Author Topic: Discussion?  (Read 1727 times)

meghalls

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Discussion?
« on: October 17, 2016, 09:20:53 AM »
Hello to those few (apparently) who come to the in-depth discussions board. Reading the latest re:Virals
where Scott Mason makes some interesting comments about the nature of haiku, I wonder what other people think. Truly though, I am reluctant to start another thread. As interesting as I find Alan Summers' thoughts, and as much as I admire his generosity here and that of a couple of other people, I think these
discussions need more participation. All the interesting boards listed seem to be dead right now.

I don't know what's needed. Probably someone will suggest I contact Jim Kacian, but I think it would be better if someone with more, I don't know, clout or something did that. Maybe even to just open up the re:Virals to comments. At least there sometimes a variety of people participate.

Just sayin'

Jan Benson

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Re: Discussion?
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 06:52:08 PM »
Meg:
Truly, this discussion board is slow at times. Other times, not as slow.

For me, one's chance to review a poem on re:Virals is a good excersize. But it is difficult to keep the timing right to be considered for remarks to be published by Jim Kacian.

Scott Metz, by the way, has some interesting notations in some of these older Deep/Free Discussions, here and elsewhere. Though I can't point you to any one of the at this moment.

I do find navigating in THF to be awfully troublesome, in the grander view of discussion boards.

As far as active mentors who post, Alan's take on any given issue is usually the only one noted. Though in the last year, I did see Peter Yovu put someone right. ;-)

There are many scholars who's names are listed as members here on THF, but they so rarely participate. It is kinda sad.

Jan Benson
---1st Prize_The Italian Matsuo Basho Award 2016 (Int'l Foreign Language)
---A Pushcart Nominated Poet, (haiku "adobe walls").
---"The poet is accessible, the poet is for everyone." Maya Angelou

cactus

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Re: Discussion?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 03:59:11 AM »
I'll bite.  :)

Keen for some haiku discussion / debate. For the sake of reference I'll post this weeks edition of re:Virals here:

re:Virals 57
Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written in English. This week’s poem was

     last night’s rain
     cupped in the banana leaf
     a small green frog

          Ferris Gilli, The Heron’s Nest II:4 (2000)
Mojde Marvast is succinct:

Great!
A whole divides in parts.
Parts, which are as important as the whole.

And Scott Mason theorizes how this poem came to fruition:

As I see it, haiku poets are explorers first and “artists” (or, less grandly but perhaps more accurately, wordsmiths and reporters) second. In this worldview haiku are vessels for the sharing of personal discoveries rather than crucibles of original creation or purely aesthetic expression. An effective haiku will produce an emotional resonance and even the occasional sense of revelation, but the original source of any such resonance or revelation lies outside and mostly beyond the poem’s ostensible author.

Ferris Gilli’s haiku serves as a splendid example: it’s not only a clear product of discovery but also a virtual reenactment of that discovery, allowing readers to share in the poet’s firsthand experience for themselves. Just notice how the poem unfolds on first encounter. Line one reads like the sort of self-contained fragment used in so many contemporary haiku to establish time or place or both. But by the time we’ve read line two it now seems as though the first two lines form an entire phrase (“last night’s rain cupped in a banana leaf”), just waiting to be juxtaposed by a third line fragment containing something from a different context or vantage. So what we actually get in line three surprises us with the startle of discovery. Instead of “cutting away” from the scene as we might have anticipated, the poet “zooms in” to reveal something that we—as she—had not quite expected to find (“a small green frog”). And only after we’ve read the entire haiku are we conscious of the fact that its second line works as a pivot, permitting the last two lines to function as a complete phrase (“cupped in a banana leaf a small green frog”), subtly underscoring our realization that the tiny amphibian was right there in our midst all along.

Gilli’s poetic choreography here exhibits the skill and even the — dare I say it? — artistry of a master. Her poem reminds me of a favorite haiku by another master, Buson, which in Bill Higginson’s translation reads as follows:

evening wind —
water laps
the heron’s legs

Again we have the surprise and delight of some small miracle that was “there all along.” Like many if not most human discoveries, these are not ones of new existence but of new awareness. Marcel Proust put it better: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”

cactus

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Re: Discussion?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 04:40:19 AM »
Reading the latest re:Virals where Scott Mason makes some interesting comments about the nature of haiku, I wonder what other people think.
You don't say much about what you thought of what Scott wrote, so I'll just launch in ...

When I read it I couldn't help wondering if Scott was being slightly mischievous. I mean starts out by saying that he sees haiku poets as "explorers" first and "artist" or "wordsmiths" second ... but then he goes on to praise the most artistic and writerly elements of the haiku in question - from the juxtaposition - to the telescoping ("zooms in") - to the pivot. Then having started with the premise that the art of the haiku is less important that the explorations ... he concludes by saying that Ferris Gilli has: "the - dare I say? artistry of the master"!

The truth, well in my opinion anyway, is that it is not a either / or situation. To succeed every haiku needs some recognisable elements ... some reference points from the life that we all share (this is the exploration). But for the elements to touch another person - to become poetry - requires art (even if the art is just the writer exercising careful perception while "exploring" - and choosing the focus of the haiku from the things perceived).

What's your take?
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 04:47:55 AM by cactus »

cactus

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Re: Discussion?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 05:01:00 AM »
Also, what is your take on the haiku that was being discussed?

last night’s rain
cupped in the banana leaf
a small green frog

Ferris Gilli

As I was trying to say in the previous post I feel there needs to be some connection between writer and the reader for the haiku to really "fly" ... some recognisable detail. This haiku feels very far away from the reality of my personal life. I live far from the tropics and I don't have the opportunity to travel all that much. I don't think I've ever seen a banana plant except on TV. I live in a big city. It is quite possible that the only frogs I've seen have been in zoos. I like going on bush walks but I don't think I can remember ever seeing a single frog in the wild ... does this mean it is a bad haiku? No. The haiku is probably very good but it is just that although my imagination can take me to the scene of the banana plant and the little frog ... none of the elements of the haiku have a correspondence with my own personal experience and that means that the haiku does not really "fly" for me.

 

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