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Topics - chibi575

In my experiences with haiku (specifically as taught in Japan by Akegarasu
sensei) is that through kigo a door opens on to a deeper world of the natural
experience. In exploring this way, I have found, at times, there seems to be a
boundary between the personal and the private. As I understand, the personal,
is as all poetry seems to be, that is to say it is written usually by one author
(some genre, like renku and others are constructed to be written by multiple
authors, though), at any rate, the linking verses are by one and only one of the
contributing authors. Therefore, I consider such poetry, personal.

In conjuction with poetry being personal, there are sometimes a boundary
preserved where the poetry is private, that is, experienced only by the author
and perhaps a few with similar experience or reference. This boundary can be
due to culture as well as geography and can occur at a regional as well as a
national level.

There are factors for a private poem becoming broader thus narrowing the gap.
This, I feel, can be shown in a poem whether to
name a flower in specific terms, thus, identifying more specifically the
characteristics of that flower. I feel, there is a range of information, (if
you will, the Goldilocks' zone), in which you've given just the right amount of
information, be it a footnote, scientific name, common name, etc., ... by which
the optimum is reached to convey the degree of feeling the author wants or
desires in the words. (I believe the "kigo" concept and use can be helpful in
this respect, also.)

I enjoy finding those poems that lean toward the private because it expands my
personal view when I explore their deeper meaning. Of course, this is but a
personal preference, as I understand there are a variety of approaches to
writing and reading poetry.

Poets helping poets...

Having spent a majority of my working life in computer science fields, I am wondering about recursiveness in writing short poems.

This is not the recursive process in writing/review/editing, but, using an element of language that implies a looped logic recursively folding into itself until a finality.  That is to say, for example, the three ways a person may be perceived, what a person believes of themself, what another believes, and what a person, themself, believes another believes of themself... the recursive funciton is the act of believing.

An example in short poetry is the butterfly dream... a man dreams of a being a butterfly dreaming of being a man.

Of course, the style limiting the use of personification (that is to say, the "me" factor) may apply which restricts or confines certain ideas used for the tenets/guides outlined by Bashou near the end of his life (as I understand it, subtance over style and produndity over wittiness). Yet, there should be examples in Nature that lend to a natural recursiveness such as any procreative activity or objects (sans the human emotional projection), for simple example, mating not loving.

Exploring these aspects in Nature, more or less "as a matter of fact"  opens a poem to many facets of feelings from the reader, the transform being fact to feeling (as some like to say, "show not tell").

Some examples of this recursiveness:

a drop of dew  (that 180 degree fisheye reflection capturing that "world" around it) reflecting within that world dewdrops

flower scent... (undetectable by the flower, yet, integral to it's natural procreation and symbiosis through interaction with certain insects)

leaf color... (a byproduct of certain sugar production caused by light and temperature variation in a seasonal cycle, also, not detectable by the trees or bushes)

These objects (to mention just a few) are part of recursive processes occuring naturally on our planet, patterns that fold into themselves untill that which triggers the process ends.

Well, perhaps, my explanation of "recursiveness" is flawed (as I am not sure completely), but, I've started to think more about the idea.

I will attempt three examples using the above objects:

a drop of dew
within drops of dew...

flower scent
in the wind lift of wings...
flower sent

red again
the leaf color...

These are dredged memories, and, other examples perhaps better; although, I'm hopeful, these adequate.

Comments and discussion always welcome.

I have recently acquired a copy of Modern Langauage Asian Studies Emory Professor Cheryl Crowley's book, "HaiKai Poet Yosa Buson and the Bashou Revival".  Professor Crowley was/is a fellow member of Pinecone, the North Georgia Haiku Circle, mentored by the late Peggy Lyles.

I have noticed some parallels to Buson's time and our time as far as the transition and change in the course of Japanese literature, mainly, from the "common" and "popular" to the slow almost weak revival of the traditional of which Buson tried to initiate in his life time and later Shiki, being an admirer of Buson more than Bashou tried to embrace and foment in "modern" Japanese literature.

I hope to keep an open mind-heart towards Buson's notions as I read further in Professor Crowley's book.  I intuit that my tenets towards hokku/haiku (as a Japanese literary form) transitioning to gendai and non-Japanese "haiku" has elements similar to what Buson expounded.  But, further reading is the plan as I have only finished the introduction and just started, Chapter 1, "Buson, the BUNJIN (LITERATI), and the Bashou Revival.  (Cheryl's book is for graduate level university study, but, is starting to fill gaps I have as far as what I knew about Yosa Buson).

Happy Holidays...
gift wrapping between sips
of eggnog

A Cracker Barrel patron believes
Santas can say "Merry Christmas" now
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / 知美の狗
November 09, 2011, 04:42:25 PM
After reading the Explanatory Notes, Forward(s), and Chapter I, of A Brief History of Modern Japanese Haiku, from the book:

The Haiku Universe for the 21st Century Japanese/English JAPANESE HAIKU 2008,

it seems to me that one may try to form their own "school".

This is a bit "tounge in cheek", but, I've been contemplating what would be the school of "知美の狗"?*

I've often said with unabashed sincerety, "I love haiku".  Now, as I read about the Japanese groups and movements, I am beginning to understand that "haiku" (as my tenet "if it ain't Japanese, it ain't haiku" proclaims) is in continuous formulation.

If I were to subscripe to a theme for 知美の狗, I would tend to say the theme is bound to nature, for in nature, I find infinite patterns layered infinitly.  I would hope by exploring this pattern matrix, a cosmos of multiverse (in every poetical sense) would abound, allowing an intimacy tending toward purity. Indeed, I feel this tending toward purity teeters on transient enlightenment.  Yet, to capture in words any moments that encapsulate such transience, may well be difficult to understand and understood by few.  In fact, the idea of "simple but not too simple" would tend to apply (this being an ellusive goal).

The formulation of techniques and practices of the 知美の狗 school, would embrace some of the tenets for such traditional attributes as seasonality, cesure, and brevity.  Yet, even with such constraints, verse would be allowed to explore word play and allusion.

The one pivotal factor that 知美の狗would support differently than other schools would be the emphasis toward incorporating more science and math, resonating with the disiplined exploration encompassed by both.  What I would like to call, "the beauty in the beyond".

(to be continued)

*知美の狗 pronounced chee-bee-no-ku and tranliterated as "knowledge+beauty's verse".
Other Haiku News / Book Recommendations
November 09, 2011, 02:25:11 PM
I do not know (that is to say, I could not easily find) a book list recommendation on THF.  If there is, I would like to recommend a book I acquired as a result of the gift exchange game at the Hot Springs meeting of poets, November 4-6, 2011:

A pivotal book, recommend:
The Haiku Universe for the 21st Century Japanese/English JAPANESE HAIKU 2008,

I am currently reading this book, which was a book I received as a gift exchange game (I stole it as part of the game) activities of the Hot Springs Haiku HSA regional meeting. AMAZING... the information is filling gaps of history between Bashou to modern short poetry in Japan upto 2008. I am grateful for the discovery.

For anyone interested in the history of the short poetry (renku, hokku, and haiku) movement(s) in Japan (some of which has heavily enfluenced current "World Haiku") this book is a must read.  I think it can be purchased from MODERN HAIKU ASSOCIATION (GENDAI HAIKU KYOKAI) for around $30 (not including shipping).  I am really not sure how you can acquire the book as I won it in a game, but, upon examining the back cover, it is my best guess.
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / 1000 chews
August 04, 2011, 12:22:22 PM
In our instant access world culture and our growing penchant for short attention spans (BTW have I lost you already?), is the short poem the equivalent of fast-food faster (fb, twitter, blog, etc., ...)?

I saw a movie about survival in the POW camps of WWII, and, a technique recommended to a young boy in the camp was to chew a bite of food 1000 times.  This, also, I believe metaphorical and spiritual.

Could this technique ever be embraced for our short (attention span) poems?  I just wonder?!

If so, how and why would a poet (reader/writer) do it?


I was watching an interesting documentary on bees called COLONY.  It turns out to really be about beekeepers and their struggle with the yet-understood disappearing bees.  Beekeepers are quite a monoculture in that they are a rather unique fellowship that is not well understood by those outside that culture, yet, they (the beekeepers) provide a vital stewardship over one of the key links in fruit production, bees.  Their efforts are usually hidden in the fruit and vegetable industry because that effort is not readily obvious, but, essential to get bees to the flowers that need to be fertilized to produce fruit (fruit meaning the generic product of flower fertilization, and, even the word "ferlilization" is most associated with chemical enhancement of soil and not commonly associated with flowering and fruiting).  Because, for the most part the beekeeper stewardship is neccessary but obscure, fruit farming is more concerned with the more overt components of fruit production, one of those being pesticides.  The documentary began to point out that there needs to be a focused dialog between the pesticide manufacturers, farmers, and the beekeeper, because, as it turns out the bees are a form of monoculture and vulnerable to a vector that if affects one affects all.  As part of this conclave between beekeeper, pesticide manufacturers, and farmers an interesting phrase, "developing vocabulary" came to the forefront.

You may be starting to ask what does this have to do with the Japanese literary genre haiku and its derivatives.  Well, as I was watching this documentary, a thought occured to me that us short poetry poets are similar in a way to the beekeepers, in that we are a rather unique fellowship (comparated even to the rest of the body of poets) mostly obscure in our efforts and may have the characteristics of a similar monoculture as the beekeeper.  That then made me muse, do we need "developing vocabulary" with the rest of the literature producing and using communities?
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / re-write
June 27, 2011, 11:58:46 AM
The literary process of poetry for me usually starts with written words in my pocket journal.  I try to adopt/adapt the "once written - once done" approach as in Japanese calligraphy... the stroke can not be undone, whatever brings the ink to paper becomes.

Always a student of poetry, I do admit to re-writes; but, I also admit these "edits" rarely refine, but, more often than not, define yet another poem.  I have a hypothesis (if I'm using that word correctly) that the emotional energy dissapates exponentially proportional to the distance (time-space) from the moment (conceptional awareness).  That therein lies risk of adjacent energies (distractions/retractions) to fold into the original moment as if (giving the illusion) of the original.  I am struggling with detecting and dissapating these energies.

As such, I wrestle with my muses (can be fun if done with a playful intent) as to which is original moment and which is not.

Let me give example:

Journal entry scribbled while walking (muses in tow) along the beach at low tide near midday:

surf : me
seafoam : native muse
folds the ocean's : Japanese muse
edge: Japanese muse

More wrestling now a two on one with that twin muses: old Japanese, the other of native origin (I, while sitting at a cafe, the half-way point on my low-tide walk):

folds the summer
at the ocean's edge

I headlock the Japanese muse... with "too many repeats of 'the'"  but with a twisting-fold the Japanese muse breaks the hold countering with "no Engrish articles in nihongo" tags the other muse who then body slams with "good you added 'summer'... the Japanese muse bows from the sidelines.  With another twist recovering from the slam using a "short-long-short wrist lock and bar on the native muse.  A double tap to release without a successful tag, I carry the match:

summer surf
seafoam folds the ocean's

Respectful bows all around.

Yet, now, breakfast on the day after the match while sipping coffee, listening to the whir of laptop cooling fans, I ponder museless:

summer surf:
folds of seafoam
at ocean's edge


In this subject, I hope to offer for those interested, my experience with the Tokyo haiku circle, Kusanohana (translation: "grass flowers"), between 2002 through 2004.  By showing this experience as a sort of haibun/journal/tour, I hope we can discuss and explore your questions and thoughts.

To gauge interest from the members interested, before I begin, please show such interest by just leaving reply to this message.

Thank you for your kindnesses.

Ciao... Chibi

My introduction to haiku starts on the internet ... (to be continued)
Let me start this new topic with soliciting thoughts on the idea that haiku is not English Short Poetry.

I contend that haiku is exclusively Japanese because of the linguistic construction and cultural based principals that are required in haiku.  I also contend that what is originally written in languages other than Japanese does not meet the language requirement.  That what is written in English (for example) is another genre which (for the lack of calling it anything better) is English Short Poetry.

I know this is a radical answer to many of the concerns with writting what goes as haiku in English; and, can be as upsetting as reforming the idea of the shape of the world as flat to the shape of the world as spherical. 

I feel it is time to establish English Short Poetry to help clarify what is haiku and what is not.  In other words, if it is not written originally in Japanese it is not haiku. 

Thank you.

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