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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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Lorin

or

fish:
out of the water
out of itself

- lorin

eluckring

Thanks for your example of origami sound, Chibi.

Hi Lorin,
I don't think Waldrop is saying he wants readers to throw away meaning.  When he talks about the destruction of poetry (since he refers to how it is often taught) I think he is talking about the idea of pinning down meaning and closing down multiple readings, as if there were "the" meaning of a poem to be found once and for all.  I think he is interested in the reader's interpretation more than he is invested in his own intent and sees sound as a way of enhancing that exchange.  That's my take on it.

Lorin

"I think he is talking about the idea of pinning down meaning and closing down multiple readings, as if there were "the" meaning of a poem to be found once and for all." - Eve

well, if that's what he's doing, he's going back a few hundred years, at the very least. That just hasn't been the case in EL poetry since before the 1920s, at least, and I suspect much longer.

- Lorin

chibi575

perhaps Wall-drop says to have an empty cup?  :-\
知美

eluckring

The following exchange continues on from the first quote I posted
and might illuminate more what Waldrop is saying, Lorin.

this is an excerpt from an interview with Keith Waldrop and his wife, Rosemarie Waldrop, also a very
interesting poet in the Jivin' Ladybug. Jared is the interviewer. 

for the whole interview:
http://mysite.verizon.net/vze8911e/jivinladybug/id53.html

Keith: Of course, the meaning changes the sound. The sound and the meaning, you can't entirely separate.

Jared: This just reminds me that I have a friend who studying Thomas Aquinas and Aquinas is observed to reading silently which was highly unusual at the time. While it's not necessarily reading aloud, but understanding writing is a physical act or translates into a physical act.

Keith: I read somewhere in Scientific American or New York Times or one of those exalted places, that there was an experiment in which somebody had a thing they could put in the throat to keep the muscles there from moving. They found that people couldn't read then because even in silent reading, there is a motion in the throat. I feel that's a very important fact. Silent reading is silent, but it's still. . .

Rosmarie: . . in the body.

Keith: . . .translation of sound.


Lorin

" Keith: Of course, the meaning changes the sound. The sound and the meaning, you can't entirely separate."

ah, yes. Thanks, Eve, I can relate to that, and to everything in your extract here. The other statement, taken by itself, isn't something I could come to terms with. I'm so glad he didn't mean it!  :)

- Lorin

Sue

What interesting intelligent discussions you have here! I hope it is Ok to add my thoughts after so long?

The discussion derailed around the 'logical mind' issue, which is understandable. This relies on a distinction between logical/non-logical which isn't really helpful in understanding what is going on. I think that what Martin is saying is that poetry which appeals not merely to our *language* addresses us at a deeper level. That is, poetry which functions not merely as signifiers, but which engages the semiotic (and forgive me, I'm very rusty on semiotics) signified-signified connections of our personal non-language mental imagery. Or at least that is the closest I can get to what he is saying. There is nothing 'illogical' per se about that process, it simply follows our individual mental connections - which may or may not appear logical to others however there is an internal logical process which we ourselves might or might not understand.

I think this is how kigo work. We have, with a kigo which is meaningful to us, multiple mental associations which present themselves to the internal screen and helpfully fill in the picture upon which the associated *signs* of the rest of the haiku fill in the detail. Martin's objection to the formulaic seasonal reference/followed by two lines of foreground imagery (I assume) is because the formula addresses this process directly but is more often than not employed by poets not yet sufficiently proficient to do it well or meaningfully. I think he is asking us, as poets, to find ways to engage that internal process in more creative ways.

Sue

Peter Yovu

Friends-- it is highly unlikely that I will inaugurate another Sailing. There have been some wonderful journeys, and each is available, here, and over on the original blog, to be re-experienced and continued for any who wish it. Thanks to all who participated.

Larry Bole

After reading some of this discussion, my question is: why call the poetry being produced, when applying to the writing some of the experimentation being theorized about, 'haiku'? Many of these 'haiku' become instead simply short poems in already-existing main stream poetry genres such as 'conceptual' poetry and 'sound' poetry.

The seasonal reference in haiku is not merely window dressing, or a place-marker, as some have implied. As Koji Kawamoto points out in his book, The Poetics of Japanese Verse: Imagery, Struture, Meter, the seasonal reference 'activates' the significance of the haiku by providing a context in which the haiku's activity takes place. Often the activity taking place in the haiku has no significance without that context. The reason a seasonal reference lacks that importance to writers of ELS haiku is because ELS haikuists generally don't have a deeply conditioned response to seasonal references in the same way that Japanese haikuists do.

And the fact that Gendai Haiku needs an adjective modifier added to the word 'haiku' means that the meaning of 'haiku' is thus being changed. Change the meaning of the word 'haiku' enough, and it becomes meaningless and useless for describing anything except a historical genre of poetry that is no longer being practiced. But I suspect that the word 'haiku' is still being used by some poets to describe what they're writing because it carries with it a certain specialized cachet, without which the poets would have to compete in the larger world of mainstream poetry, where such experimentation as has been discussed in this thread has been going on for quite some time, and to greater effect.

Larry

Gabi Greve

The seasonal reference in haiku is not merely window dressing, or a place-marker, as some have implied. As Koji Kawamoto points out in his book, The Poetics of Japanese Verse: Imagery, Struture, Meter,
the seasonal reference 'activates' the significance of the haiku by providing a context in which the haiku's activity takes place. Often the activity taking place in the haiku has no significance without that context.
The reason a seasonal reference lacks that importance to writers of ELS haiku is because ELS haikuists generally don't have a deeply conditioned response to seasonal references in the same way that Japanese haikuists do.



Thanks for your thoughts, Larry!
Gabi

Don Baird

Larry/Gabi ... to ponder with you for a moment:

Another aspect of kigo is the resonance it sets up between the poet, poem and reader.  Once the reader finishes the poem, ponders the context of things in relation to the kigo, the haiku resonates within the reader as he/she, in some mysterious way, finishes the poem internally.  Without the kigo, this will not happen.  There are no keywords, for example, that set up a comensurate, rich density that kigo do as adequately/comparatively.   

The kigo provides an arena of "the unsaid".  This voiceless arena is where much of the haiku reveals its meaning ... or finds its meaning within the reader himself/herself according to how a particular reader resonates with the kigo itself.  A unique aspect of this situation is that the haiku will be quite a different experience according to the background of the reader.  One who deeply relates to the kigo at many levels will indeed have a different experience in reading and relating to the haiku than someone who has little to none. 

sunny day
the baseball remains
motionless

harvest moon
the mantis remains
motionless

The second poem really has two autumn kigo.  The first has none.  Of course, the first is overall rather uninteresting which doesn't help it.  The second: harvest moon sets a stage.  It relates an entire scene to the reader that resonates with the reader's personal experience of life and autumn within that life.  There's much unsaid that's being said in line one.  The mantis reaffirms that this is an autumn kigo haiku but brings about, though motionless, additional activity within the poem.  This is not an object oriented poem but rather one of activity - the action and continuum of creation/transformation.







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

storm drain
the vertical axis
of winter

Gabi Greve

This is not an object oriented poem but rather one of activity -
the action and continuum of creation/transformation.


I do not like the "object oriented - activity oriented" - classification very much.

A Japanese kigo refers to the change of the seasons as experienced in human life and are thus all a kind of "action within the object" ... life goes on, feel the coolness of autumn on a summer day (and summer kigo) ... things change, move along with the sun, moon and stars . . .

Greetings from my valley,
where winter is just about to move on and make way to spring - with a big snowstorm !!

Gabi

AlanSummers

Good posts from Larry, Don, and Gabi about kigo.  I still feel kigo has a place in haiku, otherwise I wouldn't come back to it.  I think keywords have their place, and are vital, but not as a replacement for kigo, but rather a companion to kigo, and serving an altogether different function.

As technology and fashion combine we are not far from SmartHomes and fashion clothes that have built in smartphones, and computers: http://www.channel4.com/info/press/programme-information/future-family

link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/home-of-the-future/4od#3290489
link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9075253/Channel-4s-Home-of-the-Future-welcomes-the-new-age-of-technology.html

But kigo is something different, and as extreme weather has shown, we cannot lock out nature, or Monsantorise it.

During my six month renga poet in residence project in the North of England we suddenly had snow storms and thunder storm not seen in England for decades.  I loved it, but it was even more primal than that.  I cannot share in any religious ethos that states that humans are above all other animals and above nature.  I feel we just another organism, but one that aesthetically enjoy the natural history all around us.  We can't help it:

snow flurry
a child thrusts his anorak
into it

Alan Summers
Publications credits: Simply Haiku vol. 1 no. 3 (2003)


A Summer haiku, but showing that even locked into a car, in a gridlock situation, we instinctively reach out to nature:

traffic jam
a driver fingers the breeze
through the sunroof


Alan Summers
Publications credits: Snapshots 2 (1998); tinywords.com (2002); The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002); Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 , Part 2  (Akita International Haiku Network 2010)


The following winter after my residency I was often out and about in the snow weather with summer clothes, a T-shirt, and again enjoyed the immensity of these snow storms we had.

snowing
through the blizzard
particles of me

Alan Summers
Publications credits:  The Haiku Calendar 2012 (Snapshot Press); [new haiku anthology by mainstream poetry publisher due out late 2012]

Award credits:
Winner, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2011 (Snapshot Press)

This is what Robert Wilson said of kigo as an activity in its own right.  Bold and italics are done by me, and not part of the original text.

Study of Japanese Aesthetics: Part III
Simpy Haiku
Summer 2011

To Kigo or Not to Kigo:
Hanging From a Marmot's Mouth
by Robert D. Wilson


the harvest moon ---
I stroll round the pond
till the night is through

Meigetsu | ya | ike | wo | megurite | yomosugara

Matsuo Basho
Translated by Makoto Ueda
Basho and His Interpreters

The "harvest moon" is a kigo that sets the stage for lines two and three, turning the haiku into an activity-biased poem concerned with an ever-changing process versus an object-biased poem that fails to show a correlation of any depth between the creative power of nature (zoka) and the coarseness of a "gingham printed quilt." Basho's haiku is of depth, complexity, that hints and suggests, without putting author-subjective words on the reader's tongue when the reader interprets the poet's verse.

"The harvest moon" is an autumn kigo (seasonal word) in Japan and North America. My brother in-law works for Gallo Wine, in California. Harvest season is when Gallo's employees work the hardest. A harvest can make or break a company such as Gallo. Their scientists study nature, soils, pest infestation, plant diseases, and other variables that can affect a harvest. These scientists take nature seriously and know too well that nature can be unpredictable. A haiku poet to write a memorable haiku must take and observe nature seriously. One cannot include nature in their poem credibly if they lack a competent understanding of its nature. A kigo is not a thing, it's a process that never stops processing. It's an object (koto) and not subjective (mono); the embodiment of a verb, always moving, changing, and totally unpredictable. Matsuo Basho lived amongst the trees, was exposed to the extremes indigenous to each season, saw nature's inconsistencies, and viewed nature as an equal.

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

Don Baird

#58
I think, Gabi, that when a poet taps into the object's essence within the creation/transformation perspective, the poem is much more powerful than a statement of nouns or objects.  I suppose, all things are objects but, to me, it is how the poet handles the object(s) that counts the most.  Does the poet simply point out an object(s) or ponder a bit deeper as to the energy of that object and its relationship to the rest of ALL.  Does the poet see and reveal the interactivity of things?

Everything is caught up in the acts of construction and destruction.  It is the comings and goings of things.  In that, they also react (interact) - with/to themselves as well as to all things around.  I think haiku that brings a bit of that flavor out are stronger, more in tune with the natural (nature in a way) than those that focus on the "is of being an object".  I suggest that Basho was onto something as he began to stress the "activity of the natural" instead of the "presence (object) of the natural".

The two poems were thrown together rather quickly for reference as to what I was chatting about.  Of course, with a bit of extra time, I could find many poems as witnesses supporting my thoughts/intentions - especially from Basho.

Thanks.  It's always great seeing you Gabi.

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

storm drain
the vertical axis
of winter

chibi575

Kigo and its use is analogous (to me) like making fire.  There are many ways to make fire and over the years the refinement of technique has given us the match.  Saijiki to me is analogous to the match box.  So now, if one wants to ignite their words...

(I can imagine going back in time to meet Bashou, perhaps, walk a spell with him on his journey to the interior, enjoying the perplexing look he would give to you if you mentioned, "haiku", "kigo", and "saijiki".)

ciao...  8)
知美

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