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if we tell, is it a haiku?

Started by haikurambler, August 18, 2011, 01:33:43 PM

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AlanSummers

Dear John Potts,

Any chance if you post next time you could break up the large blocks of text?  My eyesight is okay, but I feel it would be kinder on the eyes of all of us.

e.g.

Quote from: haikurambler on August 21, 2011, 02:12:08 PM
Hi, this threads warming up nicely. Some interesting insights which I will be pondering in the days to come. Here is a first thought or two, purely from my own ongoing studentship of haiku:

Two distinct verbal aspects become apparent when we first regard the words used to present a little haiku movie to the mind's eye. Firstly, the 'signpost' words which conjure the haiku's basic movie elements.

Secondly, we dowse the implications of the words and their grammatical combination. This focuses and begins to collate the haiku movie elements which are presenting. At this juncture our mind tries to solve the riddle presented thus far. In doing this the dispirate elements start to compose as a synergic whole.

Then, the haiku movie starts to materialise (in the right brain, from the left brain verbal triggers - for those into this way of thinking). Of course, this is not the end of the matter. The haiku movie now begins to deepen; we move through various filters which our brain sequences and screens the data. By contemplating a haiku to its depth (the ideal) we hope to, finally, arrive at, more or less, its truth.

From here on in this whole fascinating process can get quite diffuse, as we connote and the haiku connotes. To compound the meditation's challenge we have those pesky little vortexes (MA) that can lead out into so many other issues altogether (some intended, some not). Not only this; a flip into the labyrinthine infinite (Zoka) may occur.

The trick, as we know, is to gently keep returning to our haiku movie - perhaps bookmarking other lines of thought for another time. At each step of the way we can get stuck at one of the inward journey's stages - and often do. (Be careful not to be fooled by this.)

However, if the spirit moves us, we return again and again to a particular favourite haiku, and press on. For example, I've been reading and re-reading Basho's masterpiece, you know, set at that old pond, for many years and it still it has more to say about itself each time I engage with Matsuo's wonderful haiku diorama.

Besides that, it's good to have indepth discussions running parallel to other postings elsewhere. ;-)

Alan

haikurambler

Hi, this threads warming up nicely. Some interesting insights which I will be pondering in the days to come. Here is a first thought or two, purely from my own ongoing studentship of haiku:

Two distinct verbal aspects become apparent when we first regard the words used to present a little haiku movie to the mind's eye. Firstly, the 'signpost' words which conjure the haiku's basic movie elements.

Secondly, we dowse the implications of the words and their grammatical combination. This focuses and begins to collate the haiku movie elements which are presenting. At this juncture our mind tries to solve the riddle presented thus far. In doing this the dispirate elements start to compose as a synergic whole.

Then, the haiku movie starts to materialise (in the right brain, from the left brain verbal triggers - for those into this way of thinking). Of course, this is not the end of the matter. The haiku movie now begins to deepen; we move through various filters which our brain uses to sequence and screen the data. By contemplating a haiku to its depth (the ideal) we hope to, finally, arrive at, more or less, its truth.

From here on in this whole fascinating process can get quite diffuse, as we connote and the haiku connotes. To compound the meditation's challenge we have those pesky little vortexes (MA) that can lead out into so many other issues altogether (some intended, some not). Not only this; a flip into the labyrinthine infinite (Zoka) may occur.

The trick, as we know, is to gently keep returning to our haiku movie - perhaps bookmarking other lines of thought for another time. At each step of the way we can get stuck at one of the inward journey's stages - and often do. (Be careful not to be fooled by this.)

However, if the spirit moves us, we return again and again to a particular favourite haiku, and press on. For example, I've been reading and re-reading Basho's masterpiece, you know, set at that old pond, for many years and still it has more to say about itself each time I engage with Matsuo's wonderful haiku diorama.

sandra

Sorry, coming in late and harking back slightly.

Re the hippo haiku, Dr Gabi Greve's website has this to say about it:

桜散るあなたも河馬になりなさい 
sakura chiru anata mo kaba ni narinasai

falling cherry blossoms -
you also must become
a hippopotamus


This is a play on words.
When Japanese people die, their corpse becomes a "sleeping hippopotamus" (shi kabane) ... kaba ne, sleeping hippo.

Which adds to the intellectual feel of the poem.

PS: Thank you John for letting me feel that I might contribute in my very unacademic way to this discussion. It isn't always the case that I feel confident enough, with my lack of multi-syllable words, to do that.



haikurambler

Hi, Sandra. Yes, them big words can obfuscate things no end. ^_^

This hippo ku brings two things to mind.

First, as a non-Japanese person and an English speaker (in this instance) we read what is presented in translation, as-is.

Second, if we find the material interesting, we can do some background research.

These two approaches will, of course, extend our experience of a particular piece.

Essentially, we will have our original response version and, also, the researched version. Line-blends of the two may occur. As time passes we will probably morph a unified version, one which synthesises all that we have garnered. We can cantinue adding to this along the way, if the spirit moves us.

This is why I stand fast on my original response to this hippo haiku. Whatever else is intended by its author is not (we are assured) included in the translation, nor any footnotes. All we can do, initially, is respond to the object at hand, as presented - ideally, with a suitably experienced haiku perception. We do this by 'seeing' the ku's virtual diorama, its inner movie. As in a dream.


PS
As for academia (and its possible abuse), use it all as a personal learning curve. But, never let it obfuscate your own authentic clarity and sincere self-expression. We all have our insights to share, as we travel the astonishing haiku way.



Quote from: sandra on August 22, 2011, 01:46:14 AM
Sorry, coming in late and harking back slightly.

Re the hippo haiku, Dr Gabi Greve's website has this to say about it:

桜散るあなたも河馬になりなさい 
sakura chiru anata mo kaba ni narinasai

falling cherry blossoms -
you also must become
a hippopotamus


This is a play on words.
When Japanese people die, their corpse becomes a "sleeping hippopotamus" (shi kabane) ... kaba ne, sleeping hippo.

Which adds to the intellectual feel of the poem.

PS: Thank you John for letting me feel that I might contribute in my very unacademic way to this discussion. It isn't always the case that I feel confident enough, with my lack of multi-syllable words, to do that.




Don Baird

Hey John P.

As a side note, I'm hoping I don't become a hippo any time soon ... alive or dead!   ::) 

just saying ...

:)

ps ... I'm enjoying the thread!
I write haiku because they're there to be written ...

storm drain
the vertical axis
of winter

John McManus

Hi John, I'll admit you have a point about taking a ku for face value, after all that is what is so wonderful about the many interpretations one can make of a good haiku.

But I am curious as to what you or anyone else makes of this ku I posted earlier in the thread.


say it so it sounds like starling she says 

Chris Gordon

To me the only trace of external imagery in this poem is the mysterious woman.

To me this poem is a wonderful example of how haiku can act as an anti-story. We have nothing to guage the woman's mood, and no motive as to why she would want something said so it sounds like something else. But despite not having these things to help me understand what is going on, I still feel strangely pulled in and intrigued. I desperately want to know what is going on and why.

warmest,
John       

AlanSummers

I'm also prone to liking haiku as anti-story, and that could be a good example of less Tell, more SdT and not SpIlT as in Show don't Tell and Spelling It all ouT.

Alan


Quote from: John McManus on August 22, 2011, 08:21:20 PM
Hi John, I'll admit you have a point about taking a ku for face value, after all that is what is so wonderful about the many interpretations one can make of a good haiku.

But I am curious as to what you or anyone else makes of this ku I posted earlier in the thread.


say it so it sounds like starling she says 

Chris Gordon

To me the only trace of external imagery in this poem is the mysterious woman.

To me this poem is a wonderful example of how haiku can act as an anti-story. We have nothing to guage the woman's mood, and no motive as to why she would want something said so it sounds like something else. But despite not having these things to help me understand what is going on, I still feel strangely pulled in and intrigued. I desperately want to know what is going on and why.

warmest,
John       

haikurambler

Ha ha. Other than shamanic metamorphosis, you're probably going to maintain your present form for, hopefully, some time to come, Don. ^_^

Quote from: Don Baird on August 22, 2011, 07:15:16 PM
Hey John P.

As a side note, I'm hoping I don't become a hippo any time soon ... alive or dead!   ::) 

just saying ...

:)

ps ... I'm enjoying the thread!

haikurambler

#23
Hi, John.

Yes, there's many possible interpretations of a haiku (or other forms which require a right-brain visualisation as their a priori instrument of direct expression). However, these are stages we meet as we journey into any ku. The place we're looking to arrive at is, not the author's take, even, but the place beyond that where the original experience, as well as it may, is still ticking. When we get there we've arrived. [Beyond this we can travel, also. But, at this juncture we are entering the mystic by approaching the ku's archetyal source. So, that would be something else again - beyond the scope of this particular thread. Maybe here: http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/forum_sm/religio/haiku-as-magic-spell/msg18531/#msg18531]

Starlings are good mimics. I once spent a pleasant afternoon in a garden, you know, chilling out in the sun. On the roof of the garden's house a starling was, intermittently, speaking in English! Little snippets of this and that. Intrigued, during the course of the afternoon I amused myself by trying to get the bird to do a few words which I repeated, during gaps in its performance. After a short while it would pick up on my suggestions and give them a go. Adding them, no doubt, to its future repertoire.

On the basis of this interesting experience, I'm tempted to think that the mystery woman in this monostich (single line poem) is talking to a starling. ^_^ However, she's probably (perhaps ironically) asking her lover to say he loves her in the 'dulcet' tones of the bird in question. If this is so, I'd have chosen a goldfinch - hands down.

Quote from: John McManus on August 22, 2011, 08:21:20 PM
Hi John, I'll admit you have a point about taking a ku for face value, after all that is what is so wonderful about the many interpretations one can make of a good haiku.

But I am curious as to what you or anyone else makes of this ku I posted earlier in the thread.


say it so it sounds like starling she says  

Chris Gordon

To me the only trace of external imagery in this poem is the mysterious woman.

To me this poem is a wonderful example of how haiku can act as an anti-story. We have nothing to guage the woman's mood, and no motive as to why she would want something said so it sounds like something else. But despite not having these things to help me understand what is going on, I still feel strangely pulled in and intrigued. I desperately want to know what is going on and why.

warmest,
John        

haikurambler

Yes, Alan, ambiquity is a major tool in the ku universe. Either direct or implied. In fact, isn't life itself ambiguous? For a medium like haiku in particular, given its roots, this comes with the territory.

The best way to set the scenario, the backstory, for a haiku, so as not to compromise its methodology of presenting a living experience, you know, rather than an epigramatical explanation, is the haibun - at a stretch,  perhaps, a haiga. What do you (and other members, of course) reckon?

Quote from: Alan Summers on August 22, 2011, 08:41:22 PM
I'm also prone to liking haiku as anti-story, and that could be a good example of less Tell, more SdT and not SpIlT as in Show don't Tell and Spelling It all ouT.

Alan


Quote from: John McManus on August 22, 2011, 08:21:20 PM
Hi John, I'll admit you have a point about taking a ku for face value, after all that is what is so wonderful about the many interpretations one can make of a good haiku.

But I am curious as to what you or anyone else makes of this ku I posted earlier in the thread.


say it so it sounds like starling she says 

Chris Gordon

To me the only trace of external imagery in this poem is the mysterious woman.

To me this poem is a wonderful example of how haiku can act as an anti-story. We have nothing to guage the woman's mood, and no motive as to why she would want something said so it sounds like something else. But despite not having these things to help me understand what is going on, I still feel strangely pulled in and intrigued. I desperately want to know what is going on and why.

warmest,
John       

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