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Messages - eluckring

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Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 5: Criticism
« on: March 04, 2014, 07:29:34 PM »
In the visual arts this “ (creative) kind of criticism” that Phil and Richard are talking about is called curating.
A curator absolutely shapes how individual works are understood by controlling the context in which they are seen. A curator is analogous to the role of an editor in literary terms. Though, very often, in the visual arts, curators write catalog essays for their exhibitions, so they in fact function overtly as critics.  I can recall several exhibitions that have entirely revamped how a particular artist's work is seen historically.

Curating is an art-form in itself, more difficult than it might seem. Inspired curators make connections between works and between artists that highlight the intrinsic properties of individual pieces or, of one artist’s oeuvre in relation to another's.  Or as Phil says, “shift the critical mindset or frame of reference.” I think NOON and Lilliput Review are a great examples of this for the reasons Phil and Richard have commented. The editorial/curatorial process of a group of poems/artworks always shifts the connotations of individual works, as in the example that Richard gives of placing two WC Williams poems side by side. 

Unfortunately, there has been a trend in the visual arts for curators to want to take center stage for career building purposes—the curator’s name is increasingly the first thing one reads on an  exhibition announcement.  So, on the flip side of thoughtful curating are shows that are more about building a roster of art-stars organized rather lazily around some trendy topic. In other words, the driving force is not really the work itself and the curator has not done the research, or does not have the background, to justify their curatorial premise. When done poorly, it seems that curators are frustrated artists who want to have their own show. Of course one can decide not to submit work to a given journal if one feels the way things are put together are lower than one's quality standards, though in the visual arts, curators often become the gate-keepers to all kinds of things like grant funding, access to collections, etc. etc. So, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing, because curators--and many editors-- in the end, have the upper hand in a power relationship.

However, that said, I would so welcome more journals--or presses-- that concentrate on short poetry and include haiku and tanka as part of a diverse mix of approaches. Perhaps these efforts could produce issues that juxtapose a handful of poets along with a critical essay, or pick a theme to curate around, again with a critical essay examining that theme. (Richard, your Natural Night).

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Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 5: Criticism
« on: February 19, 2014, 02:15:16 AM »
Kala,
thank you very much for introducing me to the concept of rasa/rasika.

and I also really appreciate that quote from Pound that Richard has offered:

Quote
When I find people ridiculing the new arts, or making fun of the clumsy odd terms that we use in trying to talk of them amongst ourselves; when they laugh at our talking about the “ice-block quality” in Picasso, I think it is only because they do not know what thought is like, and they are familiar only with argument and gibe and opinion. That is to say, they can only enjoy what they have been brought up to consider enjoyable, or what some essayist has talked about in mellifluous phrases. They think only "the shells of thought" . . . (Pound, Gaudier-Brzeska, 1916 [my emphasis]).

All of this makes me think that perhaps, it is time for Judge Grenier to make an entrance:

http://www.roadrunnerjournal.net/pages111/scorpion_22.pdf

It fascinated me that Grenier was removed from the latest
edition of Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology,
presumably to make room for some new additions, or...

We celebrated here in Los Angeles by doing a reading of all the poets
that were removed from this latest edition--47 in all-- including
Charles Bukowski, Amy Gerstler, David Antin, Diane Wakoski,
and Jerome Rothenberg.

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Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 5: Criticism
« on: February 10, 2014, 04:35:49 PM »
Paul,

I know what you mean about the romanticism and exoticism that surrounds Santoka and Hosai.

However, I chose them as examples because readers know more about their personal lives than many other poets' lives. From a generalized look, their lives might be compared to be quite similar to one another, and yet they each have a distinct voice.  You could choose any two other poets to make the point, but I chose these two for the very reason that the way they have been romanticized might make us blind to the specificity of each of their voices.  I am not arguing for uniqueness in the way I believe you have interpreted it.

Quote
Which of course begs the question: can a poet writing about their normal life ever be valued equally as one who had problems?

"their normal life"--normal is different for everyone, isn' it? and don't we all have problems?

I think history shows us that all kinds of lives can produce quality poetry and that is what is valued.

Quote
It also asks if we aren’t opening the door to poets to write poor but “shocking” haiku in order to stand out from the pack?

This seems like a leap, Paul, if I understand you correctly. There is a sincerity and honesty to both Santoka and Hosai's poetry; could you explain why you think they were writing to "stand out from the pack"? I personally don't find their work shocking.

Everything written opens a door for people to write poor haiku. 
Shock-value usually doesn't last long.
That is not what I mean by an individualized voice; I am referring to the specificity with which one embodies life, any kind of life.
It is a shame though when things are dismissed as mere shock-value because the subject matter, or an approach to writing, is out of gamut of the tastes and/or experiences of the reader. 

4
Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 5: Criticism
« on: February 09, 2014, 01:17:40 PM »
My post crossed at the same time Rebecca and Penny responded.

Penny,
I just love Recycling Starlight--it is a great example of the bigger picture you talk about, and
it is helpful to hear the "practical" issues that have arisen for you by mixing genres.

As Rebecca mentions, it seems like we might have different ways of thinking about "voice" here.

I believe that with any poet/any kind of poetry, you need more than a poem or two to get a sense of
their voice, though certainly haiku has its own particulars in this. (I think this is in part what Peter Newton is saying, along with the issue of brevity that Rebecca mentions-- if I understand correctly.)

This is where perhaps criticism could be truly helpful. Jack Galmitz made this effort with Views.

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Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 5: Criticism
« on: February 07, 2014, 12:42:27 PM »
Thanks for your provocation, Peter.

None of what follows addresses your thoughts about the relationship between the larger literary
world and haiku as when you say:

Quote
"Non-haiku poets don’t need, as some seem to think they do, to be educated about haiku but to be exposed to writers who have used it as a means to produce distinctive and significant work, writing which comes through a poet's struggles with with word, world, and self."

I would be most curious to hear what others think about that.

What I immediately thought of was how the history of Japanese haiku is right there to demonstrate what you say about the individuality of many of its most loved poets. For example, for all the comparisons that could be made between Santoka and Hosai, their voices --the ways they embody a relationship to the world-- are clearly distinct from one another; for me, most obviously in their different senses of humor.  (at least in the translations I have read).

A critic that has spoken of the "I' in haiku is Barthes, according to Jon Baldwin in his essay, "Qualities of Haiku (from Roland Barthes)" published in MH 43:3. Barthes' ideas of "Enunciation" and "Individuation" could be of interest here.

Quoting Baldwin, quoting Barthes about enunciation:

" [Barthes] proposes that the I or the ego is always present in the haiku to a greater or lesser extent,
though it is often concealed. The haiku teaches the art of saying I, 'but it's an I of writing: I write I, therefore I am'. ..."The enunciating subject is always there, present, and placing himself in the picture.  The body is present in the haiku even though the I (or me, or mine, or my and so on) might not be used."

Quoting Baldwin, quoting Barthes about individuation:

"The irreducibility, singularity, specialness, and uniqueness of the individual is related to the given
time and space of the individual.  Barthes terms this "individuation."  He quotes Bashō's definition that a haiku is simply what happens in a given place at a given moment.  Barthes finds this insufficient because it does not include the presence of the individual.  He wants to introduce the following nuance to Bashō's definition: 'that what happens surrounds the subject.' "

(The Preparation of the Novel is the original source of Barthes' comments-- a series of lectures delivered in 1979 and 1980 , published in 2003 in France, recently translated into English.)

Barthes' views here echo Merleau-Ponty's ideas of how the body animates the world:
"Perception takes place in me, not I perceive"
Phenomenology of Perception.

We also find the idea of breaking down the easy distinctions between objectivity and subjectivity in physics. The Uncertainty Principle for one.  I still don't quite have a handle on the amplituhedron that George has introduced here, but it seems like a rich image to explore.


6
Field Notes / Re: Field Notes 5: Criticism
« on: January 26, 2014, 07:55:55 PM »
Wow, there is a lot here to take in here,
from *bee-bucks* to quantum field theory.

I'm still wending my way through all this, but
grateful for all who shared their thoughts.

Tom, in your post,

the river entering the
sea as a sheet of
paper

This poem is by Scott Metz, not Emma Bolden.

It is elegant, I agree, and your notion of the
"non-identical return" ( if I am actually understanding what you mean by it)
expresses well how it works.

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"Or do we stand in the gap as a witness at the edge of the void."--Cherie

This statement by Cherie, Paul's comments, Chris's interjection of "immediacy", and  Don's last posts made me think of this lovely short interview with the painter, Philip Guston, who over the course of his life's work has created an idiosyncratic oeuvre navigating realism and abstraction in a remarkable way:

http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/178

"But it almost looked too good. it's almost as if I hadn't experienced anything with it."

For me this has a lot to do with the underbelly of our discussion around "clarity and chaos".

8
All clear, Tom!!

Phil,
you brought up this quote from Rae Armantrout from an earlier Troutswirl conversation;
seems relevant here:

Rae Armantrout, speaking of metonymic work by Hejinian and Niedecker:

“Their poems may not be as easily readable as those of [Sharon] Olds … but clarity need not be equivalent to readability. How readable is the world? There is another kind of clarity that does not have to do with control, but with attention, one in which the sensorium of the world can enter as it presents itself.”

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The Haiku Foundation Video Archive Campaign at IndieGoGo

www.indiegogo.com/The-Haiku-Foundation-Video-Archive

Help us create the first collection of in-depth interviews, presentations and readings documenting the history and development of 20th century English-language haiku (ELH). Our goal is to film as many of the remaining first generation ELH poets, translators and scholars as possible, and make the resulting videos available to anyone who wishes to view them on the Foundation website. This will yield an instant and engaging history of the genre, put a face to the famous poems you have loved for years, and provide a sense of the personal style and presence of our genre’s best poets.
Haiku poet Eve Luckring, accomplished photographer and video artist, and I will collaborate on a series of interviews. We will conduct in-person interviews using professional audio and video equipment. Within one year, with your help, The Video Archive will launch its website at The Haiku Foundation. THF is a nonprofit organization staffed entirely by volunteers. A handful of generous people have funded our project so far; we need your help to realize The Video Archive. 
Through the generosity of several talented artists, we have an enviable array of incentive gifts at different levels of giving to make your contribution even sweeter: choose a personalized THF FlipNotes haiku notebook (every haiku poet should have at least one), several pieces of original art, even have one of your poems turned into an original and unique haiga by outstanding sumi-e artists Ion Codrescu and Lidia Rozmus. But these opportunities are limited, and first come, first served. Don’t be disappointed—check out our campaign site now and select the incentive you want before they get away.

http://www.indiegogo.com/The-Haiku-Foundation-Video-Archive

This is a word of mouth campaign, and its success relies on people being aware of the project. You can help us succeed in the following ways:

1. CONTRIBUTE: $25 or more, then pledge to invite 5 others to do the same. If 200 people do this we will have raised $5,000, and the chain of micro-giving will continue and grow
2. SHARE: the link on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, email your friends!
3. SPEAK: to your specific network of people and get them excited about the project.

We look forward to sharing the results of this project—wonderful video experiences—as soon as we can. Thank you in advance for your support of this important cause.

Take care.

Jim Kacian
President, THF

http://www.indiegogo.com/The-Haiku-Foundation-Video-Archive

10
I've only been able to skim this discussion, but
look forward to reading it more thoroughly later
when I am not utterly swamped.

It's great to hear your voice back in the mix, Scott.

Wanted to offer another terrific PerDiem poem (that just happens to be by Scott)
that seems appropriate here ( sorry no time to comment more,
but maybe others will??):   


the silence grows
teeth- a tree
with cracked windows

- Scott Metz

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Hey Tray,

for me it is that grand abstraction of TIME that is the issue.

Just a thought, Jack Galmitz and Paul Pfleuger Jr. post poems everyday on the homepage of THF.

Maybe you could post a response to one you that moves you-- I always like reading your posts--
 or invite other people you would like to hear from to do so.  (see my response to Jack under Per Diem post)


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In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Per Diem
« on: July 14, 2011, 09:56:53 AM »
Ah, Jack,

I understand your comment much better now.  Thank you for taking the time.

I love that you consider form so spatially and in a concrete way as function. Yes!
(though I might have a different take on how this might manifest best in individual poems.)

i remember your comments about my per diem poem in regards to space / time
and was happy to hear your comments since that interplay manifests itself
clearly in my video installation work and might now be creeping into the poems.

I very much like Per Diem, THANK YOU! for all your work on it.

I wish I had more time to respond to many of the poems in written form,
as I'm sure it would make me consider each poem more deeply,
but it's just the busy-ness of my days
and the demands of juggling too many things that keeps me from posting much.

Jack, perhaps you could make a "formal" invitation to folks, maybe asking for one
response per month.  Many of the people posting on the mentoring boards are regulars
and this might be a great thing for them or you could email a few editors or .....

Thanks again.


13
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Per Diem
« on: July 14, 2011, 12:18:41 AM »

Hi Jack,

i think you have a good point when you discuss the one line format and that sometimes other
formats could serve without loss of "impact, meaning,etc."

I'm intrigued by your claim that Jim's poem is the first one you've read that had to be written in one line, that no other format would serve it.

Could you explain more your thoughts about this one.

I'm going by memory because you didn't post the poem here again, but I did read it that day.
but one could do something like this as a four liner-- if I am remembering it correctly:

Stars
drilling holes
into darkness
      December

Of course it is changed, and I don't like it as well, but think there are many other poems
that would show the same degree of difference.
               
In fact many one liners could work as four parts (as well as in three lines)
when they combine two phrases such as
Matsuo Allard 's snow by the window paper flowers gathering dust )
or
Philip Rowland's warranting the stillness the Latin labels on the trees .

There is a dramatic change in how I read these as one line vs. with line breaks.

 Maybe one liners are more acceptable as haiku than four liners???

And even though one might be able to break up many one liners into three lines, I still think that the choice to use one line can create huge impacts on rhythm and grammatical disorientation that would lose their impact and meaning otherwise:

like

pig and I spring rain

                                            Marlene Mountain

just doesn't do the same trick as:

pig
and I
spring rain

somehow the between-ness (the mud) gets a bit lost
 
or when the "casualness"' of a simple grammatical phrase in one line emphasizes the common speech attribute of it and asks us to stay longer with the experience because of the understatement created:

like

throwing my voice and any old thing will catch it

                                                                         Jim Kacian

at dusk hot water from the hose

                                                      marlene mountain


uneasy things grow wings underground


                                                        Peter Yovu



or for the visual impact that perfects an image:


the sun lights up a distant ridge     another


dusk     from rock to rock a waterthrush


                                                                  John Willis


or for opening up the way a poem could be read rhythmically in multiple ways



  wild geese parting the blue northern yearnings

                                                                         Clare McCotter


or to create startling imagery through unexpected language:


her one breast its own theory of poetics
                                                                       Lee Gurga


leaves blowing into a sentence

                                                                          Bob Boldman


Curious to hear what you think, Jack...

 and I guess it's time for me to order Jim's book about it.

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Sails / Re: Sailing 14.5 How Do You Spell Haiku?
« on: July 01, 2011, 09:44:35 AM »
The following exchange continues on from the first quote I posted
and might illuminate more what Waldrop is saying, Lorin.

this is an excerpt from an interview with Keith Waldrop and his wife, Rosemarie Waldrop, also a very
interesting poet in the Jivin' Ladybug. Jared is the interviewer. 

for the whole interview:
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze8911e/jivinladybug/id53.html

Keith: Of course, the meaning changes the sound. The sound and the meaning, you can’t entirely separate.

Jared: This just reminds me that I have a friend who studying Thomas Aquinas and Aquinas is observed to reading silently which was highly unusual at the time. While it’s not necessarily reading aloud, but understanding writing is a physical act or translates into a physical act.

Keith: I read somewhere in Scientific American or New York Times or one of those exalted places, that there was an experiment in which somebody had a thing they could put in the throat to keep the muscles there from moving. They found that people couldn’t read then because even in silent reading, there is a motion in the throat. I feel that’s a very important fact. Silent reading is silent, but it’s still. . .

Rosmarie: . . in the body.

Keith: . . .translation of sound.


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Sails / Re: Sailing 14.5 How Do You Spell Haiku?
« on: June 30, 2011, 01:46:13 AM »
Thanks for your example of origami sound, Chibi.

Hi Lorin,
I don't think Waldrop is saying he wants readers to throw away meaning.  When he talks about the destruction of poetry (since he refers to how it is often taught) I think he is talking about the idea of pinning down meaning and closing down multiple readings, as if there were "the" meaning of a poem to be found once and for all.  I think he is interested in the reader's interpretation more than he is invested in his own intent and sees sound as a way of enhancing that exchange.  That's my take on it.

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