If haiku were just a calming, traditional Eastern art for one to sit with for 10 minutes, how would it be different than a cup of tea?
At the Haiku North America convention that was held in Seattle this summer, three poets stood out in a way that I did not expect: Richard Gilbert, Eve Luckring and Jim Kacian (HF Founder). They seemed, somehow, against the grain, not like they were trying to stand out. But their art and how they approached it hit me instantly, reminded me of something that should have been obvious.
Their efforts offered me something I didn’t even know I wanted, which was ironic.
I spent the last 25 years going against the grain, being rebellious and experimental with my poetry and yet when I came to haiku, I came reverently, head down. In doing that, I was making the same mistake those crazy beats made when they came to haiku all those years ago.
If haiku were just a calming, traditional Eastern art for one to sit with for 10 minutes, how would it be different than a cup of tea? Going back to the revolution that Gilbert suggests was an alternate evolution in his book, Poems of Consciousness, starting with the same foundation, Basho:
“…Basho in particular remains misinterpreted as a poet oriented toward naive literalism regarding nature and objective-realist description…”
Have you considered whether or not the pond in Basho’s famous old pond ku exists at all in the poem? Have you considered — as Gilbert does in his book — “the implications of unseen frogs”?