Author Topic: hadaka: all that comprises life  (Read 16400 times)

AlanSummers

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hadaka: all that comprises life
« on: December 11, 2011, 02:12:44 PM »
As mentioned earlier, Taoism preaches finding and maintaining the balance in our lives. Though seldom found or maintained, it makes life a continual effort to experience it. This striving allows us to find the harmony between the two extremes and experience the full range, the sweet, the bitter, the happy, the sad – all that comprises life. If we write of the same topics, we have a tool to explore the greater gamut that is our life.

The Other Side of the Coin:
Haiku and the Harsh Realities

Peter Brady
World Haiku Review, August 2001



Peter Brady gives a very good argument why we as poets have a duty and responsibility and that sometimes "the images elicit anger, outrage, pathos, tears — a wider range of emotions than joy or calm or a nod of recognition at some pleasant memory."

The full range, the sweet, the bitter, the happy, the sad – all that comprises life, yet I often find that haiku writers shy away, or hide from, aspects of life, as if we must only talk of flowers, birds, bees and honey.


Here are three examples of Peter Brady's own haiku for the article:



roadkill
the wake of passing cars
ruffles its fur

 

cut-off
to the abandoned death camp
its rails still shiny

 

mum just dead
the neighbor’s stereo
blaring


Other examples from the article:



Fleas, lice,
The horse pissing
Near my pillow

Basho [trans. R.H. Blyth]



evening—
wiping horse shit off his hand
with a mum

Issa [trans. David G. Lanoue]



the waiting
for the bombers
prolongs our night

Dragan J. Ristic



too early for sunrise
the horizon glows with the red
of burning villages

Ruzica Mokos
Croatia



"Takashi Nonin has described his own experiences in World War II"


dead quiet…
no signs of bombers -
going out for food



Two from me:


street attack -
I hold the young girl
through her convulsions


Alan Summers
1. World Haiku Review  Vol 2: Issue 3   November 2002
WHCvanguard - Hard or "Real" Haiku
Vanguard Haiku Selected by Susumu Takiguchi

2. Short Stuff  a journal of 'short form' poetry Ninth Issue Vol 2, Issue 1, January 2003




sultry evening
liquid from the take out bag
runs near the victim


Alan Summers
World Haiku Review  VOLUME 2: ISSUE 3   NOVEMBER 2002
WHCvanguard - Hard or "Real" Haiku
Vanguard Haiku Selected by Susumu Takiguchi



Croatian war haiku that have inspired me with their harsh truths:


a cloud of dust
takes away the house with it
leaving the scream behind

Davor Cevanic


a foot in the mud
and under it
an autumn oak leaf

Vesna Skocir


the doll’s eyes
blown out by a mine
replaced with sweets

Mirko Vidovic


baking in the oven
for a stray dog-
an old man’s brain

Mirko Vidovic


This doesn't mean I go seeking these hard haiku, but I do want to be able and allowed to have a choice available, and it is the job of the poet not to hide or shy away from this responsibility.


I'll look forward to examples, preferably actual experience please.

Alan

Sue

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2011, 07:54:42 AM »

one touch
again the child
pinned


threebirds

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2011, 09:07:03 AM »

one touch
again the child
pinned


off topic-

would you be interested in starting some linked verse (through private messages, or some other form as to not take away from this thread), using your above as the opening verse?

I find is, for some reason, excellent and suited to renga.

Sue

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2011, 05:48:15 PM »
Can do. Message me. What did you have in mind?

AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 07:06:31 AM »
I find that Jack Galmitiz prompts a useful reply from paul m. aka Paul Miller which I have to concur with, as we are observers, and therefore a participant via poetry.

From Jack Galmitz's fascinating interview with paul m.
http://www.roadrunnerjournal.net/pages113/Discard_the_Dividing_Line.pdf

JG:
While it’s not unprecedented in haiku, your inclusion of the darker side of nature-the struggle to survive, mortality-gives rise to the virtue of compassion in your work. Here are a few examples:


returning geese
her ashes still
in the plain tin


spring morning
flies return
to a crab carcass


pm:
I don’t know that you can honestly interact with the world and not gain more compassion—either through the practice of poetry, the observation of animals, or simply shopping in a store.

I mentioned that the universe was a violent place on its own. I do see some poetry, haiku included, that seems to want to veer from that seeing, to only present the beautiful and uplifting, which I find false and a bit cowardly. The world is a complicated and messy place. If we are going to value honesty in poetry we need to represent all that we see.


Any thoughts from anyone?

Alan

AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 07:33:31 AM »

大男おっちんじまって蚊もはらえねえ

The huge man, dead as a doornail – can’t brush off the mosquitoes now

Haiku by Ginema


n.b. Ginema has been published in the haiku magazine Mononofukai since 1996.  Ginema comes from a family where bloody things like murder and suicide have been unceasing, and this produced an environment ripe for “underground haiku”.

-Haiku by Ginema translated by Eric Selland
Roadrunner 11.3
-December 2011-
http://www.roadrunnerjournal.net/

AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 08:26:27 AM »
Christmas Eve
the girl still cuddles
a disabled doll

Urszula Wielanowska (Kielce, Poland)
(Mainichi Japan) December 24, 2011

Sue

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 10:09:07 AM »
This is interesting Alan. I think that there is a tendency to sentimentalize haiku, perhaps it is easier to be blunt in senryu. I find the 'cancer' verses (which are frequent winners in Kukai) particularly mawkish. There is nothing noble about cancer, it is more often than not smelly, ugly, protracted, and painful. Tragic it may be but to present it, or the relative at the bedside, as *nobly enduring* is usually very far from the truth. If we are to show the dark side of what-it-is-to-be-human may I make a plea for emotional honesty.

crows nest
taking up a bed
in St Jude's ward

longest night
hoping this breath
will be the last

not a breath
in the space between
death rattles

lavender oil added to the dressing tray

waves on shingle
her husband asks
how much longer


Sue


AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 11:39:13 AM »
Hi Sue,

I don't know if you've read Jack's interview with Paul Miller but he is definitely one for emotional honesty.

Also another poet, Helen Buckingham, who has severe health issues, brings in this honesty, but with humour, and is never mawkish.  It's possible she still has a few books to sell, but I do know that some people snap copies up for their friends and relatives.

Water on the Moon:
http://area17.blogspot.com/2010/06/water-on-moon-haiku-collection-by-helen.html

Taken from some of Colin Stewart Jone's review on NFTG (link given on Area 17):

Quote
The major theme of Buckingham's year recorded in water on the moon is her illness. Pain is the catalyst for many of her poems which are also simply noted matter-of-fact which is in keeping with Buckingham's wry deadpan approach in her humour. As already quoted Alan Summers notes this in his introduction. Perhaps this quote expresses the sentiment even better:

    'Humor is the instinct for taking pain playfully'Max Eastman

The illness remains unspecified and I have a deeper respect for the poet because of this. However, one can speculate as to the nature of the illness. Daffodils feature prominently in the Spring section just before the visits to the hospital:

    early spring
    the butcher
    wears a daffodil

A wry comment on the carnivorous wearing a flower. However, the reader asks why is the butcher wearing a daffodil and why has the poet noticed it? The daffodil is symbolic of Wales and is used to celebrate St. David's Day. The daffodil is, however, also used as a symbol of cancer awareness.

Buckingham still manages to find a juxtaposition in what to most would be a distressing situation:

    full moon...
    the last
    of the codeine

And though a challenge the poet seems up for the fight to regain her health:

    tracing the contours
    of my brain scan...
    recalling past mountains

and again the wry humour:

    stroke clinic the doctor's spirit level smile

This could have been written over three lines but the poet playfully highlights the level smile by placing the poem on one line.

    results morning:
    the mulberry tree
    a deeper green

Merton College, Oxford, famously has a mulberry tree in its grounds and it is traditional for graduates to gather around and throw their mortar boards into the air in celebration. This haiku suggests that all exams were passed.

My wish is that Buckingham has great success with this book and that all results pertaining to her illness are favourable.

There are a lot of quality poetry collections, not just poems, about illness, that retain humour, despite an often desperate situation.  As poets, should we shy away?

Alan


This is interesting Alan. I think that there is a tendency to sentimentalize haiku, perhaps it is easier to be blunt in senryu. I find the 'cancer' verses (which are frequent winners in Kukai) particularly mawkish. There is nothing noble about cancer, it is more often than not smelly, ugly, protracted, and painful. Tragic it may be but to present it, or the relative at the bedside, as *nobly enduring* is usually very far from the truth. If we are to show the dark side of what-it-is-to-be-human may I make a plea for emotional honesty.

snip


Sue

AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2011, 11:41:05 AM »
I agree, we should make a plea for emotional honesty, whatever the subject matter.

We need to make sure we have moved on from Victorianesque attempts at poety, and keep poetry a valid mechanism for humanity, especially with the march of ebooks.

Alan


This is interesting Alan. I think that there is a tendency to sentimentalize haiku, perhaps it is easier to be blunt in senryu. I find the 'cancer' verses (which are frequent winners in Kukai) particularly mawkish. There is nothing noble about cancer, it is more often than not smelly, ugly, protracted, and painful. Tragic it may be but to present it, or the relative at the bedside, as *nobly enduring* is usually very far from the truth. If we are to show the dark side of what-it-is-to-be-human may I make a plea for emotional honesty.

crows nest
taking up a bed
in St Jude's ward

longest night
hoping this breath
will be the last

not a breath
in the space between
death rattles

lavender oil added to the dressing tray

waves on shingle
her husband asks
how much longer


Sue

Sue

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2011, 12:32:41 PM »
Hi Sue,

There are a lot of quality poetry collections, not just poems, about illness, that retain humour, despite an often desperate situation.  As poets, should we shy away?

Alan


Absolutely not Alan. The ability to see the funny side of even the most desperate situations, to make humour out of tragedy with a carefully timed witty remark, is a beloved British tradition. Some of the best deaths I've been to were accompanied by laughter.

laying out the fat man
not big enough for a bow


last rites
he asks to be forgiven
for not standing up


a wake
filled with malapropisms
we couldn't tell before


Sue


AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 06:49:36 AM »
Here are four haiku from Scott Metz that showcase other realities:


                                   like
                                   sho
                                   ot
                                   ing
                                   fish
                                   Gaza



only american deaths count the stars



my complete lack of patriotism full moon



                           the milky way . . .
                           we start to discuss
                           Pac-Man strategies





Sue

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 11:34:36 AM »
Here are four haiku from Scott Metz that showcase other realities:


                                   like
                                   sho
                                   ot
                                   ing
                                   fish
                                   Gaza



only american deaths count the stars



my complete lack of patriotism full moon



                           the milky way . . .
                           we start to discuss
                           Pac-Man strategies


What an excellent collection of political haiku those are Alan. I particularly liked the expansiveness of the pac-man haiku. It reflects on American popular culture as a sub-textual messages for interpersonal relationships and social approaches to 'other' (In this case - consume it /or outwit it /or kill it). It does it from a perspective which situates such small world concerns against a cosmic scale and so exposes their essential insignificance. The whole succeeds in carrying a lighthearted and playful awareness in an image of two people in an emotionally intimate relationship laying together on the grass at night, playing with the stars. Beautifully done.

I was also taken with "my complete lack of patriotism full moon" which has a similar effect in that it contrasts nationalist borders with the view from the moon, which recognises none. We are catapulted into space to view the earth as 'other'; which takes us beyond our nationalistic adherences into a cosmic consciousness point of view.

I have rarely seen these contrasts of scale done so well. Thank you for showing them. 


Sue

AlanSummers

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2011, 07:07:29 AM »
waga oya no
shinuru toki ni mo
he o kokite

Even at the time
When my father lay dying
I still kept farting


Yamazaki Sōkan (山崎宗鑑) (1465–1553)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamazaki_S%C5%8Dkan

Issa, in Donald Keene, World Within Walls (Grove Press, 1976) (p14)


…the poetic conceptions such as the verse [above] should not be condemned at all. It was precisely because Sokan as a great haikai master understood the gugen-like nature of haikai that he made every verse in his Inu Tsukuba shu a gugen.

P32 Chapter 1

Bashō and the Dao: the Zhuangzi and the transformation of Haikai:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Basho-Dao-Zhuangzi-Transformation-Haikai/dp/0824828453

EDIT REASON: correct typo re master
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 08:38:43 AM by Alan Summers »

Sue

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Re: hadaka: all that comprises life
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 07:24:48 PM »
I'm sure that's a very profound statement, but...  what on earth did he say?

 

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