. Pingback: Milky Way – K.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s