Tuesday, November 1, 2011

haiku retrospective cclv

I've been reading a lot about Basho recently (and some about Buson, Issa, Shiki, and other Japanese poets). For the poets of Basho's era, poetry was very much a social vehicle. The more skilled poets might later pretty their pieces up for publication, but most poetry arose out of human relationships.

fishing limit the trout at the bottom of the pool

I'm coming out of a rule-bound, restrictive period in my haiku-writing. I am feeling more experimental, and more prone to break rules that get in the way of what I want to say.

This might or might not be progress. I've written some really bad haiku lately. They've scratched a certain itch, and unleashed other, better haiku.

Juxtaposition, though. I do not find juxtaposition easy. I don't think I truly understand juxtaposition. I keep finding little bits of the puzzle, but I don't have a complete picture.

I don't think juxtaposition is something that can really be understood intellectually. I think it's more like balance. I have to read and write a lot of different haiku before I have the sense of juxtaposition.

Maybe I'm not even talking about juxtaposition. Maybe I'm talking about what makes a haiku sing.

danse' sacre et profane another false note on my viola

In my trip backwards through Japanese time, I'm turning up heresies. Basho, for example, liked to stand poetic phrasing and images on their heads. That was his juxtaposition, and it suited the time in which he lived. Shiki preferred shasei, and condemned Basho's little parlor tricks. Haiku, however, contains both of them, and also Issa, who was capable of flashes of insectoid brilliance in the midst of his moralizing.

I know nothing about haiku. Better to stick to my beginner's mind and just play the way I feel it. I might learn, eventually.

dead lilies the children's hair bright in the sunshine

There's a new form, called the gilklue. Written in three lines, containing an accusation, with elements from 20th century parlor games and tv series.

back in the bottle
it was jeannie in palm beach
with her harem pants

true or false? smoke blows through the sun-dappled trees

2 February 2003

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