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Thread: ARTS: Poetry — Who Are We?

  1. #1
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    ARTS: Poetry — Who Are We?

    Hello everyone,

    It’s been wonderful that many of you have been sharing your work again as of late. I enjoy reading every word even if I don’t always have time to comment properly.

    In the interest of making this poetry circle a bit more engaging for all, I’d like to learn more about those of you that enjoy poetry and what, in particular, you like about it. Based on everyone’s responses, we can better decide what sort of “activities” we might want to try here in the poetry circle.

    Here are some questions to consider and respond to if you wish:

    1. How long have you been interested in poetry?
    2. Who are some of your favorite poets and why do you like them?
    3. Do you write poetry yourself?
    4. If so, is there a particular style(s) that you prefer to write (haiku, sonnets, epics, odes, free verse, metered verse, etc.)
    5. If you don’t currently write much poetry, are you interested in writing more?
    6. What else would you like to see us do with the poetry circle here at Treeleaf?



    There’s no rush on this. If you are so inclined to respond, please do so at your leisure. While many of the Treeleaf poets have been sharing their work from time to time, I get the sense that there are at least as many other folks here that enjoy poetry, but may not write/share all that much (which is perfectly fine).

    Writing prompts may be fun for those of us that write, but for others that don’t write much, we may also want to have some discussions about the poets/books that we enjoy--not a “book club” per se, but just some more light, informal discussion threads. Just a thought...

    I look forward to getting to know all of you a bit better.

    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  2. #2
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Seeing that I can’t ask you all to answer some of the above questions without first answering them myself, here is a bit more about me and my interest in poetry:

    1. How long have you been interested in poetry?
    I developed an interest in poetry back in high school as we studied a number of poets as part of a multidisciplinary course on Romanticism. Since then, I’ve dabbled in poetry on and off for years, but I have become most serious about it as my primary creative outlet within the past decade.

    2. Who are some of your favorite poets and why do you like them?
    Where to start--there are so many. In no particular order: Charles Simic, Gary Snyder, Jane Kenyon, David Budbill, Jane Hirshfield, Walt Whitman, Ted Kooser, Mark Strand, Marie Howe, Kenneth Rexroth, Stonehouse, Han Shan, Ryokan, Basho--and that’s just getting started. I enjoy haiku (both classic and modern), classical Chinese poetry (in translation), and all sorts of poetry starting with the Romantic era (late 18th century) and continuing up through the present.

    3. Do you write poetry yourself?
    Yes, but not as much as I would like to.

    4. If so, is there a particular style(s) that you prefer to write (haiku, sonnets, epics, odes, free verse, metered verse, etc.)
    I mostly write in a very open, free verse style, but I also enjoy working with specific forms such as haiku and lunes.

    5. If you don’t currently write much poetry, are you interested in writing more?
    I’m always interested in writing more (as time allows).

    6. What else would you like to see us do with the poetry circle here at Treeleaf?
    I’m up for most anything, and that’s why I want to hear from more of YOU.


    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    Last edited by Seikan; 03-26-2021 at 04:23 PM.
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  3. #3
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
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    Hi Seikan,


    I meant to respond earlier but it's been a long ... well forever

    [*]How long have you been interested in poetry?

    I've been reading poetry off and on for the last 15 years or so.
    [*]Who are some of your favorite poets and why do you like them?

    I really enjoy Ryokan and Kobayashi Issa. In both cases I find something resonates with me in a lot of their writing. Issa in particular, who writes about animals sort of as if they are human but I think its more like he writing them as sentient beings. His poetry seems to overflow with compassion as it were.

    I also like that most of their poems are short. I have a short attention span is reading a poem that's short is a little easier to focus on. I find this especially helpful when I'm going through a rough time (mental health stuff) as I find it particularly difficult to engage with longer material then.
    [*]Do you write poetry yourself?
    I've tried my hand at haiku. I wasn't very good at it but I was only at it for 6 months or so. It wasn't really a lot time to develop skills. One issue I have is that I don't have a lot to say most of the time so I was always struggling with some sort of point.
    [*]If so, is there a particular style(s) that you prefer to write (haiku, sonnets, epics, odes, free verse, metered verse, etc.)
    I like haiku.
    [*]If you don’t currently write much poetry, are you interested in writing more?
    Maybe.
    [*]What else would you like to see us do with the poetry circle here at Treeleaf?

    I'm not sure


    Gassho,

    Hoseki
    sattoday

  4. #4
    1. How long have you been interested in poetry?

    Only since my 20s really. An American friend told me to read The Wasteland and I was hooked after that. Then I discovered Ted Hughes through another friend showing me his collection Remains of Elmet.

    2. Who are some of your favorite poets and why do you like them?


    In terms of English language poets I love T S Eliot for the way his poems are a patchwork of ideas and images drawn from a number of different sources, Ted Hughes for his evocation of British landscapes, likewise Alice Oswald who wrote a long poem about the River Dart in Devon. I enjoy Kathleen Raine for her spiritual nature work and Dylan Thomas seems to me to be the poet who has the most intuitive grasp of language there is. Eliot beats him for intellectualism but Thomas is just genius and Under Milk Wood is majestic. Gary Snyder is a great American writer, combining environmentalism and ideas from Zen and Native American lore. Japanese and Chinese authors I like include Cold Mountain (Han Shan), Li Po, Izumi Shikibu, Ryōkan, Ikkyu, Kobayashi Issa, Santoka Taneda and Matsuō Basho.

    3. Do you write poetry yourself?

    Yes, sometimes.

    4. If so, is there a particular style(s) that you prefer to write (haiku, sonnets, epics, odes, free verse, metered verse, etc.)

    Mostly haiku but some longer works in free verse.

    5. If you don’t currently write much poetry, are you interested in writing more?

    Sometimes!

    6. What else would you like to see us do with the poetry circle here at Treeleaf?


    I think prompts are the most useful thing for me.


    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    Last edited by Kokuu; 04-07-2021 at 10:14 AM.
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  5. #5
    You, Who are on the Road

    Yes, with Gratitude
    The Trees weep
    In solitude, another
    Friend in depth, quite
    Of the ages, launches
    Out on different road
    Of brown rubble
    Going hence on foot
    He cannot travel lest
    Pandemic, plague,
    His body may in yellow
    Light refuse touch
    Of all who might
    Lead him to temple
    Japanese Buddha
    To learn in monastery
    Sleep nights so bleak
    House provide bit
    Of rice, morsel of grain,
    Sandals, robe light
    Of travel, stay away
    From snow mountains
    Eastern coast, friend
    Travel from place
    To place seeking
    What we at Treeleaf
    Zendo have learned
    Through sweltering
    Heat of imposition
    Love one another
    Our Buddhist ancestry
    Says of cook who learns
    May you yet become
    One who stirs soup
    Vegetable broth
    Then fit the robes
    You sew yourself
    May you give to others
    Every night, day,
    Afternoon, morning
    Evening mixed you
    Know only time mixed
    Into difficult giving,
    May you find yourself
    Giving of yourself. So Live.
    Live for all of of us.
    Give, give to all of us,
    Knowledge of life,
    Death, darkness turned
    To Light, to light, to life.

    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi
    calm poetry
    Charles E Taylor
    Master of Fine Arts
    Creative writing/poetry
    Colorado State University
    Graduation, December 1990
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 04-05-2021 at 02:53 PM.
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  6. #6
    Member Seikan's Avatar
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    Hoseki/Kokuu, Thank you for your responses! You've already given me a couple of ideas for new threads... stay tuned!

    And Tai Shi my friend... Why am I not surprised that you choose to respond in verse? And to be honest, this may be my favorite poem of yours to date. It really struck a chord with me. Simply brilliant!


    Gassho,
    Seikan

    -stlah-
    聖簡 Seikan (Sacred Simplicity)

  7. #7

    ARTS: Poetry — Who Are We?

    So is this what you want?

    I began writing little poems to a pretty girl who became my lover in high school.
    These I collect in s slim black volume called Jill Forever, Always. Along with these were about 20 notebooks of prose which I placed in a black file case along with all the carnations for lapels of the many Tux I wore to Masonic dances. Her father was a mask and we attended many formal dances.
    About this time I discovered Eliot and Emily Dickinson. Ah miss Emily was perfect because later I learned the a famous critic then others conjectured Emily Dickinson had bipolar disorder which I too have. Safe in their Alabaster Chambers. Lie the meek members of the resurrection, untouched by morning ,
    Eliot because he spent time in a sanitarium after he dropped out of Harvard, probably with mental illness and I was fascinated with The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and how the poem was me.
    In college I discovered Wallace Stevens Sea Surface Full of Clouds how that reverberated in Sunday Morning, so in no Fiction Henry James because of PORTRAIT OF A Lady in the decadence of the old world and hot that was mirrors in Milton and Paradise Lost ah there never really was a Paradise Regained though there was and the greatest Elegy in the English language Lycidus I never could spell the name. Melt with ruth. The the greatest poet in the American Language Walt Whitman about this time Walt Whitman who was to be with me the rest of my life yes Song of Myself which like miss Emily he refused to title Sing of myself, I began to sing oh my horrible Satori like Whitman in my first bipolar episode which was to last our entire lives and the greatest elegy in the American language When Lilacs Last in Door Yard Bloomed about he assignation of Abraham Lincoln and what that meant for the future of Democracy and the death of an adversary this was political really then The Four Quartets Eliot shall be read at my funeral. Then in graduate school Willian Stanford and is Aunts Hat pins stuck who knows where I memorize his great short Pulitzer Prize winning poems and latter corresponded with him denting sin a portfolio of my free verse poems and he wrote back nicely saying I had promise and critiquing five of my poems the back to Robert frost and the greatest poetry’s ever wrote West Running Brook and the immortality of his eddies in bookish bubbles and how he in essence hinted at breaking his own injunction back to free verse which never was. Ah then the greatest William Blake who etched and illustrated his own poems hinting at photography which I would someday study but could not ever fully master because I could not afford the equipment or the software. But I finally learned a little about computers. Then my own first book a combination of black and white photographs 158 eight pages of poems my first book Winter from Spring which proclaimed beauty in my little family after avoiding the pit of youth. Then yearning for the west and the San Francisco Zen Center back to Whitman who held the key to my own sexuality in his deathbed edition of Leaves of Grass finally recognizing genius in his own work and my next book written in the 6 month manic episode Meditations on Gratitude and me subverting my own death praising doctors and my wife whose name means pearl. Finally a current point of arrival For Patty Brown... the total of my current book wondering about Turtle Creek and mixture of pollution and. Beauty forever told like the greatest small verses in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass and how truly Whitman is the greatest poet of America and voices like Gwendolyn Brooks and the poverty and squalor which I had known as a boy and yet how meanings do joy sprung from my own poverty as a child I Med Ms Brooks in graduate school and her haute attitude and the greatly is the plight of the Chicago Black Race and there like no other Brownsvill and Nicki Geovani who I heard in college read her political poems wher again the people I grew up with went to high school hade to rise up finally in the person of Rita Dove who again reached epitome of strangulation in Black voices reaching back yes to Langston Hughs never realized until fiction depicted Native Son, and D H Lawrence poverty in England itself and the Rainbow which would never be completed as it arched from Great Expectations to small poems in Lawrence and smaller poems in Sylvia Plath whose nightmare for a time was mine and yet the promise of Buddhism being more in WS Merwin and Buddhism being more than I ever dreamt and morality which I as an old man embrace in one of the great languages along with Chinese English and Ken Koch and finally the untold genius of Ezra Pound the greater craftsman acknowledgment upon Eliot. And the great Cantos written to subvert the insanity of the Western World and ultimately how he is right and all we can do is look back to Dover Beach and that singularity in one poem foretelling sorrow of England and the hope of a better world than that of Dover Beach,

    So if you can follow my doggerel you will see only a part of that which I spent a lifetime reaching forward and finally a Glacé Face in the Rain by William Stafford and the tragedy of All that America represents and still I believe the hope.
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 04-07-2021 at 12:00 PM.
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  8. #8

    ARTS: Poetry — Who Are We?

    If Jundo destroys my history of study of Poetry’s tradition these five voices rise in America Whitman, Dickinson, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sylvia Plath and Stafford reaching to lyric beauty, poverty, democratic nightmare. These I have studied in depth about America. Finally one more the most prophetic verse in Ezra Pound his insanity yet foretelling the downfall of America in the Cantos as he was kept captive in Walter Reed Hospiital until his death The Cantos!
    Gassho
    sat/ lah
    Tai Shi



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 04-07-2021 at 10:49 AM.
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  9. #9
    For Shokai I cannot meet tonight because I am experiencing level 9 pain and I have my chest And neck wrapped in ice and therefore I cannot move except to change the ice soon forgive me my new teacher for I grieve the arduous pain which will be presented until tomorrow night after I take my shot of biological medicine which relieves my pain. And I fear today some struggles with level 10 pain but at that I don’t cry anymore.
    Gassho
    sat / lah
    Automatic contribution
    The ice is working
    Tai Shi



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    A monk asked Yun-men, "What are the teachings of a lifetime?" Yum-men said to him, "An appropriate statement." Zen Mondo

  10. #10
    Much metta Tai, I Hope you feel better soon

    Gassho

    risho
    -stlah

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