GeishaGold.com

Geisha Culture and Arts

Haiku Discussions

2/26/08          3/1/08

3/4/08           3/11/08

3/18/08          3/25/08

4/1/08

2/26/08 Haiku Discussion

February 26 2008 HAIKU Lesson

"Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)."

"DOUBLE EDGED"
"Into the darkness which a lightning-streak has slashed"
"recedes the wild night-heron's shriek."

"ON IZUMO CLIFF"
"Arching above the wild and gloomy sea,"
"Far out to Sado Isle"
"---the Galaxy!"

"AT MYOSHO TEMPLE"
"A garden from the past:"
"as though of old"
"It wore the leaves' brocade"
"of bronze and gold."

 /0"Yosa Buson (1716-1784), one of the most favorite poets of ours......

/0 "SACRILEGE"

/0 "Before this perfect white inviolate"

/0 "Chrysanthemum---"

/0"the scissors hesitate!"

/0 ******

/me  continues with the next Haiku (traditional poem)
/me sighs at the lovely haiku

/0  "AUTUMN'S SENTINEL"

/0 "Between the gates,"

/0"Where slanting sunset shone,"

/0 "The mountain's shadow stretched---"

/0 "a stag thereon!"

/0  *****

/me smiles softly, takes a breath,........... and begins her favorite haiku........

/0 "SINCE IT MUST BE SO"

/0"You must remain."

/0 "I must depart."

/0"Two autumns falling"

/0 "in the heart."

/me  glances to her  sweet friend and sister

******

 "Kobayashi Issa (1762-1826)"
"CONSIDERATE"
"I must turn over, crickets"
"so beware"
"of local earthquakes"
"in the bed we share!"

"TREASURE"
"The moon---"
"how big and round"
"and red and bright!"
"Children, to whom does it belong---"
"tonight?"

"CLINGING"
"This world is but a single dewdrop,"
"set"
"Trembling upon a stem;"
"and yet . . . ."
"and yet . . . ."

 "Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)"

"IN A CLIFF-EDGE FIELD"
"Shot byt the scarecrow's aimless archery,"
"The harvest sparrows"
"fall into the sea."

"EVOCATIVE"
"Closing the temple's massive double gate,"
"Its hinges creak:"
"the evening hour grows late."

"SECOND CHILDHOOD"
"We played at keeping house,"
"a children's game,"
"Pretending---"
"till the autumn sunset came."


Posted on Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008, 06:50 AM (UTC -7)

BACK TO TOP

3/1/08 Haiku Discussion

March 1 - Class Haiku Masters I

"Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).","Kobayashi Issa (1762-1826)",  Yossa Busson (1716-1784)             "Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)"
(copies of poems are below)--References here from Wikipedia

Edo perdiod
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_period

The Edo period (½­‘õ•r´ú Edo-jidai?), also referred to as the Tokugawa period (Ô´¨•r´ú Tokugawa-jidai), is a division of Japanese history running from 1603 to 1868.

The period marks the governance of the Edo or Tokugawa shogunate, which was officially established in 1603 by the first Edo shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period ended with the Meiji Restoration, the restoration of imperial rule by the 15th and last shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu.  The Edo period is also known as the beginning of the early modern period of Japan.

The Tokugawa (or Edo) period brought 250 years of stability to Japan.

Basho-
was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bash¨­ was renowned for his works in the collaborative haikai no renga form; today, he is recognized as a master of brief and clear haiku.

Bash¨­ was born Matsuo Kinsaku (ËÉβ ½ð×÷?) in roughly 1644, somewhere near Ueno in Iga Province. His father may have been a low-ranking samurai, which would have promised Bash¨­ a career in the military but not much chance of a notable life.
 However, in his childhood Bash¨­ became a servant to T¨­d¨­ Yoshitada (
ÌÙÌà Á¼ÖÒ?), who shared with Bash¨­ a love for haikai, a sort of cooperative poetry composition. The sequences were opened with a verse in the 5-7-5 mora format;

In Edo, Bash¨­'s poetry was quickly recognized for its simple and natural style

"DOUBLE EDGED"
"Into the darkness which a lightning-streak has slashed"
"recedes the wild night-heron's shriek."

"ON IZUMO CLIFF"
"Arching above the wild and gloomy sea,"
"Far out to Sado Isle"
"---the Galaxy!"

"AT MYOSHO TEMPLE"
"A garden from the past:"
"as though of old"
"It wore the leaves' brocade"
"of bronze and gold."

 

/0"Yosa Buson (1716-1784), one of the most favorite poets of ours......

Yosa Buson, or Yosa no Buson (ÓëÖxʏ´å, 1716 ¨C December 25, 1784), was a Japanese poet and painter from the Edo period.

Along with Matsuo Bash¨­ and Kobayashi Issa, Buson is considered among the greatest poets of the Edo Period.

Buson was born in the village of Kema in Settsu Province (now Kema-ch¨­, Miyakojima Ward in the city Osaka). His real last name was Taniguchi.
Around the age of 20, Buson moved to Edo (now Tokyo) and learned poetry under the tutelage of the haikai master Hayano Hajin. After Hajin died, Buson moved to Shimo-Usa Province (modern day Ibaraki Prefecture). Following in the footsteps of his idol, Matsuo Bash¨­, Buson traveled through the wilds of northern Honsh¨± that had been the inspiration for Bash¨­'s famous Oku no Hosomichi (
°Â¤Î¼šµÀ The Narrow Road to the Deep North). Buson published his notes from the trip in 1744, marking the first time he published under the name Buson.
After traveling through other various lands, including Tango (the northern part of modern Kyoto Prefecture) and Sanuki (Kagawa Prefecture in Shikoku), Buson settled down in the city of Kyoto at the age of 42. It is around this time that Buson began to write under the name of Yosa. There is speculation that Buson took this name from his mother's birthplace (Yosa in the province of Tango) but this has not been confirmed.
Buson married at the age of 45 and had one daughter, Kuno. From this point on, Buson stayed in Kyoto, writing and teaching poetry at the Sumiya. In 1770, he assumed the title of Yahantei (
Ò¹°ëͤ), which had been the pen name of his teacher Hayano Hajin.
Buson died at the age of 68 and was buried at Konpukuji in Kyoto.

/0 "SACRILEGE"

/0 "Before this perfect white inviolate"

/0 "Chrysanthemum---"

/0"the scissors hesitate!"

/0 ******

/me  continues with the next Haiku (traditional poem)
/me sighs at the lovely haiku

/0  "AUTUMN'S SENTINEL"

/0 "Between the gates,"

/0"Where slanting sunset shone,"

/0 "The mountain's shadow stretched---"

/0 "a stag thereon!"

/0  *****

/me smiles softly, takes a breath,........... and begins her favorite haiku........

/0 "SINCE IT MUST BE SO"

/0"You must remain."

/0 "I must depart."

/0"Two autumns falling"

/0 "in the heart."

/me  glances to her  sweet friend and sister

******

 


"Kobayashi Issa (1762-1826)"
Kobayashi Issa (
СÁÖÒ»²è?) (June 15, 1763 - January 5, 1828) was a Japanese poet, and Buddhist priest, known for his haiku poems and his journals. He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan, along with Bash¨­, Buson and Shiki. he was born into  a peasant family of Kashiwabara, Shinano Province (present-day Shinanomachi, Nagano prefecture).
He wrote over 20,000 confessional and observational poems,
Though his works were popular, he suffered great monetary instability. Despite a multitude of personal trials, his poetry reflects a childlike simplicity, making liberal use of local dialects and conversational phrases.

"CONSIDERATE"
"I must turn over, crickets"
"so beware"
"of local earthquakes"
"in the bed we share!"

"TREASURE"
"The moon---"
"how big and round"
"and red and bright!"
"Children, to whom does it belong---"
"tonight?"

"CLINGING"
"This world is but a single dewdrop,"
"set"
"Trembling upon a stem;"
"and yet . . . ."
"and yet . . . ."

 


"Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902)"

Masaoka Shiki (ÕýŒù×ÓҎ Masaoka Shiki?, 17 September 1867 ¨C19 September 1902) was the pen-name of a Japanese author, poet, literary critic, and journalist in Meiji period Japan. His real name was Masaoka Tsunenori, but as a child he was called Noboru.
Shiki was born in Matsuyama city in Iyo province (present day Ehime prefecture) to a samurai class family of modest means. His father Tsunenao was a low-ranking official, and his mother Yae was the eldest daughter Ohara Kanzan, a teacher at the clan school. Shiki lost his father when he was five,
Shiki suffered from tuberculosis much of his life. In 1889, after coughing up blood, he adopted the pen-name of "Shiki", His illness was severely aggravated by a stint as a war correspondent with the Imperial Japanese Army during the First Sino-Japanese War. Upon return from military service in 1895 he convalesced at Natsume S¨­seki's house in Matsuyama, but he realized that he was terminally ill. He continued to write vigorously, but was largely bed-ridden by 1898. He kept a series of journals dated 1901-1902, in which he described his physical deterioration and the progress of his illness in clinical detail. These journals also contain numerous tanka and haiku, which occurred to him while he was writing. He died in Tokyo on 19 September 1902.

Shiki is today often credited with single-handedly revitalizing the poetry forms of haiku and tanka. Although his ideas and theories were regarded as revolutionary by his contemporaries, he mostly remained within the bounds of the traditionally established ¡°rules¡± and formats, unlike his more radical free verse successors. His work has an austerity, and a freshness that remains popular today. He is now regarded as one of the four great masters of haiku, along with Bash¨­, Buson and Issa.


"IN A CLIFF-EDGE FIELD"
"Shot byt the scarecrow's aimless archery,"
"The harvest sparrows"
"fall into the sea."

"EVOCATIVE"
"Closing the temple's massive double gate,"
"Its hinges creak:"
"the evening hour grows late."

"SECOND CHILDHOOD"
"We played at keeping house,"
"a children's game,"
"Pretending---"
"till the autumn sunset came."


 


Posted on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2008, 06:13 AM (UTC -7)

 BACK TO TOP

3/4/08 Haiku Discussion

March 4, 2008 Amatsu Okiya Class - The Haiku Masters II

The class was attended by Veritas, Kyomi, Inarra, Mari, Eve - Okasan Suzanne facilitating

Okasan:  Shall we begin? It is wonderful to have you all here! And to have Miyasumi (Veritas) back with us as she is recovering!  Now who was here last week?
Inarra raises her hand and Veritas 
Veritas:  We recited the poetry and performed it and Inara practiced her tea serve
Okasan: Wonderful! And what did you learn from last time Inarra?
Inarra: How delicate the performance must be to match the poems
Okasan: would you like to demonstrate some poems for us?
Inarra: Hai
Inarra recited and Kyomi played an accompaniment for her

Inarra Onmura bows humbly
Welcome my friends and sisters. I would like to read a poem for you - a haiku from Basho, a poet from the Edo period - listen...
"AUTUMN'S SENTINEL"
"Between the gates,"
"The mountain's shadow stretched---"
"a stag thereon!"
***
Here is another lovely poem from Basho
"SINCE IT MUST BE SO"
"You must remain."
"I must depart."
"Two autumns falling"
 "in the heart."
***
Okasan: that one is kind of sad isn't it
Inarra:  It is the story of being human
Okasan: thank you for sharing those Inarra-chan
Inarra: I am honored to share these with you.
Okasan: would anyone else like to share a couple of poems?
Veritas reminded the group of the assignment to read the poems and do a little research on each of the poets.

Inarra presented another haiku. "The poem is called "Leaving".  It is by a writer known to all of us. But I will tell you more after the poem
"Leaving"
A friend passed today.
He who flew high and swam low.
Leaves drift peacefully.
***
This was a very meaningful haiku and we recalled the Obon festival and Bon Odori Dances and how special that time was for many - especially Mari. None of us could think who the author of Inarra's haiku could be and then she confessed!

Inarra: I wrote it!

And because Okasan enjoyed it so much she asked Inarra to recite it again which she did.
Okasan: and now about the author ?
Inarra laughed quietly behind her hand and told us about herself - the author in this manner

Inarra: She is a minarai at Amatsu Okiya and loves the arts
to dance
to play
to write
to share
a wil o'wisp, now here - now there
Veritas: we are glad you are here !
Okasan: I like that you did that lesson like that! Very creative and fun
Does anyone else have anything to share?
Mariposa: I have one that seems apppropriate for ..this evening..somehow
For those that search the waters..and enjoy the sounds of the sea ....here:
Sit on golden sands
searching the waves for answers
all seems possible

****
Okasan: Very nice one too!
I have a reference book if you are interested in persuing Haiku
It is written by William J. Higginson called, "The Haiku Handbook" It is about how to write, share, and teach haiku. It has some good history about the Four Masters
and speaking of them, who remembers who the Masters are?
2 B's and I and a S
Veritas: Basho
Kyomi:  Isshi and Sarah?
Okasan smiling: Basho, Shiki, Issa, Buson, 
Veritas: BBIS
Okasan: Good! What is something about Issa that influenced his haiku? his style?
Veritas:  he always had money problems
Okasan: yes and Issa was banished from his home by his cruel step-mother as a young teen
He developed a rather pessimistic veiw of human nature and preferred the company of little creatures. So for instance one of his I like is this
"Oh!
Don't swat!
The fly rubs hands
Rubs feet!"

***
The fly prays twice as much as most humans
Eve:  hides a smile
Okasan: How about Shiki? What influenced his work? Shiki was the last of the four Masters
He was terribly ill with spinal tuberculosis
Veritas: he was sickly most of his life
Mariposa will never look at a fly the same way again
Okasan grins and Shiki wrote tanka
What is tanka? Well I kind of like tanka more than haiku because it lasts longer :)
Mariposa: 31 syllables?
Okasan: 5-7-5-7-7
Veritas: kind of a precursor to Haiku
Okasan: it is a lyric poem, kind of like a sonnet. Now also called waka or uta
here is one of his - Shiki's
Stuck in a vase
Clusters of wisteria
Blossoms hanging,
In the sick-bed
spring begins to darken
***
Veritas: ohhhhhhhh a little dark
Okasan: now a lighter Master
Basho
Something unique about Basho is that he was influenced by China - the Tang Dynasty
I like him because he sometimes pokes fun at himself - he would describe himself as "roosting" like a bird. But he also had a sense of humor
I think I have recited this one of his before
Old pond......
a frog leaps in
water's sound
I like how you can move the verses to make it alive
Veritas: some of his haiku have nature sounds...
Mariposa: Nothing in the cry of cicadas suggests they are about to die

Mariposa Upshaw: How wild the sea is, // and over Sado Island, // the River of Heaven
Okasan: oh that is lovely to picture!
and now to finish......
A Lyric of Sluggish River (Veritas and Inarra danced while Kyomi played ehru)
by Buson
Buson worked formal Chinese verses in with his own Japanese free verses in the Lyric
Buson takes on the person of a woman in a romantic setting writing to her lover. She wishes to join him in the city.
Spring waters......float plum blossoms
south flowing.....Vine meets Sluggish
brocade hawser.....do not loosen it
rapid stream
the boat
like lightning
Vine Water.... meets Sluggish Water
flowing together
like one body
in the boat
wishing to sleep with you
and be forever....people of Naniwa
You are like a plum tree on the water
the blossoms on the water .... floating
leaving swift
I
I am like a willow on the riverbank
the shadow in the water
sinking
following impossible
 ***the end***
Mariposa: that was beautiful Okasan
Okasan: thank you for playing and for participating in class today



Here is your assignment

You have a week to work on it. I want you to look at some of the next haiku artists that came after the Masters. I'll give you their names. Pick one and be prepared to say an influencing factor to that person's work - something we can remember him by:
Kawahigashi Hekigoto
Takahama Kyoshi
Ogiwara Seisensui
Taneda Santoka
Ozaki Hosai
Nakatsuka Ippekiro


Posted on Tuesday, Mar 4, 2008, 07:57 PM (UTC -7)

BACK TO TOP

3/11/08 Haiku Discussion

Recap Homework from Tuesday's class
You have a week to work on it. I want you to look at some of the next haiku artists that came after the Masters. I'll give you their names. Pick one and be prepared to say an influencing factor to that person's work - something we can remember him by:
Kawahigashi Hekigoto
Takahama Kyoshi
Ogiwara Seisensui
Taneda Santoka
Ozaki Hosai
Nakatsuka Ippekiro

I thought we could discuss three of these tonight. Has anyone started on the assignment?

KAWAHIGASHI HEKIGOTO (1873 - 1937) was a disciple of Shiki. His style shows off his freshness in taste as he continued to renovate haiku.

"Far fireworks
sounding, otherwise
not a thing."
* * *
His fireworks here are not seen but only heard
The next poem is one of alluring entrapment. We move from the dragonfly catching to  the pole that is used to perform the act. The pole has been left free but seems entrapped by the waves where it has been abandoned
 
"The dragonfly catching
pole, to the calling of the waves
abandoned and left."

He wanted less constraint in Haiku and started a new Haiku movement. He disregarded the 17 sound pattern and created more "bumpy" Haiku - like this one...

"Recently wife died
Grocer's
Stacking greens
Stacking onions
Husband and daughter."

TAKAHAMA KYOSHI (1874-1959) was the editor of Hototogisu, the magazine founded by Shiki. He filled the pages with new fiction of modernist writers. He also was one of Shiki star pupils. He became more upset with the liberties taken by his peer, Hekigoto. He set about to portray REAL haiku as that which used seventeen sounds and seasonal reference. He attracted others who were also displeased with the New Haiku Movement. He passed Hototogisu on to his son Toshio. I continues to be one of the leading haiku magazines.
Examples of Kyoshi's very traditional haiku

"Rain cleared--
for a while the wild rose's
fragrance"
* * *
"The first sweeping's
broom. . . begins to get
used to the soil"
* * *
OGIWARA SEISENSUI (1884-1976) was one who had helped to convince Hekigoto to drop traditional haiku form. He edited the pages of Soun (stratus clouds) . He wanted to see haiku that would illustrate more subjectivity - the feelings of the author. His magazine became the most widely read of the "Free Meter Haiku Movement" magazines. Here are 2 of his poems

"Not seeing a dream
slept the night
sparrows' voices"
* * *
"the Milky Way too
has become intense
we said and parted."
* * *

What follows is the actual excerpt form Tuesday's class

Veritas: Ippekiro Nakatsuka........was interesting in his revolt against the traditional format
In the era of Meiji (1868 ~ 1912) and Taisho (1912 ~ 1926), many writers tried to introduce the colloquial language into the traditional literary style. . . so he was the same
formal Haiku were so distant from spoken language
Ippekiro Nakatsuka revolted against this general idea and he introduced the colloquial style into haiku. He also didnt like seasonal wordsANd he was against the magazines where the "masters" had such powers
He thought poets should develop their own 'personal style"
here is one....
The image of me
Out of the mirror
Came to the chrysanthemums exposure.

Oh, my hand slips on the white hibach
Oh, my country.
These are hard for me to understand...
Okasan: they seem like double entendre - It would be fun to hear how Jude would interpret them

* * *
Okasan: KAWAHIGASHI HEKIGOTO (1873 - 1937) was a disciple of Shiki. His style shows off his freshness in taste as he continued to renovate haiku. so another haiku changer
"Far fireworks
sounding, otherwise
not a thing."
His fireworks here are not seen but only heard
The next poem is one of alluring entrapment. We move from the dragonfly catching [ to the pole that is used to perform the act. The pole has been left free but seems entrapped by the The dragonfly catching
pole, to the calling of the waves
abandoned and left."
He wanted less constraint in Haiku and started a new Haiku movement. He disregarded the 17 sound pattern and created more "bumpy" Haiku - like this one...
"Recently wife died
Grocer's
Stacking greens
Stacking onions
Husband and daughter."
i really liked that one
you can feel the tedious - mindless feeling of work - not enjoyed anymore because of the absence of the wife and mother
Mari would you like to share?
Mariposa: well i have another by the same author...i researched three ..and only stoped because i ran out of time
Lawahigashi, Hekigodo. (1873-1937).
From a bathing tub
I throw water into the lake
slight muddiness appears.*

Veritas laughes
that one is somewhat amusing
Mariposa:  i have one by Ozaki Hosai that ..well..um..kind of spoke to me
first the phoenetic japanese...i-chi ni-chi mo-no I-wa-zu cho-o no ka-ge sa-su
now to translate...
all day long saying nothing butterfly's shadow casting
Veritas: Tht is pretty.
he was quite eccentric...
Mariposa: may i share the research?
the poem in Japanese (roma-ji) shows you that Ozaki Hosai was a supporter of free form in haiku. . . this poem is made up of 4-5-7 syllables. Being influenced by Ogiwara Seisensui, the creator of free-style in haiku, Ozaki Hosai gave up the 5-7-5 form
and wrote haiku through momentary inspiration instead of being governed by traditional rules. Speaking about Ozaki
s poems, Alain Kervern, a French scholar of haiku, says, He writes down rough, incisive, spontaneous impressions in which one can find influences such as symbolism, Zen Buddhism and free-form haiku.
Of course, there are still poets who write in the traditional style, but the scholars of this genre explain that the use of this rule in the Japanese
language is due to its phonetic particularities.
(
βÆé ·ÅÔÕ, Ozaki H¨­sai?, 20 January 1885 - 7 April 1926) was the haigo (haikai pen name) of Ozaki Hideo, a Japanese poet of the late Meiji period and Taisho period. An alcoholic, Ozaki witnessed the birth of the modern free verse haiku movement. His verses are permeated with loneliness, most likely a result of the isolation, poverty and poor health of his final years.
he left T¨­y¨­ in 1920 at the age of 36. He became a lay mendicant monk at a Buddhist training center. In 1926, he settled on the island of Shodoshima, Kagawa Prefecture, in the Inland Sea , and was given the post of rector of the small hermitage of Nanko-an at the temple of Saiko-ji.  With ties from his former life severed, and without any material possessions, he began to write haiku in earnest. His only anthology, Daik¨± (
´ó¿Õ, Big Sky), contains poems of his solitary final months, and was only published poshumously. (It is available in an English translation by Hiroaki Sato entitled Right under the big sky, I don't wear a hat (ISBN 1-880656-05-1).
Veritas: he graduated from.... Tokyo Imperial University, and had alot of difficulties
He proposed marriage but the family rejected him, (he had a little problem with the sake if you know what i mean) then his alcoholism began to emerge...and it was a problem where he worked...mostly large companies. So whilemost men wore business suits to work....
Ozaki owned no clothing other than a tuxedo and a pair of pajamas. He wore both to work.
you can imagine that !
But he was promoted in spite of these things.
Mariposa: the zenith and nadir of clothing...
Veritas: But his alcoholism got him into trouble and he then left to become a wandering monk
and then.... his haiku writing began
(end)
Okasan: you make a good pair doing the lecture :)
Mariposa: i have just a bit about Takahama also
Veritas: i think its ntersting to know of their lives...that inluenced their work.
Mariposa: and a few of his haiku
(next time just bring apple for the teacher(s))
Veritas: i think teacher likes jewelry better.
[Mariposa: haiku by Takahama: * A dead chrysanthemum * and yet - isn't there still something * remaining in it?
another..
* He says a word, * and I say a word - autumn * is deepening.
two more:
* The winds that blows - * ask them, which leaf on the tree * will be next to go.
* A gold bug - * I hurl into the darkness * and feel the depth of night.
Okasan shivers
you know that feeling? when a bug is crawling on you? Hurl is a good word!
Mariposa:  i think i have hurled a few - bugs that is
He was posthumously awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, 1st class, by the Japanese government.
Veritas: I have a little on Taneda Santoka
- also a drinker !
Santoka he jumped in front of a tran...maybe or maybe not suicide attempt but this lande
d him at the Soto Zen Temple where one of the priests took care of him.
This worked well for him and he was ordained at age 42, in the soto sect. He made many walking trips. One of them lasted 3 years...now that is a long walk. He wore his priest robes, and a large hat - kesa - and had one bowl for food and begging and he sometimes used his alms for..a room at a guesthouse, food, and sake. In his diaries , he is very conflicted about his lifestyle.

here is one of his:
*there
,
*where the fire was

*somethin
g blooming
end
Okasan: lovely sharing from you both!! I know I have thoroughly enjoyed this!!
Veritas : we got the message...do the homework
Mariposa: indeed :)

Domo arigatou gozaimasu Veritas and Mari - what a way you contributed and we were each richer for it!!

Please keep on with your studies and write often in the forums. It is good for me to see if all my hard work is being utilized. *smiles


Posted on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2008, 02:47 AM (UTC -6)

BACK TO TOP

3/18/08 Haiku Discussion

Attendees:  Veritas, Inarra, Mari, Corwyn, Okasan

Presented by Okasan Suzanne Logan

Nature and Haiku

Okasan: shall we begin our lessons?
Veritas: that would be excellent
Okasan: very good! Welcome to Tuesday class! I'm so glad you wanted to come here today!  Today our topic is Nature and Haiku and comes from our "textbook" The Haiku Handbook by Higginson.  Chandra also mentioned that she purchased this book and likes it very much :)
Inarra: as did i
Okasan: oh good!
Tonight's lesson is "Nature and Haiku". It comes right out of the chapter of the same name. Haiku is often thought of as "nature poems" or that each haiku needs to have a "season word" in it somewhere. Many haiku make obvious mention of seasons, like this one for instance by Julius Lester

"*Spring dawn:
*Turning toward the storm cloud,
*I lost sight of the bird."


Other haiku make a suggestion of the season like this one by Richard Wright

"*In the falling snow
*A laughing boy holds out his palms
*Until they are white."


I can almost see the warmth of his breath as it shows in the frosty air
We may often read haiku without paying attention to its seasonal setting
But if respond to the seasonal reference - if there is one - we are more likely to grasp what the poet wants to share with us.
Do any of you have a haiku that states an obvious seasonal reference and one that has an implied seasonal reference that you would like to share?
Veritas: Hai
Okasan smiles please share this with us Miyasumi

Veritas: This is by a person named Tom Stites..
***Yellow butterfly,
***finds the garden's last blossoms,
***red maple leaf twirls.
written in Massachusetts Oct. 2000)
Corwyn nods
Okasan: oh that is very good - so what season does this seem to be
Veritas: i think autumn
Okasan: and what words show us this the most
Veritas: I have another, if you like

*** High tide's icy crust,
***Shattered now in the shallows,
***will float again soon.
More of a winter theme here.
Okasan: tell us how it makes you feel or what it makes you see
Corwyn: The first certainly conjures Autumn for me, the second winter's end
Veritas: I hear slush shoreline
Okasan: I was thinking of the first one too for a moment
Inarra: Change, transformation, hope
Did anyone else feel a sense of spring in the ice poem?
Corwyn Yes. If not exactly spring certainly winter's end
Inarra: yes - a time for transformation

Corwyn: Or beginning to thaw - heralding spring
Okasan: Renga were composed at parties by several poets. Hokku had a very important function. The "rule" was that it had to indicate when the renga was written.  Subtle poets named objects that hinted at the time of year. The words for these objects became known as "kigo" or season words. So in the first haikku that Veritas told us, what would be the kigo that would tell us it was in autumn?
Corwyn: For me it would be the words "last blossoms."
Okasan: yes that is what I thought too.  What imagery did this bring to you?
Corwyn: Autumn. The falling leaves. The last flowers of summer

Okasan: *smiles - and I could see my own garden boxes made me think - oh now is the time to prepare them for winter
Corwyn: I believe Onmura-san had a comment
Okasan: pardon me Inarra
Inarra: I am not sure I remember now!
Corwyn: Forgive me for interrupting you Onmura-san
Okasan:  In modern haiku, Japanese poets became tired of the season words requirement. Some dropped it all together in their technique.
Inarra: it was a haiku about swinging from changeliers :-) If i remember I will bring it up later.
Okasan: the modern Japanese poets rationalized that much of life is spent indoors - so that these seasonal references were artificial.  Their goal is to share the experiences within haiku -not be focused on when it occurs in the seasonal change.  But most feel that the seasonal element is an important aspect of haiku and many haiku books are arranged by season. A wonderful haiku book, "A Net of Fireflies" an anthology by Stewart is arranged by season.  What the season word does for the haiku is to raise the senses to appreciate the epitomy of the glory of the moment -the aesthetic experience
the vision of the poet. So the take-away here is this 

Veritas listens attentively
Okasan: ...seasonal words or intentions may not be found as often in modern haiku Whether or not your preference is for seasonal seasonings in your haiku salad -no doubt your wish as a gourmand of tasty haiku is to experience and share those special moments in eternity that can be encapsulated in a nutshell.
***end***
Okasan: now for the evil homework assignment
Veritas: we love homewrok
Okasan: your homework is to compose 2 haiku
one with a direct seasonal reference
and another with kigo
only here is the rule
 all over sl you can find just about any season you wish
your haiku must come from something you see in SL
and we will review these next lesson :)

 


Posted on Tuesday, Mar 18, 2008, 07:12 PM (UTC -6)

BACK TO TOP

3/25/08 Haiku Discussion

Tuesday night classes are closed due to lack of participation. I will post the next two haiku lessons here - once a week over the next two weeks and create a forum for you to share your haiku -= and please do so!

Welcome back for Haiku lessons
From last time: your homework was to compose 2 haiku
one with a direct seasonal reference
and another with kigo
only here is the rule
 all over sl you can find just about any season you wish
your haiku must come from something you see in SL
and we will review these next lesson :)

Sharing time now -
I will start:

First - direct seasonal reference inspired by Amatsu in Fall
The scent of Autumn
Amatsu squirrels hoard nuts, seeds
Your hand warming mine.
***
Second - with kigo - the reference to a season
inspired by
Amatsu in Spring
Soft petals aglow
Trees drip sakura blossoms
I bathe in splendor
***

/me smiles Now your turn!

Once all have shared:
Today we will discuss the form of haiku
Initial Japanese poetic form grew from the arrangement of the sounds of the Japanese grammatical language. The breaks in the poems would usually place shorter grammatical phrases first and ending with a cadence of about 7 sounds. These were called long poems or "Choka" and they would have from 3 to over 300 groups of 20 sounds!
/me thinks no wonder they called it choka

So an approximation is given in our text,
The Haiku Handbook by William Higginson

"As winter's bonds---grant spring freedom
in the morning---white dew falls down,
in the evening---mist stretches out
on Hasusse Plain---under the twigs of trees
a nightingale sings!"

this poem dates from the first anthology of Japanese poetry collected in the 8th century A.D. called "Manyoshu". Many of the poems in this anthology are short poems or "tanka"

By the time of "Kokinshu" a second anthology collect in the early 10th century A.D., a new structure for tanka had become popular. Many of the tanka would divide near the middle of the second 12 sounds. Here is another example in Japanese and English translation.

yadori shite---haru no yamabe ni
netaru yo wa---yume no naka ni mo
hana zo chirikeru

Finding shelter---among the hills of spring
slept the night---even amid my dreaming
the flower blossoms fall

There were also many tanka in the Kokinshu without a sharp division or would divide in a different place.

By the 13th century it was popular for poets to come together to share their individual works and to create longer poems or humorous renga together.  Each poet would write a stanza of about 17 sounds (5/7/5) or about 14 sounds (7/7).

The haiku opened the renga. So the traditional haiku in Japanese does not have the formal cadence seen at the end of the tanka - the 7-sound phrases.

Traditional Form in Haiku

Many Western authors have fallen into a trap where Haiku is concerned. They think they have to have the 17-syllable form in three lines of 5/7/5.  But Japanese haiku are written in Japanese - so quite different from Wester languages.

Japanese poets do not even count syllables!
They count "onji". Onji does not mean syllable - it means "sound syllable" and refers to the phonetic characters in Japanese writing.
An example: lets look at that title again for the first anthology - "Manyoshu" Three syllables man-yo-shu. But it is 6 onji in Japanese. Based on the study of the onji - if we were to apply the same principles to English - we would shorten our poems to 12 syllables to best duplicate the traditional Japanese form of 17 onji.

The Kereji
Most traditional Haiku employ the use of a kereji or cutting word to divide the stanza into 2 rhythmical parts. It is like a pause or punctuation. Employing this plus our word that suggests a season, it has been suggested by a famous scholar of haiku, R.H. Blyth, that the ideal English parallel for Japanese form is three lines of 2, 3, and 2 accented beats. That coupled with the kireji-like pause yields a 5 beat unit, plus one unit less than half as long as a pentameter line.

I was confused about this until I read the side-by-side examples

furuike ya                                old pond. . .
kawazu tobikomu                  a frog leaps in
mizu no oto                             water's sound
                                                   ~Basho

fuji hitotsu                              Fuji alone
uzumi nokoshite                    remains unburied
wakaba kana                          the young leaves!
                                                   ~Buson
                                                  
utsukushiki                         a really lovely
tako agarikeri                     kite has risen above;
kojiki goya                           a beggar's hut
                                               ~Issa

To summarize a traditional form of haiku for English

1. An overall form of 7 accented syllables plus unaccented syllables up to a total of about 12. Using a grammatical pause between the 2nd and 3rd or 5th and 6th accented syllables.

2.  The 3 line structure of 2/3/2 accented syllables provides the rhythmical component we are used to

3. Placing the grammatical pause - as noted in item one above - would give the sense of rhythmical incompleteness similar to that found in Japanese haiku

4. Grammar should be minimalized - use articles like a, an, the sparingly.

Questions? thoughts? discussion?

Good!

/me smiles now for the assignment
Write two new haiku using the format we have discussed in this lesson. Again use SecondLife or something suggested by SecondLife as your reference.

Our next class will come from chapter 9 - The Craft of Haiku" and we will conclude our lessons with "Sharing Haiku"

So we have just 2 more weeks on this topic.
The next topic I would like to develop is Feng Shui. The text for that topic is from the Keep It Simple Series and is K-I-S-S Guide to Feng Shui by Stephen Skinner
ISBN is 0-7894-8147-2

Thank you for being such a wonderful class and so attentive!
/humble
3/25/08
Suzanne Logan


Posted on Tuesday, Mar 25, 2008, 06:22 PM (UTC -6)

BACK TO TOP

4/1/08 Haiku Discussion

Tueday Haiku Lesson - April 1, 2008

Playgrounds for the Mind - Word Painting to Touch the Senses by SL Okasan, Suzanne Logan

*The haiku in this lesson do not follow the "rules" in their Japanese to English translations. The texts for this lesson are "The Haiku Handbook: How to write, share, and teach haiku" (1985) by William J. Higginson, Kodansha America  and "A Net of Fireflies" (1960) by Harold Stewart, Charles E Tuttle Company


Some say that dreams are the mind's playground. While dreaming, we may experience emotions, colors, complexities, mysteries, disjointed or connected visions. Vivid dream images leave footprints in our memories, haunting our thoughts throughout the day. Well-written haiku uses words to paint a mental picture for the attentive reader to vicariously "experience". The haiku can become the underpinnings of moments that allow the reader to participate in the author's playground of the mind.

If the haiku author captures the moment and subject to perfection, the reader with similar empathy will experience the essence of that precious second of eternity along with the writer of the haiku.

Here is an example from ~Ho-o

  • Four magpies on a crooked pine-tree fork
  • their harsh beaks gape,
  • and quarrelsome their talk

It is summer - the magpies all garbed in black and white, pointed beaks open to cool their dry throats are perched on the crooked, forked branch of a pine while loudly making their scratchy complaints to each another -- and anyone else within earshot. Here we see a focus between the still and solid pine contrasted with the noisy, animated birds. We can feel the heat of the day and if we are very empathic, may even reach for a glass of cool water to quench our own thirst.

While the above haiku paints a visual and auditory picture, the next haiku provides us with a sense of relationship. Relationship means that two or more persons, places or things touch each other and may by their relationship provide balance or counter-balance. Sometimes the writer may choose to convey through what is said -- or unsaid -- the emotion conceived and experienced in the relationship. See this example from Ryota:

  • Angrily I returned;
  • awaiting me within my court--
  • the tranquil willow tree

Along with Ryota, the discerning reader might experience his tension and fury only to then follow him to his courtyard where his movements and emotion are arrested by the calming sight of a tree. He is soothed - and the reader soothed with him by the vision of the gentle willow as its branches gracefully sway upon a soft breeze. The relationship here is a contrast of emotions -- anger and peace. There is relationship between the author and his home/refuge. In the world there may be uncertainty, hurt and misunderstanding, but his home is serene. 

Juxtaposition between two objects is seen in most haiku. Sometimes the contrasts are so abrupt as to be startling as in this next example chosen from the poet,  Sokan:

  • Hurry! Bring torches! Hurry, everyone,
  • and see the thief I've caught;
  • my eldest son!

The sense of urgency in the first lines calling the town to the center of the of attention - the thief - is distinctly felt in the beginning. The sharp contrast to shock and disappointment is felt like a heavy weight as the conclusion of the haiku reveals the perpetrator's identity. Any parent might imagine the mixture of emotions in the moment of this haiku.

Many haiku set objects in motion at the beginning. These attention grabbers dissolve from the foreground to a telescoping view of an even closer subject as in this one from Ho-o:

  • Here in a puddle,
  • recent rain has sunk this upturned leaf
  • a beetle's yellow junk

First we see the puddle, brimming with fresh rain water; next a leaf overturned on it's back to make a cupped shape as it floats, and finally our mind's eye is drawn ever closer until we see on the leaf a little beetle taking a sail. The sense of little-by-little discovery is so fun!

Think of haiku as the taste of something more to come. Remember that a haiku was the beginning of a larger rendition of poetry. So the haiku is like an introduction. It has the task of describing the subject (what), the time (when) and location (where). Interestingly enough, any one of the what, when and where might fill up the haiku while the other two are simply implied.

The more one meditates upon haiku, the more one appreciates the artistry and diligence that is required to create playgrounds for the mind.

This is the final lesson in our Haiku series and no homework. More information as well as a helpful word list will be included within the password protected Maiko lesson on Japanese Literature.

BACK TO TOP