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Messages - whitedove

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Higginson's book and others give a history of haiku and it's evolution.  What I didn't gain from reading sources however was the history of haiku in Japan before and during World War II and even after.  Immediately before World War II tensions arose between different groups of haiku poets—those who wanted haiku to remain traditional and who supported the war propaganda and those who wanted innovation.  I believe the latter were called the New Rising group.  Tensions escalated and people were interrogated, beaten and killed over haiku.  The innovators were not completely wiped out however, and became the Gendai poets after the war.

Whenever we study haiku, I think it's a good idea to also study their social and historic context when we can.  Very often the haiku poets are giving voice to the events occurring around them that will become history.  Rebecca Drouilhet

I still can't tell the difference between hokku and haiku.  Is haiku what we called hokku after Shiki?  I think not because some poets today still refer to hokku. 

As far as the history of haiku, I've traced Japanese forms back very far into the past.  I can still remember reading a beautiful poem about a couple riding their horses to view the bushclover in bloom, and thinking how fresh and contemporary the poem seemed.  It was written in 700 A.D. in ancient Japan.  As far as the beginnings of modern haiku, though people usually go to Basho, Busson, Chiyo-ni, Issa and Shiki. I enjoyed The Essential Haiku by Robert Hass to learn about Basho, Busson, and Issa and Chiyo-ni Woman Haiku Master by Patricia Donegan and Yoshie Ishibashi which includes many translations of Chiyo-ni. I still don't have a good book on Shiki, although I've read many articles about him.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Religio / Re: Jewish Haiku
« on: October 20, 2015, 11:13:49 AM »
Thanks for sharing these, David.  I wrote one with a Jewish theme that is being published in Modern Haiku:

Passover moon...
the journey that begins
with this ending

Rebecca Drouilhet

An interesting thread.  Just wanted to mention that Chen-ou Liu has some guidelines for writing Joshi, a headnote for your haiku on NeverEndingStory under the heading To The Lighthouse.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Thanks Beth for introducing this topic.  I very much like haiku that give the reader a chance to make an intuitive leap.  Juxtaposition is one technique that I like and use a lot.  I have noticed though that when I really go out on a limb, my poetry is fresher and gets attention from editors I admire.  Lee Gurga and Scott Metz recently approached me about using this haiku in their new book Haiku 2015.  As you can see, the poem starts out as a traditional nature haiku, but then bends toward the surreal.  I'm wondering if this might be the technique you're talking about.

budding pear...
a dream slips
from its chrysalis

I think what attracts me the most, no matter what technique is employed is the flash of insight that occurs within the reader as they resolve the distance between the parts of the poem.  I think the technique you mention will be most useful for bringing a reader to a place of intuitive intelligence.

I agree with Don, though that there has to be a glue to hold the poem together so that it doesn't deconstruct completely and result in a rather nonsensical flight of ideas.  It can be a fine line to travel, but I think the new paths are worth exploring.  Rebecca Drouilhet

As soon as Frogpond comes out, I'll share it.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Hi, Alan  I was late noticing this post so, don't know if my response will catch your eye but here are a few of mine with unusual opening lines.

eyes of the ancestors
the twinkle
in winter stars

Publication credits: NeverEndingStory, February 2013

time travel...
the ancient music
just wind in the oaks

Publication credits:  World Haiku Review, March 2013

another dawn
I ask dad if he remembers
being Japanese

Publication credits:  Frogpond 37.1 winter issue

I have another with an unusual first line that will be published in Frogpond in their summer 2015 issue.  Good luck with your project.  Rebecca Drouilhet

New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: One line haiku
« on: May 22, 2014, 05:51:53 PM »
Hi, Bea  Your question is interesting to me, because I don't always know when to use one-liners

Here are a couple I've written and had published:

Mardi Gras masks the strangers in the crowd

 Publication credits:  Modern Haiku I think the Winter/Spring issue of 2013


unraveling one mystery I find another misty moon

Publication credits:  Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Art, August 2013, issue #2.


Contests and Awards / Re: Sakura Award 2012
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:43:27 PM »
Many thanks, everyone!  Some of you know this story, but when I wrote the winning poem I was battling breast cancer with a rigorous course of chemotherapy.  My haiku that year was

brief lives
today the cherry blossoms
seem more permanent

I was thrilled when I was one of six in the United States in 1012 to receive the Sakura Award.  I have been cancer-free for over a year now, and I celebrate that, too.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Contests and Awards / Re: Chen-ou's double take!
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:38:55 PM »
A warm congratulations, Chen-ou.  Both winners are beautiful poems.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Contests and Awards / Sakura Award 2012
« on: September 18, 2013, 12:56:18 PM »
This is rather old news, but I just noticed this section of the forum.  Last year I won a Sakura award for the United States in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational.  Rebecca Drouilhet

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: name of poet
« on: July 25, 2013, 08:19:35 PM »
To Mary and all the others who participated here—I've so enjoyed this thread and all the wonderful haiku that fell out of it.  Just saying...Rebecca Drouilhet

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Is Haiku Poetry?
« on: May 01, 2013, 05:23:07 PM »
I think Don hit on something important when he wrote, "is haiku JUST poetry".  Early on in my haiku journey I noticed that haiku had dimensions that seemed unique.  When I read haiku (and later wrote them) I could experience other dimensions much as a person color-blind from birth might feel if they could suddenly see the full spectrum of color.  When I read about haiku and satori, I wondered if haiku had a spiritual dimension.  To help answer this question, I bought Haiku Mind by Patricia Donegan and Haiku the sacred art A Spritual Practice in three lines.  Both of these books were interesting, but I concluded that the spiritual aspect came from actually experiencing haiku and could not be created merely by talking about it. 

I think haiku has unique properties that set it apart from other literature.  Part of it for me has to do with the brevity of the form.  With few words to go on, the mind searches among them for meaning.  This allows haiku to slip beyond words to reach parts of us that are more primitive or preconscious and goes into places more conventional poetry and literature may be unable to access.

Another unique aspect of haiku is its use of ma space.  The reader steps into the poem and helps to interpret it rather than having all meaning neatly packaged and delivered whole.  The part of a reader that does the stepping in is often the highly intuitive part.  States of high intuition are often associated with spiritual phenomenon and visionary states.  Again, this seems to take it a bit beyond where ordinary language can go.  For me, haiku can be both poetic and religious because experiencing a fine haiku takes me to both places.  I also have a heightened sense when I read other good poetry, but it does not take me to the special places haiku can go.

I don't know if haiku can be considered just poetry.  I studied contemporary literature at a university and never saw a haiku.  To me this is sad.  Recently, I had some of my haiku accepted for publication in the Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Art, a journal that features many forms of literature and art.  Haiku can certainly hold its own with other forms of poetry, but there is a part of me that wants it to always have its own special place even as I contribute to placing it in the mainstream myself.

So in answer to the question posed by Jim Kacian I think I'd like to respond with Don's question: is haiku JUST poetry?  Yes it's poetry, but there's so much more to say and experience than the original question can contain.  Like many others here, I would like to see haiku take its rightful place as a unique art.  I would also say that part of haiku is atate of being.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Pop Quiz (single question):

Is haiku in English a socially relevant poetics in the 21st century?

Yes it is.  I've been following this fascinating thread.  Many of you are far more knowledgeable and eloquent than I.  I can only share from my own personal point of view why I enjoy reading and writing haiku poetry and what about doing so is socially relevant to me.

I work on two haiku forums with poets from all over the world.  We are from different climates, cultures and races yet haiku provides a unifying force for us.  What is it that draws us to haiku?  I cannot speak for everyone, but I will tell you that when it comes to haiku,  I am consciously borrowing from Japan and maybe from the East in general their positive valuation of intuition.  For me it's intuition that sets haiku apart from other forms, although intuition may be found in a wide variety of the arts.  Yet when I read or write haiku poetry it's the intuitive experience I seek.  And, in my opinion it's intuitive experience and thinking that are sorely needed in my culture in the West.   

Because haiku is filling a real need for me, I consider it socially and politically relevant.  And, as I read and experience haiku from all over the world, my own world becomes enriched by sharing the experiences of others.  I often see climates or political events in a new light after I've read haiku from poets who live in a particular area.  Yet our commonality comes through also as private perspectives and matters of the heart strike a common chord.

My example haiku is one by Christopher Herold:

just a minnow—
the granite mountain wobbles
on the lake

I chose this one because in order to decipher it's meaning, one must make an intuitive leap.  On the surface it can be a reflection haiku, but it leads the reader to deeper levels.  One can see that from a small change, larger changes may come.  I think of all those twitter and facebook haiku being generated as our worlds become more globally and socially connected.  One can also see that even the appearance of great change can be an illusion.

Whether haiku will be a flash in the pan here in the United States or increasingly relevant will depend in large part on the poets and cultures who read and write it.  As I've stated, I think good haiku helps fill a need in Western culture and since all cultures are fluid and dynamic on ongoing need in the East as well.  When things are useful, they have a tendency to survive and thrive.  Again, my vote is yes Enlish language haiku is socially relevant in the 21st century.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Hi, Chase  The old Japanese masters did not shy away from personification, and when I go to Fay Aoyagi's Blue Willow Haiku World site I see that modern Japanese poets use it freely also.  Barrow asked for examples of personification.  I wrote a poem that used it that was fairly well received by poets on the forum.  The poem is:

waxing moon
the cicadas chant
my mantra

I've seen other examples of personification used here and there in EL haiku, but as you point out it is often frowned upon.  I think it's a bit silly that in the interest of perserving 'the real haiku' spirit, we've tried to become more Japanesey than the Japanese.

For me the litmus test when using personification is to see how it plays out in the poem.  If it makes the poem too precious or cute, I don't like it.  But there are many times when personification can work for me.  I think a good poet challenges the rules and strives not to become bound by narrow parameters.  So, Chase if you want to write about a 'sleepy moon'  I would do so and let the chips fall where they may.  Rebecca Drouilhet

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