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Personal versus Private

Started by chibi575, June 28, 2012, 12:18:54 PM

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chibi575

In my experiences with haiku (specifically as taught in Japan by Akegarasu
sensei) is that through kigo a door opens on to a deeper world of the natural
experience. In exploring this way, I have found, at times, there seems to be a
boundary between the personal and the private. As I understand, the personal,
is as all poetry seems to be, that is to say it is written usually by one author
(some genre, like renku and others are constructed to be written by multiple
authors, though), at any rate, the linking verses are by one and only one of the
contributing authors. Therefore, I consider such poetry, personal.

In conjuction with poetry being personal, there are sometimes a boundary
preserved where the poetry is private, that is, experienced only by the author
and perhaps a few with similar experience or reference. This boundary can be
due to culture as well as geography and can occur at a regional as well as a
national level.

There are factors for a private poem becoming broader thus narrowing the gap.
This, I feel, can be shown in a poem whether to
name a flower in specific terms, thus, identifying more specifically the
characteristics of that flower. I feel, there is a range of information, (if
you will, the Goldilocks' zone), in which you've given just the right amount of
information, be it a footnote, scientific name, common name, etc., ... by which
the optimum is reached to convey the degree of feeling the author wants or
desires in the words. (I believe the "kigo" concept and use can be helpful in
this respect, also.)

I enjoy finding those poems that lean toward the private because it expands my
personal view when I explore their deeper meaning. Of course, this is but a
personal preference, as I understand there are a variety of approaches to
writing and reading poetry.

Poets helping poets...

Ciao...
知美

Chase Gagnon

I agree with you. I have penned hundreds of "private" ku, and sometimes their better left private.

whitedove

Hello Chibi  I'm not sure if I fully understand your distinction between personal and private, but I will share with you some thoughts I've had about the subject.  I have lived for many years in an area that has a plethora of ghosts from the past.  Sometimes I move away from here, but I always come back.  Last year I took my grandchildren to visit the graves of their great-great-great-great grandparents. I wonder how many children get to do that?  When I write, I'm not sure how to share things that are highly local—especially those things that have deep roots in collective consciousness and perhaps collective guilt.  For example, there is a graveyard in this coastal area that is called by the inelegant name of Rotten Bayou Cemetery. The locals here report many supernatural experiences at Rotten Bayou.  The ghosts they report seeing are often described as having hideous small pox scars.  This is an area that had a large Native American population, many of whom died of smallpox.  Many of the residents here are of mixed Native American and European ancestory.  Recently, I wrote a haiku about Rotten Bayou Cemetery, but I didn't name the place in my poem or try to explain the complex hold it has on residents here who remain haunted by its specters after all these years.  I suppose I could write a haibun and take readers in that way, but I do wonder if outsiders would understand the nature of many of the private secrets I know about this place.  I am somewhat reluctant to erase the lines between personal and private for reasons even I don't understand. Yet I think many fine writers do have the gift of removing those barriers and sharing their local cultures and customs.  I'm not sure about my own reluctance, but your discussion topic does make me question things again.

AlanSummers

Dear Rebecca and Chibi,

I'm reposting this as it contains so many important points.

As I know from experience during my Masters Degree, when i assisted novelists in one particular module, and the University brought in my wife to help with the media aspect, that novelists are intensely shy of allowing readers into their private world, and there's the conundrum.

I look forward to Chibi's response.

For me I am absolutely fascinated by this, and feel there is both a book to come from this, as well poetry.

Alan

Rebecca's original message with spacings

Hello Chibi  I'm not sure if I fully understand your distinction between personal and private, but I will share with you some thoughts I've had about the subject.

I have lived for many years in an area that has a plethora of ghosts from the past.  Sometimes I move away from here, but I always come back.  Last year I took my grandchildren to visit the graves of their great-great-great-great grandparents. I wonder how many children get to do that? 

When I write, I'm not sure how to share things that are highly local—especially those things that have deep roots in collective consciousness and perhaps collective guilt.  For example, there is a graveyard in this coastal area that is called by the inelegant name of Rotten Bayou Cemetery. The locals here report many supernatural experiences at Rotten Bayou.  The ghosts they report seeing are often described as having hideous small pox scars.  This is an area that had a large Native American population, many of whom died of smallpox.  Many of the residents here are of mixed Native American and European ancestory. 

Recently, I wrote a haiku about Rotten Bayou Cemetery, but I didn't name the place in my poem or try to explain the complex hold it has on residents here who remain haunted by its specters after all these years. 

I suppose I could write a haibun and take readers in that way, but I do wonder if outsiders would understand the nature of many of the private secrets I know about this place.  I am somewhat reluctant to erase the lines between personal and private for reasons even I don't understand. Yet I think many fine writers do have the gift of removing those barriers and sharing their local cultures and customs.  I'm not sure about my own reluctance, but your discussion topic does make me question things again.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

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