In his Nobel lecture, Ceslaw Milosz quotes Simone Weil: “Distance is the soul of beauty.” What does she mean; how deeply have her words influenced this great poet? Can you feel that somewhere over the edge of knowing — something hovering, emanating at the horizon-line of knowing? Is it a taste, an image? Distance so distant becomes intimate and this is a great human mystery.
just please how to forgive spring rain
dense fog . . .
I dream walk
my sense of I
I put on
[Michelle Tennison, Haiku 2014;
Kala Ramesh Living Haiku Anthology 2009;
David Lanoue Haiku 2014]
In Tennison, the plea in “just please how to forgive,” a beseeching of internal, reflective speech — is a commentary on an unknown situation, distant from the reader. The distance of poetry, yet with intimacy and immediacy of feeling, as emotions are engaged. The double‑dream-within-a-dreamscape in Ramesh focuses on the mystery of interiority, the unknown quality of self. The choice of environment as “dense fog” creates an exacting, mirror‑like parallelism between internal and external worlds. Lanoue’s “spring dawn” posits a non‑/trans gender identity as an origin‑point of conscious awareness, prior to habitual determinations.
Please freely comment on these below (as well as those above) using the Reply Box at the bottom of the page:
Her eyes full of waves not breaking the black geometry of crows
the weight of the latchkey
around my neck
to seed darkness where a star might go
[all from Moongarlic E-zine 0 May 2013]
Creative Blooms will appear every other Tuesday. Three poems will be provided with commentary, and an additional three offered for creative interaction by our readership. With every third installment, Gilbert will introduce a largely unknown Japanese poet, translated into English with annotations, for the first time. We look forward to a lively discussion of these fascinating and challenging poems.
Richard Gilbert, professor of English Literature at Kumamoto University in Japan, is the author of Poetry as Consciousness: Haiku Forests, Space of Mind, and an Ethics of Freedom (illustrated by Sabine Miller, Kebunsha Co. Ltd., 2018, ISBN 978-4-86330-189-4), The Disjunctive Dragonfly (Red Moon Press, 2008, rev. 2013), and Poems of Consciousness (Red Moon Press, 2008), among others. He is also director of the Kon Nichi Translation Group, whose most recent book is the tour de force Haiku as Life: A Tohta Kaneko Omnnibus (Red Moon Press, 2019). In January 2020, he announced the creation of Heliosparrow Poetry Journal, an evolution of the Haiku Sanctuary forum.