Kigo is challenging for me being a north american poet. i like haiku, i like the tradition of the form, i also like western english verse. sometimes i feel that haiku poets need to expand the list of kigo to international language and temperate zones of the globe. i think if i write english language poems of l s l form with a seasonal word recognizable by contemporary readers it is modern haiku.
here is an essay of my personal relationship with haiku and poetry.
i have revised my poetry book and changed the name of it, but only the original version is on line at this time.
Haiku thoughts, gripes, and loves…
All about mystery.
Part of my artistic sensibilities is to break conventions. I don’t really have a position on the rules of form and I don’t really want to convince anybody I am right. Yet I do desire recognition for being a serious artist outside these arguments about form. I love haiku. I do not understand the rules. I know the rules and most of them are broken almost always. In my mind poetry begins in a personal place. Poetry is almost all about personality. So in my personal relationship with poetry, haiku and, “little lamb who made thee” and Huckleberry Finn all entered my young imagination the same time in life. Without concern for anything beyond the plain joy in sound, rhyme, and adventure of imagination I forged an adolescent emotional relationship with the thought of haiku. As well as western forms, and church hymns and psalms. I had no prejudice against choosing freely from these influences and mixing them in whimsy. In university I knew more and understood the way art and reason are categorized into disciplines. Also my contemporary influences were rebellious to institutional regulation on thought or art, sex and politics. I subscribed to my peers value to remake poetry as well as society.
When I heard the argument that the Japanese use of sound is markedly different from English syllable parts, so English haiku should be of only 11 or so English syllables too reflect the truer brevity of the form, my feeling was why try to force haiku into other languages. The Japanese form never cared for rhyme or meter. It was never meant to employ complex rhymes, narratives, or poetic images. The things I chose to use from haiku were brevity, the visual beauty, line length and meter. I just wanted to marry the values I loved in the English language with the visual and musical qualities I felt haiku demonstrated. I chose to use the 5/7/5 form so that I could compose work in a consistent style over a number of years.
My method was western, I am from Ohio, I wanted my writing to be truer to western literature than worry about Japanese classical form. The reward in working my ramblings into a 3 line form, composed of a 5/7/5 syllable count was that I learned to reduce the most important event into its most basic parts consistently. The practice trained my poetic mind over the years. Finally after 30+ years of practice I perceive the most basic elements first, most clearly from my experience. My poetic mind converts experience into language. I love to paint pictures with language.
After self publishing my work I began to share it with other poets in Toronto at readings and art festivals and on the internet. Mirco poetry and rap and such contemporary short forms have general acceptance with North American poets. Still short form poetry is the least popular. I found my poetry very difficult to present. People who don’t know what haiku is say, “very nice, is that haiku?” and haiku poets say, “you missed the point of haiku.” I changed the name of the second edition of my book to “passionate creation, illuminated poems by onecloud”.
Now I have spent the last two years listening to haiku poets and learning on line by joining many of the groups and submit some work for publication in haiku journals. And I find the community of haiku poets online interesting, talented and courteous. I enjoy the playfulness on many of the groups also. I just feel a rose smells as sweet by any other name. http://www.docstoc.com/profile/martysmith1