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Messages - Don Baird

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In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 16, 2010, 04:19:45 PM »
  "the idea of a new genre?  Thousands of posts?  Actually, I've rarely and only just recently realized this a possible direction.  So, it may be some one else!  So far, as I can testify only a few know this proposal and I feel it a small sample.  It is difficult to convince readers of my good intentions." chibi..........

Dennis, you and I talked about this with other folks on HH quite a bit.  This was a huge subject there.  Later you and I talked on skype.  You suggested I enter the radio contest.  I appreciate that to this day!  Our discussions in those days were interesting, kind of fiery.  I haven't posted there for two years.  So, this is something you and I've been passionate about and have brought up in other venues.  My comment "1000 times" is a figure of speech.  We've chatted over the phone so you know a bit how I speak.  Unfortunately, voice and presence do not carry very well in these forums.  :(  I speak in jest very often.
But, seriously, do you have a following in this theory?  I think that's a very fair question.  I'm honestly interested.  Please let me know. 

It might be that you should set up a website and try to reach out to education institutions etc. and make some differences, if it's possible, in the understanding of haiku in English.  I'm not certain you can get the name changed, but I am certain, with your expertise and education, that you can bring the USAs education system up to speed.  It would take some time, but, it probably can be done.  That would be a great venue for you.

In this case, you are suggesting to folks who write haiku to change the name of what they've done for years.  I think it is already too late, in general, to propose that.  However, if you can get into the educational system, you can make a difference before the poet has become with such a firm opinion of the name etc.  I'm just thinking out loud here, is all.

I respect your position regarding this board.  So, I will not offer further challenges to your cause of changing the name.  Reading your original thesis and the title of this board, I honestly thought you wanted the idea meaningfully argued.  My misunderstanding.

Take care always,


ps... please edit the post you quoted me in.  Your words are tagged onto the end after my signature Don.  The post is respectful ... I apologize if it comes off otherwise.  I exaggerate to make a point sometimes.  I'd be more than happy to edit it if you like.  It's your call.

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 16, 2010, 11:18:51 AM »
Hey Dennis,

No, not at all.  The first part of my inquiry was in jest (we have been in this one, together, before :) ).  The "minimally" is simply what it means.  Very sorry for the confusion. It sounds like you might be fatiguing on this and becoming sensitive.  I didn't mean to put that much pressure on you.  I love your passion, Chibi, and desire to honestly preserve the dignity of the haiku art form.  So, don't take me wrongly.  And, I'll be more careful as to how I word my posts.  Thanks.

On a side note, I do notice though, you didn't address my questions at all.  If you have a moment, would you please inform me as to your success with this concept over the last 5 - 10 years.  I'm sincerely interested in knowing the inquiries of my prior post.

take care,

ps... yes, I'm familiar with the well known poets of the past who have actually stated your side of the discussion themselves.  This thought (your position) has been outlined very clearly by some of the folks you've mentioned.  Gabi is a friend of mine (internet, I've never met her) and support and love her work.  If you notice, I almost always write with kigo, kireji, ma ...... and the rest).  The operative words here are "almost always"...  8)  Gabi's comment about me is:  "... you are one of the few who understands the Japanese ways ..." (Dr. Greve).  She is most probably aligned with you on this subject, by the way.

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 15, 2010, 11:17:56 PM »
LOL... Dennis...

Out of curiosity, what headway have you made with anyone at any forum with this concept of yours.  I've seen this argument a thousand times (usually you bringing it up, :) )  in different forums.  Do you have a following with the concept?  Is there a website folks can go to in order to hear your expertise and see your complete argument?   And, is there a following for you regarding the change of name for hokku?  Are you doing well with that side of your argument also.

I appreciate your indepth opinions.  They're interesting, minimally. 

all my best


In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 15, 2010, 05:19:05 PM »
Cultural exchange has been the norm.  From baseball to haiku, countries around the globe have been exchanging aspects of their being.  Japan has enjoyed baseball for over a hundred years.  "Nippon Professional Baseball started in 1920. It is called Puro Yakyū (プロ野球), which simply is a translation of professional baseball." wikipedia (and other sources).  Earlier forms (non-pro) of baseball in Japan began in the late 1800s.  They call it baseball today.

The sonnet was developed in Italy around the 1200s, or so.  Sonnets appeared in England during the 1500s (give or take).  But, what we do know is:

"Traditionally, English poets employ iambic pentameter when writing sonnets, but not all English sonnets have the same metrical structure: the first sonnet in Sir Philip Sidney's sequence Astrophel and Stella, for example, has 12 syllables: it is iambic hexameters, albeit with a turned first foot in several lines. In the Romance languages, the hendecasyllable and Alexandrine are the most widely used metres." wikipedia

Tennis, archery, music (sonata, concerto) have been shared by countries and cultures for centuries.  I don't ever remember an argument or discussion regarding, one country or another, must change the name because what they are doing isn't authentic or "a sonata isn't a sonata if written by an Englishman".  We must be careful here. 

I'm happy for Japan having baseball and call it what they want – hopefully "baseball".  I'm happy that Mozart wrote sonatas;  and followed by, Beethoven, Brahms, Poulenc, Copeland, Leonard Bernstein and a very popular Japanese composer Michio Mamiya (who writes "sonatas") and thousands of other composers from nearly every country on the planet.

Dennis, I congratulate you on your consistency of message regarding this topic. But I beg to disagree wholeheartly with its content.  Your opinion is that we do not write haiku.  Mine is that we do.  I'm more than comfortable with that.

I encourage everyone to keep on writing.  Unite together and make haiku strong without regard to language or cultural differences.  Bring haiku to the limelight and let it soar with the concertos, sonatas. sonnets, kyries and on and on.  Haiku is the most amazing gem and lets continue to cherish it and care for it in a way that we meet the standards well known in the Japanese culture.  We, all of the we, without regard to nationality are now the co-caretakers of this wonderul art form. 

This thread enthuses me to write more – to write more haiku, tanka, haibun, and haiga. And, to write it well!   

all the best to everyone,


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: punctuation marks
« on: December 14, 2010, 11:39:36 AM »
What a great thread!  Thanks for bringing the subject up.  It is always a good one to plow through once in awhile.  I'm one to think that less is more regarding punctuation in haiku.  And yet, I find myself using it more than I thought I would.  :)  What I do these days is attempt to keep the haiku in tact without punctuation but, after several tries, I begin to work punctuation into the ku.

I like ambiguity in haiku and puncuation has a tendency to reduce that effect.  imho  So, we have to be careful that punctuation isn't taking away a bit of the resonance of the ku.

Thanks again for the great thread, everyone!

all my best,


In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 13, 2010, 10:33:21 PM »

Thanks for the research, Cat.  That's very interesting. Well, I'm off to write some haiku and enjoy the wonderful evening God has given.  

frosty breath
I can almost hear
the stillness

Many blessings to everyone and goodnight!


In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 13, 2010, 07:02:55 PM »
:)  I believe it is a fact that we write haiku.  Changing the name to something else will not change that fact.  I don't think language limits our ability to write haiku, sonnets or any other genre.  They might be different but so are people.  Whether a person comes from Canada, Japan, China, USA, Africa etc and regardless of their language, they are indeed called people.  We would never change that even though they are unique in their own way.  Haiku is much like that:  it is unique based on country, language and culture but it is still haiku.

That will never change.  Haiku is indeed haiku in any language.  It might work slightly different and it might reflect one's culture, language etc. a bit, but it is factually haiku.  Regardless, if you are the lessor vote or greater, you're on the opposite side of truth when it comes to haiku, Chibi. 

As a side note, I remember having my haiku win a contest sponsored by your Sensei.  He sent me a book and a private message congratulating me for my fine "haiku".  *He read it on the radio in Japan as well. 

The haiku is:

oh snail ...
you were there

You're still on this subject and it's already been decided.  It's haiku I write:  it's haiku we all write -- including you.  I think it is a very fitting name -- the discussion, today, is a pointless point:) 

all my best


*Reference info here:  Shokan Tadashi Kondo Haiku Award - 2009
( a Japanese radio show contest: )

oh snail ...
you were there

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Concerning English Short Poetry
« on: December 13, 2010, 01:15:10 PM »
I've read so many boards of this same discussion, it's become almost hard to believe.  What is the purpose?  Is it to persuade?  Haiku, worldwide, is growing ... and primarily in English.  And, even in Japan, English haiku is well received -- actually, requested:

Jim Kacian, a fine haijin won this tournament as well.  The Grand Prize is awarded regardless of nationality.

The wonderful thing is, Chibi, if you really like calling these a short poem, you may.  This is your decision and I honor and support that.  For me, I write haiku in English ... and every so often, I write a really good one.  :)  I suggest everyone calls their "poem" what they want ... develop your skills in that regard as best you can. 

Perfect your skill of the Italian Sonnet (though it's primarily written in English these days):  perfect your skill in writing Japanese Haiku (though it is primarily written in English these days).  Continue to hone your skills and don't worry about it's name.  History will sort that out and in the end, I truly believe, Chibi, that your position on this will be clearly in the minority.

Anyway, that's my two cents for what it's worth.  It's great seeing you again.  I hope life is treating you well!

all the best,


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: authorial intrusion vs ambiguity
« on: December 11, 2010, 02:13:39 AM »
A great thread ... thanks for the insights and good reading.


Hi Laura,

I'm thinking it comes from such things as junior high, high school and college.  If I'm not mistaking, when I was a kid, 5/7/5 was the only thing being taught (I'm 63 now!).  I think it's a tiny bit earth shattering to some when they find out that there is a different take on it.  Folks like to stand up for what they've been taught and believe.  It's only natural.  That's probably where the passion comes from.

For me, I never really cared.  Once I got up to speed that there "is a new count in town", I just said, "whatever" and went with it.  LOL

It's going to take more time and work to get the educational system involved enough to learn and accept newer information regarding the differing aspects of the Japanese and English languages, comparatively

Just a tip of the iceberg two cents worth of mine.   :)

all the best,


ps... of course, they may be very experienced and just write it that way because they want to... it's all good!

In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Is Haiku Poetry?
« on: December 06, 2010, 12:54:45 PM »
I think a better question is:  "Is haiku JUST poetry?".  The word itself, poetry, in some unique way, actually limits the boundaries of haiku, if any.

From an enjoyable group game, to meditation, zen practice to poetic device, haiku exists as one of the most complete poetic and evocative structures of them all.  While the argument of whether haiku is poetry is irrelevant in some way, it remains an important stimulus because over the many years to come, it is going to be grabbing more and more shelf space at the book stores:  it's going to be nudging other poetry genres a bit to the side at Universities around the globe.  It's going to indelibly define itself, not by structure but by essence through forums like this, through internet publications and so on.

To me, poetry has always been a "voice".  Whether it is a sonnet voice, haiku voice, or a freestyle (freeform) voice, it's a voice.  And when we use that voice, regardless of the limitations of format, it is poetry. 

Thanks for all your hard work, Jim, in presenting such a fine site and now, this forum.

Don Baird

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