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sine qua non

Started by Dmitri, November 10, 2021, 09:33:41 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Dmitri

Alan, I appreciate your generosity and enthusiasm.

I should have been more clear: the anthology from which I drew the haiku is the recent
Haiku 2021. A random sampling of poems that some will some won't consider haiku I'm guessing.

I presented the Brad Bennett piece first as it appeared, next as an alternative way it could be read,
a technique many use, providing ambiguity in how a haiku may be read.

You write:

Is it haiku?

Well it depends on our individual definitions of haiku or definitions and rules set out by others.


This is kind of what I am getting at, but rather than ask what is someone' definition of haiku, I am asking if there is some element without which it is not haiku. Maybe the questions are one and the same in th end.

But you bring up an interesting thing when you say "it depends on our individual definitions". Can't remember who said it, but is it true then that haiku is whatever (someone) wants it to be?

I do wonder what others think, but I see, as others have noted, that discussions of this sort are a thing of the past.


AlanSummers

To avoid further confusion over Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku (published in 2011) and Haiku 2021 (published in 2021), here is the link to the current anthology we are discussing:
https://www.modernhaiku.org/mhbooks/Haiku2021.html


re the 100 best haiku by 100 haiku writers anthologies (booklets) by Scott Metz & Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press) I will have to declare that although I did not appear in the full anthology "Haiku 21: an anthology of contemporary English-language haiku" (2021) I did appear both in the Haiku 2014, and many of the subsequent ones, including this year's Haiku 2021 (Modern Haiku Press 2021).





thunder
I slide a kigo
into the gun

Alan Summers
First publication credit: tinywords 20.2 (November 2020)

Anthology: Haiku 2021 ed. Scott Metz & Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press, 2021)

Feature:
2021 Southern California Haiku Study Group Zoom Presentation

Feature: re:Virals 283 (February 2021)
The Haiku Foundation's weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written in English: https://thehaikufoundation.org/revirals-282/

.

night crows
the haystacks lose
their moonlight

Alan Summers
Publication Credit:  Wild Plum 1:1 (Spring & Summer 2015)

Anthology Credits:
Haiku 2016 ed. Scott Metz & Lee Gurga (Modern Haiku Press, 2016)
Behind the Tree Line ed. Gabriel Sawicki (2015)


.

night of small colour
a part of the underworld
becomes one heron

Alan Summers
Publication Credit: Modern Haiku Vol. 45.2  Summer 2014 ed. Paul Miller
Feature: Brass Bell Showcase: Alan Summers (July 2015)

Anthology credits:
Haiku 2015 (Modern Haiku Press, 2015) ed. Lee Gurga and Scott Metz
Yanty's Butterfly Haiku Nook: An Anthology (2016)
Poetry as Consciousness - Haiku Forests, Space of Mind, and an Ethics of Freedom
Author: Richard Gilbert  Illustrator: Sabine Miller. ISBN978-4-86330-189-4  Pub. Keibunsha (2018, Japan)



.

ground zero into the new friend's story

Publication credit:
Masks 4 (Roadrunner 12.3 – December 2012) ed. Scott Metz

Anthology credits:
in fear of dancing: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku 2013
Haiku 2014 ed. Scott Metz & Lee Gurga, Modern Haiku Press, 2014
(Joint Winner, The Touchstone Distinguished Books Award 2014)


.


Regarding:
"Can't remember who said it, but is it true then that haiku is whatever (someone) wants it to be?"

It's become a meme now, or an urban myth. If it reflected reality hardly anyone would be allowed to write haiku from the 1890s (when it first started) onwards.


re:
"I do wonder what others think, but I see, as others have noted, that discussions of this sort are a thing of the past."


Everything is the past, even right now, scientifically proven. We exist in the past in many ways, perhaps striving to attain the present?

re:
"This is kind of what I am getting at, but rather than ask what is someone's definition of haiku, I am asking if there is some element without which it is not haiku. Maybe the questions are one and the same in th end."

Paraphrasing you:
[Is there] some element without which it is not haiku.

I am sure there is.

If a journal refused to publish a submission, and some have had rejections of over 100 times, though eventually been taken, that could be considered one criteria.

But who sits as judge over all of us and the poems we consider as haiku?

Rather than see the negative about haiku, I like to see how each person makes a poem sing, and gets me to gladly recognise it as a haiku.

warm regards,
Alan



p.s.

I hope others respond whether you have been reading/writing haiku only recently or for a number of years.


Quote from: Dmitri on November 18, 2021, 04:15:34 PM
Alan, I appreciate your generosity and enthusiasm.

I should have been more clear: the anthology from which I drew the haiku is the recent
Haiku 2021. A random sampling of poems that some will some won't consider haiku I'm guessing.

I presented the Brad Bennett piece first as it appeared, next as an alternative way it could be read,
a technique many use, providing ambiguity in how a haiku may be read.

You write:

Is it haiku?

Well it depends on our individual definitions of haiku or definitions and rules set out by others.


This is kind of what I am getting at, but rather than ask what is someone' definition of haiku, I am asking if there is some element without which it is not haiku. Maybe the questions are one and the same in th end.

But you bring up an interesting thing when you say "it depends on our individual definitions". Can't remember who said it, but is it true then that haiku is whatever (someone) wants it to be?

I do wonder what others think, but I see, as others have noted, that discussions of this sort are a thing of the past.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

Lorraine Pester



hi Alan,

just had to say i really like bjerg's piece that you elaborated on. i really like knowing the backstory on pieces like this. thank you for that discussion.

a thought i had about bjerg's piece was that the fragment about the virus being a bird could have spoken to the idea that it is in the air like a bird as well as the idea that it is ephemeral like a bird:::here one minute and taken flight the next.

enjoyed the two links concerning the publication. brought home the fact that there are indeed at least two ways to read a haiku. or was the first one tongue-in-cheek? i enjoy michael dylan welch's article. and had to remind myself it was around 2011 that it was written. what he says still holds true.

i think that as readers of any written work we need to be mindful of thinking while we read. what is read on first reading can change as we think about it. like brad bennet. like bjerg. like any of us who write haikai.

if we look for that one element that makes a haiku, we are limiting ourselves both as readers and writers.

i'm reminded of what you wrote in the beginner's section here when you said that you knew you shouldn't like her poem for a variety of reasons which you delineated, but in the end, you did like it. and isn't that the open mindedness that we should be writing and reading with? because otherwise we will all be looking for the magic recipe of form and ignoring everything else that has merit.

off my soapbox..

lorraine
My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.   Nikos Kazantzakis

Billy Mills

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.

Lorraine Pester

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
My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.   Nikos Kazantzakis

Billy Mills

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.

AlanSummers

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.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

Dmitri

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



Billy Mills

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.

Billy Mills

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.

Lorraine Pester

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
My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.   Nikos Kazantzakis

Billy Mills

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.

Lorraine Pester

Quote from: Billy Mills on 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.

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
My entire soul is a cry, and all my work is a commentary on that cry.   Nikos Kazantzakis

AlanSummers

Hi Dmitri,

re the poems below:

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

I don't love them, and are they innovative, or innovative enough, to be in the Haiku 2021 anthology? That's an interesting question.

Another question might be, is this one.

Do Japanese haiku, and I don't mean hokku, but Japanese haiku that 'started' in the 1890s, that didn't really get going, despite the Black Ships, until World War Two, really stand up to Western or non-Japanese haiku standards, rules, guidelines, or dictats, opinions etc...?

Here's two haiku, or are they haiku?


short winter day things inside the examination room

winter grass stepping on something strange


re the two quoted haiku, and we need to give the correct spelling and presentation of the Danish poet's name:

from her chair by the window she says the virus is a bird
                                     Johannes S.H. Bjerg

exit wendy from the peter pandemic
                        Lorin Ford


I feel the one by Bjerg is more of a level one shasei, but with a nod to the other levels.

Is the break, cut, or juxtaposition here?

i.e.

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

Who is the narrator, is it the author, or the author capturing another person, or acting as a reliable or unreliable narrator etc...?

Is the first 'half' a context setting by the narrator or narrator-protagonist or poem's author, and the second  half by the narrator only?

I can easily see that the person has mistakenly got the details about avian flu incorrect, see my earlier post, and blurred bad news reporting and conspiracy and less detailed research into one, or perhaps the "the virus is a bird" is just that, Avian Flu?

We have certainly seen some bizarre attitudes and definitions and opinions about the current pandemic and its siblings are similar.

Which leads us to the next one.

exit wendy from the peter pandemic
                        Lorin Ford

Intriguingly both poets have also been co-editors, albeit in two different journals, go figure.

It has overt vertical axis, so nods to Shirane's groundbreaking article and book about the spurious haiku moment, as well as alerting us to depth to our haiku, and literary allusions.

Are they musical? Well it might depend on your definition of music. Both verses definitely have rhythm:

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

ex it wen dy from the pet er pan de mic


I'd say the first one is a complete rhythmic unit though the second one feels it requires a continuance, which is normal in any poem.

It's been said, and I won't quote sources, that experienced Japanese haikai poets (hokku and haiku) do not require "kire" as in they do not need to incorporate kireji.

As non-Japanese haiku poets, surely we don't require juxtaposition then? It's just an option. We have options for haiku just as much as someone has an option to write a prose novel or a verse novel with or without certain poetic devices etc...

So are we only talking about non-Japanese haiku, and do we only give examples of Japanese hokku but not Japanese haiku?

Three great writers helped promote make certain current languages the main language.
We have hokku writer and renga and renku expert Basho (Japanese over Chinese courtly language) and Chaucer and Shakespeare making English the lead language over French etc...

The game is afoot (Shakespeare), and murder will out ('Mordre wol out' around 1290 which Chaucer used twice to great effect).

Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

AlanSummers

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.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

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