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Messages - Billy Mills

#1
Does anyone here know the Penguin Classics volume The Narrow Road to the Deep North?  As well as a translation of the Oku no Hosomichi it has versions of four other 'travel sketches'. Unfortunately the translator, Nobuyuki Yuasa, opted to translate al the haiku (pr hokku) as English quatrains, which, in my view, really doesn't work.
#2
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 22, 2021, 10:23:00 AM
Quote from: AlanSummers on November 19, 2021, 07:21:03 PM
Hi Billy,
Ah Shearsman, so possible we know certain poets in common re London, Bradford on Avon, City of Bath etc...

You said, about the quoted poems:
"In their own way, I think they are juxtaposing, but they may not be haiku. The first sets virus and bird together to produce an image; in the second the idea of a peter pandemic is a kind of metaphor, as pandemics of people don't literally exist.

For me they both lack one basic aspect of any poem, which is to do with the sounds they make. There's no real music, for me t least."


Both are about viruses, one is Avian Flu, and the other one is Covid-19 and family. The second one might refer to the infamous British Health Minister (for various reasons) who was called Peter Pandemic:
https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1282441/Charlie-Brooker-Antiviral-Wipe-Matt-Hancock-Peter-Pandemic-joke-BBC-video

Haiku is a peculiar bird, to continue with the bird theme, and is a genre but has form (pun intended) and an invisible form more potent than its perceived external form. Also, is haiku poetry, or prose, or in-between, or its own thing entirely? I'm talking about non-Japanese haikai of course, which often has its own musical shape.

Both haiku would fit easily into other types of poetry, to my mind, and even provide lyrical support to a song or two. But haiku are or derived from starting stanzas, so they are deliberate in their incompleteness, where the rest used to be within the following verse and despite losing linear narrative, would continue as ghost rhythm throughout the rest of the renga or renku poem.

Alan



Quote from: Billy Mills on November 19, 2021, 01:55:10 PM
Quote from: Dmitri on November 19, 2021, 01:47:27 PM
Billy Mills says: For me, one thing that all good haiku do is to produce an analogy by means of juxtaposition, two or more (usually two) disparate things brought together that open the readers mind in some way.

So, for you, would you say the following two examples, since they do not provide a juxtaposition of two disparate things, are not haiku? And please note, I am not disputing the merit of each piece. Buit just trying to be clear, and further the conversation.



from her chair by the window she says the virus is a bird
                                     Johnannes Bjerg

exit wendy from the peter pandemic
                        Lorin Ford

In their own way, I think they are juxtaposing, but they may not be haiku. The first sets virus and bird together to produce an image; in the second the idea of a peter pandemic is a kind of metaphor, as pandemics of people don't literally exist.

For me they both lack one basic aspect of any poem, which is to do with the sounds they make. There's no real music, for me t least.

I'm afraid I lazily use 'haiku' for both haiku proper and for hokku, and for Japanese and non-Japanese poems in the form. And I do think of them as poetry, and of poetry as having to do both with sense and sound.
#3
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 22, 2021, 10:15:03 AM
Quote from: Lorraine Pester on November 19, 2021, 06:05:52 PM

so it's something that i, not a translator, could not appreciate.

so. . .how bout one in good old english that meets that desire of musicality?

lorraine

Hi Lorraine

Take this one by Alan S above:

thunder
I slide a kigo
into the gun

there are some really nice sound patterns here: the repeated 'u' sound in 'thunder/gun', the same for 'I' in 'I/slide' really lift it to another level.
#4
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 19, 2021, 04:18:04 PM
Quote from: Lorraine Pester on November 19, 2021, 02:54:16 PM
Quote from: Billy Mills on November 19, 2021, 01:55:10 PM
Quote from: Dmitri on November 19, 2021, 01:47:27 PM
Billy Mills says: For me, one thing that all good haiku do is to produce an analogy by means of juxtaposition, two or more (usually two) disparate things brought together that open the readers mind in some way.

So, for you, would you say the following two examples, since they do not provide a juxtaposition of two disparate things, are not haiku? And please note, I am not disputing the merit of each piece. Buit just trying to be clear, and further the conversation.



from her chair by the window she says the virus is a bird
                                     Johnannes Bjerg

exit wendy from the peter pandemic
                        Lorin Ford

In their own way, I think they are juxtaposing, but they may not be haiku. The first sets virus and bird together to produce an image; in the second the idea of a peter pandemic is a kind of metaphor, as pandemics of people don't literally exist.

For me they both lack one basic aspect of any poem, which is to do with the sounds they make. There's no real music, for me t least.

hi billy,

still confused. in the issa poem you quoted, where is the music or "sound that is made" that you say is necessary for a haiku?

or am i just dense?

lorraine

nabe hitotsu / yanagi ippon mo / kore mo haru

There's assonance in the repeated "na naomi ha" sounds and the "to post more kind mo". Pretty much impossible to translate.
#5
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 19, 2021, 01:55:10 PM
Quote from: Dmitri on November 19, 2021, 01:47:27 PM
Billy Mills says: For me, one thing that all good haiku do is to produce an analogy by means of juxtaposition, two or more (usually two) disparate things brought together that open the readers mind in some way.

So, for you, would you say the following two examples, since they do not provide a juxtaposition of two disparate things, are not haiku? And please note, I am not disputing the merit of each piece. Buit just trying to be clear, and further the conversation.



from her chair by the window she says the virus is a bird
                                     Johnannes Bjerg

exit wendy from the peter pandemic
                        Lorin Ford

In their own way, I think they are juxtaposing, but they may not be haiku. The first sets virus and bird together to produce an image; in the second the idea of a peter pandemic is a kind of metaphor, as pandemics of people don't literally exist.

For me they both lack one basic aspect of any poem, which is to do with the sounds they make. There's no real music, for me t least.
#6
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 19, 2021, 01:49:47 PM
Quote from: AlanSummers on November 19, 2021, 12:51:37 PM
Hi Billy,

Are you the Irish poet published by Shearsman, or the Irish poet published by Dedalus Press? Or both! <grin>

https://www.shearsman.com/store/Billy-Mills-Lares-Manes-Collected-Poems-p102838971
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/nov/07/poem-of-the-week-billy-mills

seven of your lockdown haiku from your ongoing Very Far After project[/b]
Local Wonders: Poems of our immediate surrounds (17th November) Dedalus Press
https://www.dedaluspress.com/product/local-wonders/


An analogy re haiku is interesting, I do see this a lot, if you mean this definition:
a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification

The frog hokku reminds me of the Queenslander I rented, with frogs outside in and around the plastic tubing and regularly appearing in my toilet bowl, where I had to rescue them. Lovely critters.

Was the frog or frogs (we don't know) and pond all imaginary though? But yes, one thing causing a sound in or on another thing and oddly becoming one is both intriguing and unsettling, a bit like roadkill, or the Aussie season when car drivers would try to flatten as many cane toads as possible. Ugly critters, with half a dozen deadly toxins in their back that could eject as far as six feet, but rather fond of them too. But they became one with the road, which was a horrible sight. And the same for kangaroos in the Northern Territory while driving at night with big vehicles, coaches or road trains, where they became one with the wheel arches and you had to stop and scrape them off.

I guess due to the unusual brevity (after all haiku came from a starting stanza) it produces unusual effects such as "near-metaphor/simile" without even trying?

warm regards,
Alan

Quote from: Billy Mills on November 19, 2021, 08:27:30 AM
Hi all, new to the forum but not to haiku.

For me, one thing that all good haiku do is to produce an analogy by means of juxtaposition, two or more (usually two) disparate things brought together that open the readers mind in some way.

And this is not achieved in the standard western modes of simile or metaphor, the frog is not like the sound of water, neither is the sound of water identified as the frog. The frog and the water coexist, and by being present in the same haiku space, they create a new whole, a complex image of (part of) the world that leads the reader to a third element, silence as defined by sound.

They're all me.
#7
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 19, 2021, 12:07:22 PM
Quote from: Lorraine Pester on November 19, 2021, 11:55:16 AM
Quote from: Billy Mills on November 19, 2021, 08:27:30 AM
Hi all, new to the forum but not to haiku.

For me, one thing that all good haiku do is to produce an analogy by means of juxtaposition, two or more (usually two) disparate things brought together that open the readers mind in some way.

And this is not achieved in the standard western modes of simile or metaphor, the frog is not like the sound of water, neither is the sound of water identified as the frog. The frog and the water coexist, and by being present in the same haiku space, they create a new whole, a complex image of (part of) the world that leads the reader to a third element, silence as defined by sound.

so. . .do the two things being juxed have to be in the same venue—ie:::water/pond/frog? or do you allow moments of "this reminds me of?" can't tell from your example.

lorraine

I chose the frog because of its ubiquity, but often the things juxtaposed have no easily apparent relationship. Like in this Issa haiku:

nabe hitotsu / yanagi ippon mo / kore mo haru

a pot
a willow –
it's spring

Pot and willow inhabit separate spheres, except in Issa's imaginative apprehension of coming spring.

Of course, this is my subjective/objective reading.
#8
In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: sine qua non
November 19, 2021, 08:27:30 AM
Hi all, new to the forum but not to haiku.

For me, one thing that all good haiku do is to produce an analogy by means of juxtaposition, two or more (usually two) disparate things brought together that open the readers mind in some way.

And this is not achieved in the standard western modes of simile or metaphor, the frog is not like the sound of water, neither is the sound of water identified as the frog. The frog and the water coexist, and by being present in the same haiku space, they create a new whole, a complex image of (part of) the world that leads the reader to a third element, silence as defined by sound.
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