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Sailing 14.5 How Do You Spell Haiku?

Started by Peter Yovu, May 26, 2011, 04:13:24 PM

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John McManus

Hello everyone, I have been following this thread and thought I would add my two cents, for what they're worth.

When I think of poetic spell, I don't tend to think of what language is being employed or even how it is being employed, but rather what the languange is trying to show me. When we use the word spell are we merely using it to describe phrases that charm us? Or are we using it to describe something that removes us from reality whilst also reinforcing it?

Look at Martin's poem

after rain
they're visible - the faces
in the trees

Now as Sandra said this could be about carved faces in trunks, which gives this poem a sort of primal feel, but equally as Lorin pointed out it could be about how bark appears after a heavy rain, which I feel alludes to the habbit we have of personifying nature through the human condition. There is also a possibilty that this could be about a flood which has forced people into the safety of the trees, which again gives it a primal feel, since we have always sought refuge in trees.

Which ever way you look at it, this poem moves me from my present deep into the past, and I feel that is what is so magic about this particular spell.  

John  


       

Lorin

Hi John,

I'd say you're onto something with "moves me from my present deep into the past, and I feel that is what is so magic about this particular spell." Who hasn't, in childhood at least, seen faces in trees? One reason why woods can seem spooky at times. In fact, we are hard-wired to recognise faces... it even has a scientific name: Pareidolia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia

"faces in the trees" shows our continuing connection with deep history and with all animal life after the evolution of the eye in the Cambrian 'big bang'. Before the eye, of course, there can have been no visible light. No wonder then that Martin's ku takes us to a place of mystery yet of deep connection. It is a mystery that we all participate in.

You can be sure that people saw faces in trees before they thought of carving them in or enhancing what was there.

- Lorin

chibi575

Let's face it... faces everywhere.

;D

How do you spell 俳句?  Well... like it sounds.  ::)

the bow
of a bough --
dogwood bark

(ain't Egrish gland... my muse is in a rahter silly/insane/playful mood... AIA [apology in advance])
知美

sandra

Then there's George Bernard Shaw's suggested respelling of

ghoti for fish

gh as in cough
o as in women (wimmin)
ti as in nation

;D

eluckring

Hello everyone,

Came across this today while doing a bit of research and thought it might
be of interest to this forum, though it is reaching out beyond haiku itself, so be warned  ;) 

A quote from Keith Waldrop, who won a National Book award for his poetry collection Transcendental Studies: A Triology.

"What I write down is a kind of script for something that sounds. I find people often don't read it that way. They have a hard time translating from lines on a page to. . .part of this is the way poetry is taught in schools and such. You get a poem and you're supposed to figure out what it means. Once you know what it means, you throw the poem away because you have the meaning. That is the destruction of poetry. I want the words to remain and if people don't know the meaning of them I don't think that's as bad as losing the sound."

There are some lovely excerpts of his book also to be found in the article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/a-big-win-for-experimenta_b_365671.html

and an interview with him where he reads a poem and describes his process more fully:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-lydon/keith-waldrop-quilter-in_b_389735.html

His "collage" method of writing, which embraces randomness as a key element, reminds me of some of John Cage's work which found form in both music and poetry.

AlanSummers

Hi Eve,

What a great quote!

A quote from Keith Waldrop, who won a National Book award for his poetry collection Transcendental Studies: A Triology.

"What I write down is a kind of script for something that sounds. I find people often don't read it that way. They have a hard time translating from lines on a page to. . .part of this is the way poetry is taught in schools and such. You get a poem and you're supposed to figure out what it means. Once you know what it means, you throw the poem away because you have the meaning. That is the destruction of poetry. I want the words to remain and if people don't know the meaning of them I don't think that's as bad as losing the sound."


This is why running haiku and renga workshops in schools works so well.  It's sad that poems are just one of many educational targets, and the enjoyment of poetry for itself is neglected so often.

I find running haikai workshops builds up confidence to enjoy other poetry, and not be intimidated by them, or how a school approaches poetry in class.

Alan

Quote from: eluckring on June 22, 2011, 04:41:02 AM
Hello everyone,

Came across this today while doing a bit of research and thought it might
be of interest to this forum, though it is reaching out beyond haiku itself, so be warned  ;) 

A quote from Keith Waldrop, who won a National Book award for his poetry collection Transcendental Studies: A Triology.

"What I write down is a kind of script for something that sounds. I find people often don't read it that way. They have a hard time translating from lines on a page to. . .part of this is the way poetry is taught in schools and such. You get a poem and you're supposed to figure out what it means. Once you know what it means, you throw the poem away because you have the meaning. That is the destruction of poetry. I want the words to remain and if people don't know the meaning of them I don't think that's as bad as losing the sound."

There are some lovely excerpts of his book also to be found in the article.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/a-big-win-for-experimenta_b_365671.html

and an interview with him where he reads a poem and describes his process more fully:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christopher-lydon/keith-waldrop-quilter-in_b_389735.html

His "collage" method of writing, which embraces randomness as a key element, reminds me of some of John Cage's work which found form in both music and poetry.

Don Baird

Hello Eve,

Thanks for the interesting post!  I love the quote!  

Haiku are interestingly unique as they can mean so many different things within such minute structures.  They are indeed dynamically flexible as to what they impart when read by differing folks of different mindsets and experiences.  They're short, having particular and unique rhythms - often times musical.  

The combination of sound and meaning, in haiku, become focused together into a poetic laser when the paper is underneath the right pen.  Remove the meaning or define it too clearly equates to the destruction of a searching mind as well as the poem's value; to take away the sounds and rhythm, is to destroy the musical, feeling mind - in the end, the reader's creative association.  And, once again, the poem loses value.

Enjoyable thread,

Don
I write haiku because they're there to be written ...

storm drain
the vertical axis
of winter

AlanSummers

Hi Don

I really like what you say about the 'searching mind' and I feel that should be as much a challenge for the reader and writer as just laying down a 'typical' haiku template.

Alan

chibi575

Waldrop:  a horn blow at castles

Interesting forensic approach to poetry.  An dimension of "random" noise floating in and on the eye's ear.

(Keith Waldrop endeared hisself to me with his "bad" pun on his name and Jericho.  Also, his penchant for using or abusing sounds in and from the word/phrase sounds.)

I find a fine disonant contrast with his approach and Master Bashou's; but, the use of a similar transform from Buson's painter's eye into poetry and Waldrop's transform from sound (of words) into poetry.  This is their play: a play with color-shape-perspective-line (Buson) and random word-noise-sound-cadence (Waldrop).

Thanks for the link... it tricked me to think.   8)


ciao...
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Peter Yovu

I'm away for a couple of days, but hope to get into this when I'm back. I hope Eve and others will stick around a while for some discussion. What questions come up for you?

Peter Yovu

When Waldrop says: "You get a poem and you're supposed to figure out what it means. Once you know what it means, you throw the poem away because you have the meaning. That is the destruction of poetry. I want the words to remain and if people don't know the meaning of them I don't think that's as bad as losing the sound"-- I'd say he speaking directly to what we've been discussing here. I'm not sure what there is to add to this, but I wonder what you think. For myself, I greatly value poems whose "meaning" resides in, or remains implicit in sound, and which cannot be quite grasped.

chibi575

Light and sound have wave properties. I've seen more poems about emotional interpretations stimulated by light, but, these are mostly agregates of reflected light.  I feel sound demonstrates this in an echo among other ways.  I've become intriqued with the idea of folding and unfolding and refolding sound, visualizing (so to speak) of an origami of sound.  I hope I will be able to write more poetry with sound as the main theme, but, I am not sure if I want the poetry to be read aloud for the effect, but, rather like hearing the sound just by reading the written word(s).  To pun on the subject, "How do you spell haiku?"... with the magical spell of sound.
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Peter Yovu

Chibi, can you think of a poem, yours or another's, that illustrates "an origami of sound"?. Intriguing, yes.

chibi575

Peter,

Bashou's

Stillness
Piercing the rocks
the sound of cicadas

(piercing is demonstrative of a resonate quality of sound)


inspired in part mine:

summer cicada:
folds then unfolds
sheets of air

(sound is the transmission of compressed air, in a way, a fold and unfold of air, the fold and unfold technique is used in origami)





知美

Lorin

Quote from: Peter Yovu on June 28, 2011, 07:09:50 PM
When Waldrop says: "You get a poem and you're supposed to figure out what it means. Once you know what it means, you throw the poem away because you have the meaning. That is the destruction of poetry. I want the words to remain and if people don't know the meaning of them I don't think that's as bad as losing the sound"-- I'd say he speaking directly to what we've been discussing here. I'm not sure what there is to add to this, but I wonder what you think. For myself, I greatly value poems whose "meaning" resides in, or remains implicit in sound, and which cannot be quite grasped.

I admit that I don't understand. Couldn't one just as well say:

"You get a poem and you're supposed to figure out what the sounds are. Once you know what the sounds are, you throw the poem away because you have the sounds. That is the destruction of poetry. I want the words to remain and if people don't know the sounds of them I don't think that's as bad as losing the meaning"

Both Waldrop's statement and my reversal of it seem to me to be absurd in relation to poetry. Of course poetry can't be reduced to a prose rendition of the meaning of the words. Of course sound, musicality, is important. But can we designate one of these 'baby' and the other 'bathwater'?

What if the 'baby' is a fish and the 'bathwater' is the estuary?

I hope someone will be able to explain this idea of throwing meaning away to me. Why keep words, then, since words mean, whether alone or in relation to other words?

bzzz bzzz brrm brrm splat

- Lorin


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