Author Topic: become (haiku & transformation)  (Read 65748 times)

Jack Galmitz

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2011, 05:57:27 PM »
While I'm waiting, and will probably fall asleep soon, let me offer this of my own, which I never sent out.

Traces of snow
facing
the morning moon

What I realized after writing it was that WE are what combines, that is what we are for, what is essentially human; there is no "real" relationship between the broken whispy patches of snow on the black tarred roof and the partially translucent morning moon; it is WE who make relationships. Thus, we are metaphors and metaphor makers. Thus, we can say in the green sky I found you hiding, or I am a tree/catching the first snow-flakes/of this evening.
The world is a human construct and figurative language, and rhetorical language, are its creators.
Perhaps, the difference in quality of a poem is the quality of the metaphors and how much they reveal our identity.

Peter Yovu

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2011, 06:20:59 PM »
Jack, get some sleep, man. Maybe some others will post in the meantime.

Scott Metz

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2011, 07:09:10 PM »
i seemed to have subconsciously picked up where Richard Gilbert began:

"Notions of Metamorphosis in English"

http://www.iyume.com/metamorphosis/MetamorphosisinEnglishHaiku.html


« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 03:29:33 AM by Scott Metz »

Lorin

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2011, 09:17:40 PM »
Briefly, our Western tradition is fraught with metamorphosis and books that utilize it as their center piece.  Consider Odysseus and his relationship with Circe, who turns half of his men into swine.  And, throughout this epic the very gods themselves are literary deus ex machina brought into the "real" to resolve problems.
Then, Ovid's Metamorphoses, which tells the stories of mythological figures who have undergone metamorphosis.
Or the Golden Ass of Apuleius, an allegory of a man possessed and transformed into a donkey and his journey and learning towards release and salvation.
Not to mention the transfiguration of Christ in the New Testament.


I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I'm an advocate of strict 'realism', Jack. Perhaps my expression isn't as good as it might be. I tried to show how one haiku ("in a tent in the rain...")was more successful and immediate for me than another ("I become a motorcycle").

Whilst I admit that my head spins when I try to absorb the various dialects of linguistics (I find the abstract difficult... too many signifiers and signifieds and I'm bushed! I am poor at maths, too)  I'm quite aware of metaphor as the great connector in the English language, am familiar (& love) the Greek myths and also Ovid's greatest work, 'Metamorphoses'...have also read Kafka and Neruda. And my favourite play is Shakespeare's last, 'The Tempest'. Also, being Australian and from the country, familiar with many of the Dreaming stories.

In fact, I love the myths of the world.

I like where this thread is going, too, and will continue to read all of the posts with interest and an eye to my further education...maybe even ask a question or two along the way for my own benefit.

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

The Tempest Act 4, scene 1, 148–158

- Lorin


Lorin

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #34 on: July 25, 2011, 12:55:44 AM »
I've been reminded of a pictorial example which uses the metaphor of 'instant' metamorphosis which appeared in many local (Australian) newspapers and magazines this century and which was designed to be (and was) immediately accessible to people who might not have read a page of poetry in their lives, let alone know the term metaphor.

The picture is of a dinner party, all seated around the table. Centre of picture is a man with the head of a very vicious-looking, snarling Doberman Pincer, fangs bared, spiked collar and all, and a woman seated next to him starting back in shock and horror. The impression is of instant transformation, and we do not mistake the man for an ancient Egyptian, jackal-headed god.

Most Australians would not need to read the text to understand that the man with the dog's head was about to "bite the woman's head off" (a metaphor in common speech) or that this sudden change was about to be attributed to loss of social poise due to his overdoing the alcoholic beverages. And some of us would recognize one source of this 'transformation into wolf man' metaphor in the C19 novel, "Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde" and werewolf themes. In common culture, we are used to people ‘turning into’ something else, metaphorically speaking. Circe’s pigs are not as rare as we’d like them to be and many a Drongo is distinguishable from the actual bird only by his inability to fly and lack of literal feathers.

But which translation of Kohta's 'motorbike' haiku is closest to a true rendition of the original?

After hateful words,
I roar off
like a motorcycle.

(tr. by Lucian Stryk)

or

After a heated argument
I go out to the street
and become a motorcycle

(tr. by Makoto Ueda)

In any case, I admit that my preference for the Kacian ‘in a tent in the rain…’ is because I can imagine myself into it, it seems to invite me to be the ‘I’ who becomes a climate and allows me the basis for doing that, whereas Tohta’s seems to be telling me something about himself. As does Fay Aoyagi’s ‘application to become a crab’. Though I find humour in both and can appreciate them to a certain extent, I find that I am ‘audience’ to these poems, rather than participant. To me they are 'quirky', individualistic, in a way that the Kacian ku is not.

(Maybe this is the result of having listened for too many years to ‘confessional’ performance poetry before I found a welcome change in many haiku?)

- Lorin

Gabi Greve

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2011, 01:58:03 AM »
激論つくし街ゆきオートバイと化す

gekiron tsukushi michi-yuki ootobai to ka su

Kaneko Tohta, in 1961


gekiron 激論 a heated [hot] discussion [argument] 

After hateful words,
I roar off
like a motorcycle.

(tr. by Lucian Stryk)

or

After a heated argument
I go out to the street
and become a motorcycle

(tr. by Makoto Ueda)


ka su ... change into, turn into

michi-yuki ootobai to ka su . . . maybe

I (change into) the motorbike on the road

(? Implying they had their argument on the road, where a motorcycle was passing just that moment . . .)

other suggestions are welcome !

This seems about the haiku poets enthusiastically discussing the development of modern haiku until late into the night.

昭和36年、「金子兜太句集」より。
この昭和30年代は俳句論の盛んな頃であった。「造型俳句論」を著し、また、この年には現代俳句協会が分裂し、俳人協会が発足している。連日連夜、激論が交わされていたことであろう。目覚めて、街を歩く時、オートバイと化
していると詠まれている。激論を尽くした爽快感を風の抵抗感を楽しむ、オートバイと化すとは、とても面白い。
風を切ってオートバイに乗っているようであり、そして、爆音を立ててオートバイ自身にもなった感じでしょう。激論を飛ばしたあと、意気盛んに、肩を揺すって歩く氏の姿が髣髴します。
http://www.shuu.org/newpage24.htm


Gabi

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Lorin

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2011, 04:10:42 AM »
Thanks for the romanji text and translation, Gabi. Looks like Uedo's is closest.

Is tsukushi a kireji, then?

"This seems about the haiku poets enthusiastically discussing the development of modern haiku until late into the night." - Gabi

 ;D  8)

Funny, different people have different associations with motorbikes...'danger', 'rebellion' seem to be a couple that've been mentioned. Another, for some, is 'freedom' and another, 'independence'.

- Lorin

AlanSummers

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2011, 05:49:19 AM »
Fantastic discussions and posts by everyone.  This is one post to come back to time and time again.

I'm not a big fan of Lucien Stryk's translations, although I liked some he did of Basho's work.

To me, the motorcycle sound was going back to childhood and imitating the sounds of motorbikes (and cars).

Also it was possibly the sound of an adult being angry and frustrated and unintentionally making funny odd noises as if steam is being let out of a kettle or a pressure cooker.

I imagine Tohta Kaneko would hate this, but I find his haiku utterly adorable. ;-)

It's one I'll go back to time and time again and never be bored, and always finding more possibilities.

Alan

Thanks for the romanji text and translation, Gabi. Looks like Uedo's is closest.

Is tsukushi a kireji, then?

"This seems about the haiku poets enthusiastically discussing the development of modern haiku until late into the night." - Gabi

 ;D  8)

Funny, different people have different associations with motorbikes...'danger', 'rebellion' seem to be a couple that've been mentioned. Another, for some, is 'freedom' and another, 'independence'.

- Lorin

Gabi Greve

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #38 on: July 25, 2011, 05:52:41 AM »
Is tsukushi a kireji, then?

No, it is not a cut marker.
It is derived from tsukusu ...  to exhaust

http://dic.search.yahoo.co.jp/search?p=%E5%B0%BD%E3%81%8F%E3%81%99&aq=0&oq=%E3%81%A4%E3%81%8F%E3%81%99&r_dtype=all&ei=UTF-8

You can check the most common kireji here
http://haikutopics.blogspot.com/2006/06/kireji.html


I am still trying to find out if Tohta sensei used a motorbike at that time, maybe to drive home from the haiku meeting after the heated discussion.

Gabi

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chibi575

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #39 on: July 25, 2011, 06:30:57 AM »
ge.ki.ro.n tsu.ku.shi mi.chi-yu.ki o.o.to.ba.i to ka su (19-20 count)

This is not a traditional 5-7-5.  This is not haiku but something other?

I am wondering of this translation from what to English.  A short poem to a short poem.  Do the Japanese call it haiku or something else.  That begs the question if it is something else in Japanese do we as translators translate it into our English "haiku"?  Certainly then, it is a TRUE transformation!

 ???
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Jack Galmitz

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #40 on: July 25, 2011, 06:58:13 AM »
Mr. Kohta served as the President of the Modern Haiku Association from 1983 to 2000; the traditional 5-7-5 requirement was abandoned by this and other gendai (modernist) haiku poets in Japan long, long ago.
It is haiku, not a short poem!
This is where Lorin's insightful remarks about a motorcycle representing "independence" would come in; I hadn't thought of it before.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 07:19:41 AM by Jack Galmitz »

chibi575

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #41 on: July 25, 2011, 07:47:44 AM »
Dear Jack,

I asked of traditional, but, I see your gendai point, thank you.  In Japan, some have and continue to argue/discuss this point.  If you think it finalized in the Japanese haiku community, I think you and Mr. Kohta were/are too optimistic.  Perhaps, this the reason to turn into a motorcycle?

 Keep it 8)



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Jack Galmitz

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2011, 08:05:50 AM »
You're quite right, Chibi.
But for us who right in free-verse, it is really a settled matter. Not that 5-7-5 is outlawed.  I find occassionally some of my haiku quite by accident are 5-7-5; I do not change them to suit the notion that that is not correct in English.
Actually, I think the traditional form in Japan easily outweighs the gendai free form.  But who cares?
Most Japanese would not consider what we do haiku at all.  That doesn't stop us from writing our own, somewhat, derivative form.

Mark Harris

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2011, 08:12:54 AM »
to ride on a motorcycle or any open air vehicle at high velocity is a speedrush. A miscalculation in steering or leaning, a pebble in the road, a blink of an eye at the wrong moment . . . if you want to live, attention to the operation at hand is vital. Put out of your mind such minor matters as syllable counts and nationalism and warring saijiki and cops and wolves. Go, Kaneko, go, but remember to write the haiku down later.

Mark Harris

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Re: become (haiku & transformation)
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2011, 08:17:33 AM »
and to become a motorcycle, to be one, is to become armored. To do battle?