Tag Archives: China

haiku #6 April 2011

fairytale —
one thousand and one nights
breathe in this haiku

The Arabian nights, the original collection of stories with roots in ancient and medieval times, originate from all over the Middle East and further. The basic story-telling frame involves Scheherazade telling a story a night to Shahryar the King who, disappointed in love, executes a succession of his brides after their first night together. In an attempt to keep herself alive, Sheherazade begins a tale without finishing it, so that the King, enthralled, spares her life in order to hear the rest of the story. If this rings a bell with writers who have been told to make their stories exciting to survive/avoid rejection, then so be it. In the end, we all have to survive to tell the tale.

In addition to the fairy tale, one other association is to Ai Weiwei’s 2007 exhibition in Kassel, Germany, named “Fairytale.” Ai Weiewei exhibited 1001 antique Chinese chairs, on which 1001 volunteers from China sat, and a structure made of 1001 antique Chinese doors salvaged from Ming and Qing Dynasty houses that had been built-over in times of rapid development. As he is reportedly held by police at present, I hope he finds enough tales to tell his captors.

This haiku was written in response to a prompt set by Melissa Allen during the April extension of NaHaiWriMo.