Welcome to A Sense of Place
In his essay ‘So:ba’, given at the International Haiku Conference (SUNY Plattsburgh, NY, 2008) and published serially in Frogpond, Jim Kacian discusses the concept of ba:
“If you look up ba in any Japanese-English Dictionary you’ll find it means “place” or “site” or “occasion”. And these are all true in the most general sense—ba is a pointer to a kind of awareness that something of importance is happening in time and space.”
And, just after the 2018 Haiku Canada Weekend, in a workshop called ‘From Fuji to Orford: The Role of Place and Resonance in Haiku’, Angela Leuck discussed the importance of naming specific geographical locations in poetry.
So here we are…
In the following weeks we will get back to haiku basics and explore specific locations with an emphasis on the senses, and with the intention of improving our own haiku practice. Ideally, participants will select an actual location that they can visit, or a location from memory that they have visited in the past. Failing that, we always have our imaginations – and you’re invited to join in the fun! Submit an original unpublished poem (or poems) via our Contact Form by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, including your name as you would like it to appear, and place of residence. I will select from these for the column, and add commentary.
next week’s theme: THE SHORE – sight
We start the project with the sense of sight at the shore – this can be ocean or lake or river or pond – any body of water – but preferably a place where you can actually go and look around…
I look forward to reading your submissions. Let’s begin!
Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada and an Associate Member of the League of Canadian Poets. She recently co-edited an anthology of crime-themed haiku called Body of Evidence: a collection of killer ’ku.