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Thread: haiku writing as a way

  1. #1

    haiku writing as a way

    I am currently preparing a worshop on writing haiku and I wrote the following notes that happen to convey exactly what I really want to say most of the time:


    Please, try to avoid desk haiku. I often write haiku as I walk, work, lie down. Please, speak haiku, give them a voice, whisper them, shout them, spit them chew them. Haiku come from my experience of the world. I compose haiku not because I am a poet, or to make poetry, I donít give a dam about poetry, I write haiku to be alive and present in this world. Not to live in my head and through my senses. To unfold my being-seing-perceiveng in all this. And meet what comes and goes. Death can take place anytime, haiku is like Hanami, to watch blossoms. I am going to die, and haiku writing haiku doing is a celebration of a fragile and floating existence, it is sheer gratitude. Gratitude. And gratitude again.

    Donít write too many words. Many haiku in English are too wordy. Cut. Keep it simple. You should be able to speak any haiku in a single short breath. Donít pack poems with fancy words be careful with adjectives, bad writing is often over using adjectives. Donít use special poetic words and reject words like plastic, telephone or can. Avoid likes and dislikes. In the haiku world, everything is precious, worth looking at and worthy of appreciation. Donít be afraid of words and things. Call things by their name. Go for what is, what is real around and inside you. Go where you dance, go even where it hurts. Haiku is a tool of discovery and self inquiry. Pick up things unnoticed, left aside, pick up what people donít even see or pay attention to. Pick up garbage and practice garbage arrangement. Celebrate the ordinary. In the simple activity of seeing, of being you will find love. Jizo or Kannon are not statues in fancy temples and museums but your very attention to the world, your activity in full bloom and the very people and things you meet everyday. This is the real magic. And it is available here and now. And it is now or never. Each second passes and wonít come back. You wonít be given a second go. There is only one. This one. Here and now.

    gassho to all


    Taigu

  2. #2

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Wow ! Haiku ... something I never approached, but its getting a whole new meaning to me now.
    _()_
    Peter

  3. #3

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Haiku and tankas always interested me, but I so far I always ended giving up as my own didn't sound "poetic" at all, After reading your text, like Peter said, now it has a completely new meaning.
    Is it going to be an online workshop here at Treeleaf?

    Gassho

  4. #4

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    No Da5id, It is going to be a workshop in Japan for people interested in writing free form haiku in Santoka and Shiki's style. A long time ago I was a respected University lecturer and I used to lead creative writing worshops inspired by the OULIPO, a fun approach to writing made famous by a bunch of European nuts. These days i am just a modest and very happy ( :P :P :P ) language teacher but I have been asked to share my linited experience of writing this junk ( i also call it happy s...).

    Don't mind about poetic or not poetic, beautiful or not...Short poems are excellent friends, they bring us to where we really belong. Not always pinky, rosy, cheerful. So the whole thing is to be true. Just true. Sentimental true. Poetically true. Realistically true. Stupidly true.

    We are all dying, a great slow death called life. We are all living an amazing multiple and puzzling death. Eventually the way in is nothing but the way out. Same door. Same gate. Haiku is a great way to celebrate this being-action of getting in and out.

    So please, scribble down those things, let them arise from what or who you meet.

    No need to be talented, gifted.

    Not even a craft.

    What is it?

    Haiku?
    three simple lines
    one breath


    something like that


    gassho

    Taigu

  5. #5
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    We are all dying a great slow death called life.
    One of the profoundest sentences I've read in a very long time. Thank you.

  6. #6

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    There is poetry and then there is haiku. The beauty of haiku is the "artlessness" of it. There is no need for haiku to put on "window dressing," using metaphor, personification, etc.

    -- this reminds me of a story about the composer Igor Stravinsky... He was at a rehearsal for one of his pieces (Persephone), and there was a passage where the women's chorus were singing in a very saccharine way. He stopped the orchestra and chorus and asked what in the world were they doing. Members of the chorus asked him, "This melodic passage appears like it is supposed to be sung sweetly, right?" He told them (I'm paraphrasing here) "Why add sugar on top of sugar? Sing the passage as it is written and the sweetness will come appear of its own accord-- don't add to it."

    Haiku is like that-- there is no need to make "Poetry" of it, just let the moment shine in its own unique beauty. The more I reflect on it, the more I realize haiku and zazen are so similar!

    Here is a good bibliography of haiku books (books of haiku and about writing haiku) that some people might find handy:

    http://haikuist.wordpress.com/library

    Sadly,it seems all of R.H. Blyth's books on haiku are out of print, but they are worth every penny if you can find them.

    () josh

  7. #7

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Sadly,it seems all of R.H. Blyth's books on haiku are out of print, but they are worth every penny if you can find them.


    I completly agree, Earthling, just one thing: find your own book (not yet written), and write it ( without you around).


    gassho

    taigu

  8. #8

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Thank you Taigu for bringing out the depths of haiku, and Thank You Josh for the list of books. I've been writing haiku since 1968 (I just found my first one written in a book buried in my library Sometimes I think I see the world through haiku eyes. It's usually the first form of expression that comes to me when something is busting out to be expressed. Gassho, Ann

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Donít use special poetic words and reject words like plastic, telephone or can.
    I like telephone and can. They are real-world words, everyday and concrete. If anyone can find a good haiku in them, great!

    I cringe at stuff like heart, soul, ephemeral, gossamer. Oh, for the love of God, stay away from gossamer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthling
    Here is a good bibliography of haiku books (books of haiku and about writing haiku) that some people might find handy:

    http://haikuist.wordpress.com/library
    I can vouch for Bill Higginson's Haiku Handbook. And Lee Gurga's Haiku: A Poet's Guide is indispensable for beginners.

  10. #10

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    New postby Jennifer G P on Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:55 am

    Taigu wrote: Donít use special poetic words and reject words like plastic, telephone or can.



    I like telephone and can. They are real-world words, everyday and concrete. If anyone can find a good haiku in them, great!
    [/quote]

    I agree on the telephone (but perhaps not in person) however I can tell you that can is not concrete but rather metal ability. :P
    (sorry, couldn't resist G, ann

  11. #11
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way


  12. #12

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Hi!
    Haikus are great friends indeed! Especially the free and open style of Santoka, so direct and intuitive!
    Don't hesitate to share some with us! (as you sometimes do).

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    edit: a small one from Santoka for all the Leafers who are still sewing:
    feel of the needle
    when at last
    you get the thread through it

  13. #13

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    lovely! we just arranged a virtual workshop with all your comments, descriptions and references.
    I'll throw poetry to the bin, then I'll try to throw my-self to the bin too and start writing without me messing around.
    About OULIPO. I enjoyed Perec a lot when I read him like hmmm... Ten years ago. In his way, he was very zenish... And all the OULIPO's ideas on giving atypical formal rules to write in order to get a new vision on how you write and improve your creativity also look to me as a way to remove your ego from the writing and be more free.

    Let us know how the workshop goes, Taigu

    Gassho

  14. #14

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    taigu
    he doesnt give a damn about poetry.
    basho speaks.

  15. #15

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    I have often wondered about haiku writing. I think it would be interesting to learn. I love reading haiku, I know that much. I may give it a whorl and see what I come up with.

    Thank you for this thread!
    gassho!
    ezz

  16. #16
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    More snow falling,
    Melted before
    It fell.

    Gassho Taigu with thanks,
    Soen

  17. #17

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    There is even the European president expressing himself as a politician haiku poet

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kckx_nCdvp4[/video]]

    Here is one of his pen


    In the ditch, a pair
    of copulating toads drift
    into springís new life

    Gassho

    Ensho

  18. #18

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Hiyas
    While I enjoy reading them, and with no real understanding of the criteria for what is good or bad beyond what think is so, I will easily say I am no poet!
    Perhaps all the more reason to do so with out judging?

    I fail at Haiku
    painting pictures with less words
    tougher than it seems!

    Doh!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  19. #19
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Here's something I ran into:

    Attached files

  20. #20

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    I hope the refrigerator was ok... :wink:

  21. #21

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Zazen, Kinhin, Haiku ... practice. Thank you Taigu. If you would see it fitting I would appreciate reading some of your Haiku. gassho zak

  22. #22
    Treeleaf Unsui Myozan Kodo's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Doh!
    My pen is broken.
    Better sit.
    (For Shohei)

  23. #23

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Hi Zak,

    Would you wish to read my junk...That's where it lives, a funny blog that I visit from time to time...

    http://pierretesuten.blogspot.com/

    Thank you for yor appreciation and please, do have a go.

    gassho


    Taigu

  24. #24

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Thank you Taigu. Haiku is now a part of my practice. Wonderful pointing. Gassho zak

  25. #25

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    A few I've written while home:

    Life cannot be rushed
    Each moment is only this
    Bread, it seems, the same

    Focused on this, that
    Mind wanders like a rogue bag
    Wind-blown back and forth

    Two moving apart
    Cannot erase given names -
    Father and Mother

    For all your good deeds
    You expect heaven above
    Why not drink your tea?

    Brick bread in the stove
    I made so many mistakes
    Yet the bread still bakes

    Gassho,
    Taylor

  26. #26

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    I always found Haikus to be so mysterious and fascinating thank you Taigu for this thread.

    Here is one I wrote:


    Behold what beauty.
    The mind is like a still pond.
    That no one can reach.

    Gassho

    Rafael

  27. #27

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Taylor and Rafael,

    Thank you for posting your haiku. Now, this is a very delicate and difficult thing to do because poetry is a very intimate thing but as you kindly shared yours with us , I do have to say something about these poems:

    Haiku comes from pure and utter experience without the filtering of the mind that wants to do philosophy, teach or make a pretty little thing: your haiku sound a bit too wordy to my ears,you can still simplify and cut .

    You will find two parts in most haiku, we can call them the phrase and the fragment. The phrase is made of two lines and the fragment is just one line which has apparently nothing to do with the phrase, in other words a good haiku should not be red as one sentence...

    From Santoka:

    all day
    I said nothing
    the sound of waves


    from Bassho:

    cuckoo
    now as for haiku masters
    none are in this world

    leave aside
    litterary talents
    tree peony


    You also may ditch metaphors, ponctuation and even capital letters. The most important thing is to live your haiku, to experience it cursing your blood, to feel it deep down. Haiku is a state of complete simplicity and open-mindedness to what is as it is. No need to preach, sound and look clever. And this is difficult. Simplicity is difficult.

    take care and thank you again for your patience.

    gassho


    Taigu

  28. #28

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Thank you Taigu--I never knew about phrase and fragment.
    wow--now I have to take another look at all I've written and maybe (no, probably) start all over again.
    Celebrating the chance to beginner again

    Gassho, Ann

  29. #29

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    To correct is OK , Ann.
    I do both, correct and create.
    I call it my junk. Poetry for me is just like taking the garbage out. Drinking a glass of water.
    Stuff like that.

    gassho

    Taigu

  30. #30

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Thank you so much for the Comments and the Tips!

    Like our practice it is so simple; yet hard to do.

    Thank you again

    Deep Gassho


    Rafael

  31. #31

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Indeed, many thanks for the guidance.

    Gassho
    Taylor

  32. #32

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Taigu, a quick question.

    I was reading some of Issa's haiku and they seem to follow one of a few patterns. First, there is the fragment line you spoke of:

    Fly Butterfly!
    I feel the dust if this world
    weighting my body

    But then there are those which read more so like a continuous sentence:

    How comfortable
    my summer cotton robe
    when drenched with sweat

    Are these two different styles of haiku or merely a result of the poem being written rather than following any set form?

    Gassho,
    Taylor

  33. #33
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    About a dream I had, though the last stanza is missing a third line!

    ---

    A tower of beds
    One stacked upon the other
    Each smaller than the one below

    At various levels:
    Geisha folding underwear

  34. #34

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Rev. Taigu,

    In the below haiku, the fragment relates to the phrase, but is not directly a part of it. May I ask if this is acceptable or not?

    eternal summer
    plastic trees
    in the basement
    --17 Dec 2010

    Metta,

    Perry

  35. #35

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Hi Perry, perfect Haiku really. The fragment does not have to be part of the phrase. Actually, if it is not and does not even relate to it, it can really create a great contrast and open our space.
    Yes Taylor, sometimes one sentence. The great thing about Haiku can be also said about our practice, zazen, there are rules to be followed but these rules also have to be forgotten. Not always so.
    If you open yourself to the reality, then the words come out as the should. Perfectly following or not following the traditional pattern.

    gassho

    Taigu

  36. #36

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu
    Hi Perry, perfect Haiku really. The fragment does not have to be part of the phrase. Actually, if it is not and does not even relate to it, it can really create a great contrast and open our space.
    Yes Taylor, sometimes one sentence. The great thing about Haiku can be also said about our practice, zazen, there are rules to be followed but these rules also have to be forgotten. Not always so.
    If you open yourself to the reality, then the words come out as the should. Perfectly following or not following the traditional pattern.

    gassho

    Taigu
    Well it just so happens my reality seems to flow as a sentence :P haha

    Many a gassho,
    Taylor

  37. #37
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Read your junk
    Beautiful pictures framed
    Taigu.

    Gassho Nigel

  38. #38

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    This is a short video I put together a couple years ago for a haiku blog I used to run:

    http://<iframe class="restrain" titl...="0"></iframe>

    These are translations of Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki, and Soseki.

    This is a recent haiku of my own:

    cold moonlight
    leaf and shadow
    tumbling


    () josh

  39. #39

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Thank you O Josh for this.

    gassho


    Taigu

  40. #40

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    ()

    josh

  41. #41

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Blue Mountain grazing
    with Taigu eyes
    delightful

    gassho zak

  42. #42
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Josh! That video was so beautiful. Thanks so much for posting it.

    (That screen from the Art Institute of Chicago's collection made me so nostalgic, by the way. When I lived in Chicago I used to visit that museum on free days all the time. Ah!)

    Gassho,

    Jennifer

  43. #43

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    a broken paintbrush
    worn from made strokes raging
    just the full moon please

    five seven five
    there are no more masters here
    one syllable short

    messy brushstrokes
    ink runs bleeds through rice paper
    bamboo leaves now clouds

  44. #44

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    a broken paintbrush
    worn from made strokes raging
    just the full moon please

    just the full moon please
    clouds roll in
    cold and grey

  45. #45

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Josh Thanks I really appreciate the link. gassho zak

  46. #46

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    I love the line from "Dharma Bums" which speaks of a haiku needing to be "simple as porridge and yet make you see the real thing"

  47. #47

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    snow covered stillness
    in the early morning
    sumatran coffee beans

  48. #48

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Tonight it began snowing quite heavily, so heavily that I could see the steady, stream-like flow of shadows of the snowfall:

    in lamplight
    a cascade of shadows...
    snowfall


    () josh

  49. #49

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    Josh and Rich, thank you so much for these...

    gassho


    Taigu

  50. #50

    Re: haiku writing as a way

    the broom in the corner
    wait quietly for you
    simply sweeping

    riding on juju
    kannon caresses my neck
    a mid evening walk

    an old beer bottle
    left in the woods
    parties ended by the dawn

    Gassho,
    Taylor (Myoken)

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