This week troutswirl has experienced some great activity. The posting of Viral 1.3 garnered an interesting debate which, it seems, my own excessiveness may have stifled the flow of; for that I apologize. One particular item on the news posting (Politiku) brought about an interesting discussion on the 5-7-5 exoskeleton used by the mainstream, as well as a brief history lesson of English-language haiku. Also, the first installment of Peter Yovu’s new section on the blog, Sails, has started off with a bang, and even a bearish tangent (see the “1st Sailing” post). Instead of moving the Virals section of troutswirl along with Viral 3.3, I’ve decided to take a step back and post Viral 1.4 instead (below) which features Peter Yovu’s selection of, and commentary on, a favorite haiku of his choosing. With Peter’s selection, Viral 1 comes to a close, as you’ll see. Enjoy, and please keep the comments coming, positive or negative (but hopefully helpful and analytical, and critical in ways that allow us to see how and why haiku work, or not). It would be nice to hear more voices and see more bulbs light up along the string. To echo a recent comment left by Claire Richardot: “What good is a sky chart if the stars [both big and small] are wearing hoods?”
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………Virals is a section in which one person chooses a haiku by another person and comments on that haiku. Then the author of that haiku is invited to select a haiku by someone else and comment on that poem, and so on. For an introduction to this section, see Virals.
Silence Rains by Peter Yovu
comes the rains’
I do not know what Santōka 山頭火 wrote. I do not know his words, nor do I know if Cid Corman, whose “version” this is, immersed himself in the original or in a translation. Nonetheless, based on what happens to me when I read the poem, I am convinced that Corman entered the same field where Santoka once stood, (though ages and possibly continents apart), and came out changed, that is, able to give us this particular poem, this version, this turning of one thing into another in a way that helps me consider that one thing is another, being and becoming.
And so I don’t know whose poem I am honoring here, whose poem this is, or if it is anyone’s at all. Perhaps I honor the genius of language itself, when it does not, as in this poem it does not objectify the world, does not use words to try to fix or rescue but rather bends as water bends to the slightest wind, revealing it. The question, the not knowing, is a mountain I can walk around on for a while: from vista to vista the answer changes, and finally it doesn’t matter, the whole thing is turning to rain anyway, silence reigns, I become it, I fall to my knees.
“the mountains'” was first published in One Man’s Moon by Cid Corman (Gnomon Press, October 1984)
Taneda Santōka (1882-1940) can not select the next poem, and so Viral 1 comes to an end.