|TABLE OF CONTENTS
XVII:2 June, 2002
A Journal for Linking Poets
TONIGHT THE SNOW by Marjorie Buettner & hortensia anderson
TRACINGS by Martine Joseph, Shelly L. Hazard, Decia Lazarian & Courtney Johnson
CUPID & THE WOMAN by Ann Jones, Marie DisBrow, Lisa McCool
SNOW PATCHED EARTH by Giselle Maya & Jane Reichhold
LATEST JOKE by marlene mountain & carlos colón
A BASKET by Marlene Mountain & Francine Porad
REPEATED STORY by Marlene Mountain &
LOUISIANA SPRING by Carlos Colon & Alexis K. Rotella
COMING HOME BY A DIFFERENT ROAD by
THE LAST DANCE: 3 - RHYMES WITH EEE by Kris Kondo, Marlene Mountain & Francine Porad
GENRE -AN ONGOING PROCESS OF INTEGRATION IN A DIALOGUE by Werner Reichhold & Larry Kimmel
|HAPPINESS BUDS AGAIN|
piles of brown leaves
New Year's Day
in an August
I turn the cup
TONIGHT THE SNOW
tonight the snow is as light
the pale glow of our one moon
the snow falls as various
with the approaching daylight
Shelly L. Hazard
under pink mimosa CJ
nightfall bringing life and death SLH
flowers close, hunters stalk
hemlock branches rustle MJ
hawk wings silent
clouds collect, thunder promised SLH
downpour, raging wind, lightning
notes of flute drift
bridge, or stepping stone? CJ
dew falls to shadows
black panther footfalls
under the Elephant Ear MJ
peanut shells and straw
concrete sub-Sahara CJ
Atlantis across the way
rising crystalline towers MJ
sonar better investment CJ
off the Keys
flamingo smile puzzles
monstrous birth in the lagoon MJ
the Charles chops, scrolling
white triangles hobnob
flutter, bob, weave MJ
on the porch
a glass of lemonade CJ
dragging a chair
pennies in the top drawer CJ
candy aisle riches
watching eyes, round with wonder SLH
memories, distant and full
summer winds beckon
laughter at the water hole SLH
bass and perch swimming
first set of keys. road sings.
you in the passenger seat CJ
hair whipping, breath caught
blurry landscape rushes by SLH
flying, whole new view
clenches papyrus in mouth MJ
rinse cycle ending
machine's centrifugal dirge MJ
wakes winter women
the pull of an ovoid moon
synapses and stars, firing CJ
sunk about her heart
haha fences foil MJ
smooth texture of skin
warm breath, hot hands slide across SLH
dawn brings coffee kisses CJ
world of sequined snow
billow brash of ardent burr
around the body bare DDL
stalactites for stalagmites CJ
your touch silken power
every wheel on fire MJ
passion rages wild
growing hungrily, burning SLH
craving for release
letters in the fireplace CJ
against freezing odds
roseate Betty Boop shoots MJ
chives and meadowsweet
drifts turn to meltwater
rivers swollen, buds burst forth SLH
on the grass a crumpled coat CJ
gentle showers, gray skies
earthen browns turn to green SLH
squirrels race, vining
old dog sniffs the air CJ
sun warm on his hips
green foam crests chase toes
tidal tracings of mica MJ
air crisp with life
heavy with fragrant blossoms SLH
and musical trills
beneath a changing sky CJ
CUPID & THE WOMAN
Grubby hands on green backpack.
His bare feet. His tangled hair.
In his satchel:
Pink iridescent seashells
Murk, stirred delta silt.
Burned driftwood on white sand.
Cupid's arrows fly.
Seagulls peck beer cans,
SNOW PATCHED EARTH
snow patched earth
freezing winds in a sister's hair
still in the flowing river
together and apart
as dew and the autumn sea
on a blanket
smooth and cool in my hands
love notes in cedar box
e-mail piles up
who is that ancient bard
I am you -
brushed by a cool breeze
trying it on
after spring rain
early spring villagers
lured in by stale beer
tossed to the stray cat
from the Fountain of Youth
a heron has come
a colder wind blows
the river's silver
the shock of sleeves touching
we walked together
the reality of an argument
vacant lot overgrown with weeds
under a lid
scent of fresh tea spirals
a letter consumed
we had agreed
meadow a deeper green
latest joke politicians prick about another's 'lies' pass it on
god watching the polls
she faces & asks what are your feelings leaves him in the trees
sales receipt wrapped around an engagement ring
the other woman blown out of the water news of a pregnant bonnie
behind the searchlights storm troopers
holocaust victims a second time swiss bank accounts empty
concentration lost yet cucumbers under a full moon
heckled comic rotten tomatoes flying toward the audience
dna material on material & more graphic material cumin'
miniature cornfield an acorn cup on the broom-straw scarecrow
homer fights another male sport more statistics to keep
cowhide crystal ball with his crown maris passes on his asterisk
a plan to put a note on my foot: haiku is a nature poem
traffic jam between two southbound lanes blue of the harley
in an inner tube no one as lucky as me such dirty pool
booster club seat cushions my own personal exploitation device
we raised bonsai –johnmyth –like we raised peanut butter
flynt's millions for bigwig affairs outhustles the wrongwingers
take off a happy face and frown the world frowns with you
lithium does the entire universe need to be on it?
radiation therapy begun she wonders who will get little jenna
our halloween scene: the scarecrow in the iron mask
up late i crave a video by marilyn manson smooth-talking & all
quadraphonic speakers the who rattling my windows
lift-off here & now just as ambiguous as it's always been
perth lights up the cosmos
from a green plastic lean-back a scan of my shadow in the leaves
hound dogs a bark's distance away from the fox
between the hoe two halves of the snake
still saving myself for a hominid but nothing's forever
popeye looking green as a fistfull of spinach 'et tu, bluto'
words words words corrupt my visual world
woman with no arms painting a portrait of venus
what does a vegetarian beat
Aug. 21 - Nov. 17, 1998
far from falling bombs American flags replaced with Christmas lights
three years and counting a witch hangs politely
'Wicca' and the word 'victim' in English have the same derivation
sucked in by another religion that kid from california
Thai gardeners available December 25th to wrap up the year
health and unemployment package dead in the water
arthritis here and there clouds cover these old mountains at dawn
psychic message of sadness received but from whom
if our spooks hadn't been asleep no 100-day marking of you-know-what
hot spots alphabetically: Afghanistan, Argentina...
warmer in the kitchen but little interest in getting up a head of steam
Jacuzzi preferred to a Mexican gecko in the shower
from now until then the days longer whatever else might happen
brass-monkey cold under regular clothes 'jammies
in the valley just to say i was if only i'd better mulched the transplants
To Do list: geranium starter plants in decorator pots
in a hurry to waste time a broken plate the second it's spotless
Jeff's immaculate home in Bend, OR and his new number
winter wind pigeons relocate to the 72nd SE telephone wires
from a distance the pickup truck still red
news of John Walker* I expect Bernard will 'bah-humbug' all day
high-powered speechwriter childlike speechifier
Stephanie's e-mail: hi Grandma I love your pantings they are pritty
knock on plastic unaffected by the viruses going around
steering clear of sneezes, runny noses and those with sore throats
subdued in-flight strange sneakers with a man attached
Person of the Year** choice in simplistic terms good versus evil
the tumbling down date of jericho in ruins
shave and a haircut popular with Taliban dissidents in Kabul
a steady rain on the roof over my head
larger than life the dead pine full of pileated woodpecker holes
darting little birds crest of a Steller's jay
all the fat man's deer*** misnamed it's a patriarchal world everywhere
geezer shorthand I coin IIRR for IM's on AOL****
five or six number-&-letter groups for one dang html-colored page
worthwhile project gift glows in firelight
*American Taliban terrorist [[ John Walker Lindh ]]
** Rudy Giuliani, New York City Mayor [versus bin Laden]
*** male but not female reindeer shed their antlers before winter
****IIRR=if I'm remembering rightly; IM=Instant Message; AOL=America Online
a basket of clothes to the line the pins just beginning to thaw
sun rays glitter the frost endless airport wait-time
a jar of peanut butter just for the wrens & other frequent flyers
heads up duck decoy near an ironwood eagle
5m imprisoned mother on drugs to justify society's pedestal ideal
great new lawyer TV show The Guardian
one advocate can make a difference voters swarm the town meeting
i decide to do one thing end up doing another
an attitude like Scarlett O'Hara's I'll think about it tomorrow
the land imprinted within more to feel than to see
snow in the distant foothills bleak and deep quarry of sand and gravel
cave by cave what's a mother nature to do
bonds that bind both adopted best friends discover they are brothers
what about our rensmate kris you think she's ok
silence surrounds the silence within finding the right words
behind the scenes hope i hope among the enemies
father of the neighborhood bully applauds his son's 'gumption'
meanwhile back at the white ranch
unfortunately a gardening book opened a raised bed of tomatoes
trellis home of one wrinkled leaf
'exercise common sense' dr scholl's shoes wait near the wood stove
...but where is Osama bin Laden running
fake social security number a deadbeat dad in the next county
'String him up!' Richard Reid will get a fair trial
a ball to fall a ball to kick two more potentially-bad days coming up
'What's good about it?' response to 'Good morning!'
bored with the stash of so-i-won't-have-to-go-anywhere food
chick-flicks eight-hour tape of romantic comedies
whatta joke one of the most violent countries praises its way of life
awake all night planning a haibun of sorts The Last Word
another opinionated editor my thanks to Werner for his feedback
self-spooked i refrain from closing the can of worms
not even a pretense of plans for New Year's Eve maybe build a fire
bedspread from my sixteenth year 'modern' design
homemade chutney in a fancy little jar the flavor of plums
winter solstice just keeps on giving
12/25/01 – 12/30/01
our longtime marriage an often-repeated story still makes us laugh
unfocused the poem slipped through
the kid explains: it's a thing that you have little things that are colors
one of those days i'm older than i am
on hold waiting for an airline representative only five minutes more
too cold to wash dishes too cold not to
if creosote hadn't run down the pipe's outside perhaps no house at all
and now the furnace guy...sun in the forecast
do we watch 'times square' for what happens or what doesn't happen
commuter: I'm not very romantic my wife tells me
lucky to be out-of-love a mind of irises and scrappy pieces of art
I sketch a dozen bushtits hiding a fat-filled feeder
cheese with something those exercises when the climate turns over
back to the drizzle one visitor only New Year's Day
doubts that the old toyota will start are deer pregnant in the valley
car ad no payment 'til 2003 no interest 'til 2004
seven hundred forever owed on the broken mac winter's green grass
good-bye note taped to the TV heart before signature
IceCreamKiddo: Who is Grandpa doing (I believe she means how)
so many words sayable if i remember which
it's all semantics frustrated builder calls rockery an outcropping
'latest development' he's still on the loose
laid-back writers at the haiku meeting five poems apiece
bits of snow more than twice-bitten in this retreat
estimated tax tally scraps of paper scattered throughout the room
unbalanced checkbook for a jillion wobbly months
stranded in the south need an atlas to hone up on geography
broken frames fixed with floss such intelligent eyes
sawtoothed shape Classic migraine aura without the headache
dang 'em old translators screw basho but bad
the choice between this and that sometimes the choice of nothing
biorhythmic low should have created more last week
a walk on the tame side little shrubs follow the way of their curb
complementary twosome nary a compliment
did a fly on one of walls file a report: the pet store now a pet clinic
how long until the world spins joyously
Louisiana spring –
Easter lily pollen
My old mother asks,
A hundred years pass –
"Over my dead body
Everyone gets invited
He enters the conversation
As I walk my dog
Does he realize
My flavored water
When I open my eyes
Stamp collection –
Feeding the goldfish –
Season's first football game
Absolut ads missing
Like "Cats" –
Roma Café –
March 29, 2001 - February 12, 2002
COMING HOME BY A DIFFERENT ROAD
finally we're off! -
putting out birdseed
night of heavy snow
over the crèche
"Auld Lang Syne"
out of a pearly sky
the little-bitty pond with a scummy space for whatever needs it
mother and child view the rain puddles
how many times a day do i actually stop time with a blank stare
on hold things needed to be done on paper
art exhibit of floral watercolor paintings hoping for a surprise
mindset of the president of the garden society
parking lots golf courses other artificial turfs the world's come to
how people love to label what's wrong with me
now a post-nasal drip against my better judgment I ask: what next
'business lobby' even more in charge of life & death
learning to scratch my head rather than my eyes cypress pollen allergy
a named ailment for each complaint
under a macaroni bear 'thanks mom for always watching over me'
lots of dough to contemplate a suburban zen garden
to feel 'dolled up' the macaroni or wax-candle-drippings necklace?
another new-fangled gadget for the Goodwill box
one of the dandies 'stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni'
was he the guy who discovered wireless telegraphy?
always want to add another 'd' 'cos it seems like a long odd trip to me
a haiku journey through time and space
deadly pursuit of a woman's rights thru the crap of 'maledumbination'
after 30 years a vegetable plot to trek to
travels of a slug from tomato plants to marigold seedlings
mama nature creates the way a tadpole becomes a frog
don't you remember you 'discovered me' at the last dance?
to open up with wrens and flock together
beyond the laptop glowing on the kitchen table stars come out
crescent moon one lifetime is not enough
'the discovery channel' a continual discovery of adjectives & adverbs
the first leaves of the first potatoes i ever planted
no need to agree at Old Country Buffet eight desserts on display
let's all agree that it's ok to disagree
'fear' a common word in the media for another drop in stocks
trapped by a phone survey on journalism
we conceded the paradox of marriage ah the moon's reflection!
after a long drawn-out process i agree with myself
GENRE -AN ONGOING PROCESS OF INTEGRATION IN A DIALOGUE
Having said that, obviously it is in the nature of things that art, poetry in this case, will always be in a constant state of evolution, whether we will or not. The mixing of genres is as natural as the blending of ingredients in a chef's gourmet dish. It is an aspect of creation.
Everything evolves of itself, of course. We still write sonnets, but (and I might say here unlike the clinging to a past aesthetic we hear so much about in the haiku community) we no longer even attempt or desire to write sonnets like Shakespeare, and neither did Shakespeare try to emulate Patriarch, but devised his own English-language rhyme scheme. So we look at the sonnet and we see how it has evolved from Shakespeare up to, say, e.e. cummings. This happened without much effort or deliberation, I think. But the mixing of genres is a more conscious and deliberately controlled kind of evolution, but evolution it still is and must be. Can't help but be.
We've just come through one of the most exciting centuries ever. The 20th century has been a tremendous adventure for the artist. Everything has been available to us. We have had the ability to experience Bach and Charlie Parker, Botticelli and Dali, Beowulf, Genji, and Hemingway, all on the same day, if we like. We have both the past and the moment and the complete freedom to blend and experiment with them.
Here follows an example:
A shade occurs
dresses will be losers
communicants their questions dipterous and tizzy
'Form follows function' is a principle that is not kept strongly enough in mind by those writers caged in a clubby situation in Europe as much as it is in the States. Most Westerners, who in a first step studied the very small forms of haiku and tanka, stayed for too long writing single verses. They overlooked the fact that historically seen Japanese writers didn't have a chance and the guts to free themselves from ruling group leaders. Abroad, even participating in collaborative writing sessions, the grip on each individual person to write in a restricted and manipulated way seemed to cut them spiritually and physically off from any attempt to promote the advancement of the haiku form. In the States, where most editors from the early beginnings supported this foreign thinking and stopped short for both, first for a change in subject matter, and secondly by not encouraging writers to use the haiku form itself adequately to western poetic developments in the 20th century. The integration of Japanese forms into western poetry concepts had not been even seen as a valid consideration and to speak or to write openly about it became branded as a sacrilege until up to the early 90's when Jane Reichhold and I explored the possibilities publishing multi-layered single poems.
Here is the place to mention that forms of writing are always reflecting new spiritually based concepts. The starting point from where to go on is neither the small form of the haiku, tanka or other verses nor is it an experimental thinking that may bring us to 'a mix of forms'. What comes first, and asks for a long investment into freely swirling energies, is the desire, the obsession to prepare oneself for the visualization of so far unknown, unexplored territory. Only then begins the investigation of techniques and strategies to find the adequate language for the mysteriously offered message. And only after that time consuming work and in a second state of creativity we may consider blending small Japanese forms as an important detail within the bigger western poetry concepts.
I would like to mention that with the publications of Handshake and Tidalwave in 1989, and with Bridge of Voices in 1990, I myself combined my artwork- mainly consisting of drawings collages, photographs and installations- with haiku, tanka, renga, sijo, ghazal, free verse and prose. Since 1997, with AHApoetry.com, CYBERTRY II, I intermingled prose with haiku sequences, prose with tanka (haibun-like, using 25 syllable tanka written like prose + haiku), free verse with dialogue, tanka and haiku ( introduced in two short plays), sijo sequences and prose, ghazal with free verse and prose.
With most of the forms mentioned above, Jane Reichhold and I also wrote collaboratively. Here an example:
It is painful waiting for the noise of someone undressing.
at the end of spring
Suppose an embryo marks itself into the territories
hard to go
It starts snowing in the name of winter. We put hot chocolate
painting the kite
I coined the term 'symbiotic poetry', recognizing the need for an English language term to indicate the many different ways to write collaboratively. Put it another way, my basic principle always was composing text similar to what in the visual arts is called 'collage', or respectively 'installation'. I learned and took off from the inventions of the early symbolists and surrealists in Europe, changed, mixed and added the use of Japanese genres to the spiritual purposes that fits my western concepts.
And here, I think we are back to our theme: blending forms.
But for my purposes, in working with form, I do not mean a strict form. Not 5-7-5 syllables, for example, but a flexible form. A haiku that has shape and form, yes, as Jane Reichhold has named it, "fragment and phrase," though fragment and phrase of an approximate length. Eleven syllables or fourteen, or whatever, as the need of the poem requires. Form, but flexible form. And here, I hope I have come to the need and reason for the mixing of genres. A constant need and search to accommodate the inner needs of expression, whatever that may be to any particular individual artist. And to acknowledge, as well, that without evolution and/or deliberate experimentation to keep art fresh we have stagnation. Or, in a word, boredom.
I don't see myself as an innovator, but as one who takes the building blocks that are available and find what I can do with them to satisfy my own artistic needs. In the process, perhaps, some innovation takes place. But I am not trying to strike out into unknown territory, but to take tradition and freshen it for the need of the new moment. This happened for me in a form recently written about in an article between myself and Linda Jeannette Ward, who also found a similar solution to artistic expression in what she has named the tanku. In my case it is the tanbun, which is simply a very short haibun. The prose text being 31 syllables or less, capped by a haiku or tanka. Linda's tanku is quite similar, only she has linked a tanka with a haiku, the traditional shift in tanka often coming between the two poems. In my tanbun what we have really is a tanka presented in prose format capped by a haiku or tanka.
To get back to my original point about accommodating needs of expression without really being an innovator, this tanbun form came about by the fact that I had a tanka that was not really working as a tanka, there wasn't a strong shift within it, and while I pondered those five lines, I remembered a haiku that complemented it. And I brought them together. And something interesting happened. Another early tanbun came about (and this is more significant to our discussion), when I had a tanka with additional material left over. It wasn't quite a two tanka sequence, however, and as I tried various ways to accommodate my need of expression within our western haiku tradition, I reverted to my earlier experiment of combining a prose tanka with an already existing but related haiku. You can easily see how my need of expression, the need to include the whole experience works in this second experiment, or mixing of genres:
Unworldly wind, and dark the midnight forest.
in the black of nothing
Here the "additional" material, that became a haiku after the tanka text, is italicized, for what I hope suggests the ghostliness of those last three lines, and adds a little something extra typographically to the poem. And here, too, in this particular mixing of genres, I think I have discovered a potential for something new in haibun. Because of its very conciseness the tanbun will often work as a lyric, rather than a prose text followed by a linking haiku.
But getting back to my tanbun, I do see it as a distinct form, not only a mixing of forms. A form, to me, as distinct as the sonnet. A form, like the sonnet, that can by played with, but that has a fundamental shape and internal organization that make it namable. It began as a mixing of two Japanese forms, the haiku and the tanka, and became something else.
On the other hand, I am troubled to think of having named a form with a Japanese word, a coin-word at that, when in fact the form in question is an English-language form. I can see the offensiveness in that, which I regret. As far as being identified with `a dilettante's mania', I can live with it. I did it and I'll own it. But in truth, I was not comfortable with the name I came up with from the start, and if I get a chance to rename it, I may. To answer your feelings of aversion to giving each attempt to change form a new name, I can see that. It would become quite a mishmash if each, and often a once in a life-time, new and organic form were given a name. Still, Werner, I think that the way I am using this 31 syllable or less text capped with a haiku or a tanka, is unique, and I must insist on it as a new form, though the jury is still out as to its ultimate name. But name it must have if other poets are to work with it, understand it, speak of it.
I feel sometimes quite uncomfortable with poetry societies because there is something going on – like a race to become the accepted "inventor" of a form. Since early on I myself have chosen another way – I presented my hybridized materials as an offer to readers interested in innovative change. I patiently didn't underline that it can be recognized as a 'new form', but I am glad that after years a growing number of writers come along to share the same path.
I would like to mention Paul Celan, recognized as a master of contemporary short poetry. Reading his poems (all of the highly difficult poems are outstandingly well translated into English) one feels that, living and writing mostly in France, he got acquainted with haiku and tanka. But here again is my point: Celan did create his own new forms but never claimed that haiku and tanka have been resources he studied. That's all right, because he integrated both Japanese and Yiddish forms organically so that his poems became unique creations: form and content are one thing.
Berryman's "Dream Songs" would be an example of such a form, each being eighteen lines, but beyond that quite open to variation. A very flexible form. And that is what I am looking for at the moment, form, but form with a certain ability to expand or contract.
So what I am thinking, now, is that I will continue to think of these "tiny haibun" as a distinct form, having certain limitations placed on them, as to an approximate size/length, controlled by syllabic count, but that I may not be so quick to give them a name. Of if a name is called for, to give them a name English in origin.
You know, I'm beginning to think that our dialogue is becoming more and more a discussion of the short poem, rather than the mixing of forms. Short poems that have been informed, perhaps, from other short forms, but short poems, period. And in the writing of short poems, however influenced, I would agree, there is no need to be naming each poem as a new form. Harkening back to Celan, how could he have named his poems as individual forms? They are the voice of a unique artist, they are of a type, but they are each different is size and shape, so to speak, and do not denote a new form, but unique structures born out of the growth of singular thoughts. He could be said to have been working with new concepts in poetry, but not namable forms.
And further more, I think that we have gone not only into the area of the short poem, but within that area we are also speaking of two different things that are going in regard to the short poem. One, there is the short poem that is organic in nature, however much it has been or has not been influenced by an already existing short form, say the haiku or tanka. And two, the short poem that has a specific structure that can be and is repeated. When a short poem always insists, say, are being six lines then you have a form. That is overly simplistic, I realize, but for the sake of argument it is a six line poem, albeit not much of a form, but it can be named. It might be called "the six-line poem." Obviously an unnecessary form to be named. But if the form becomes more complex, and carries with it certain expectations, one might want to name it. If for no other reason than that it can be quickly refereed to and discussed.
Of course, if I am the only one using that form, why name it? It could be referred to as the short poems of Larry Kimmel. I'm thinking again of Berryman's "Dream Songs." I don't think he named the form. We speak of his "Dream Songs" but that is because that was the name of the collection when it first appeared. And I don't think that his eighteen lines have ever become a form emulated by other poets. Maybe by a few, but it is not part of the canon of forms, as is the sonnet in western poetry.
You were saying that if I am using 31 syllables or less in my prose text and not regarding the pivot line and its function to blend two different things, to disregard breaks in the tanka form, then what is it but a prose text followed by a haiku, in short, a short haibun. This is true. And many of the tanbun that I've written are in fact, simply short, let's say tiny', haibun. BUT, even then, I feel, that these "tiny haibun" are something not quite a haibun at all.
They become lyric poems. Part of it formatted as a prose text with a leap into a second, lineated poem, that at its best, resonates with the first prose formatted poem, forming one unit, a nameable form. There is something about the controlling of the size that takes it out of the arena of the traditional haibun. It is no longer a prose text "capped" by a haiku, but a two part poem (which admittedly could be all lineated), but still a two part poem, originally inspired by the complex of haikai techniques as understood in the west.
In practice this could still break down into being nothing more that a "tiny haibun", but it has a potential worth exploring as a form. What I am looking at now, and what I quoted as a tanbun above, is just a hint and a suggestion of something to explore. It grew out of an extension of the tanka, but it is no longer tanka or haibun. What is it? Perhaps only a structure that helps me create within certain limitations. (And all art, all poems, have certain limitations placed on them or they would not exist except as a gas ever dispersing.) Well, whatever it is, it is for me a useful blueprint for a certain type of short poem and it is nameable. Though I do wish I had given it a less questionable name. That much I give you.
I would say that we have learned of an interesting form from the Japanese in the haiku and the tanka, but once applied to the English-language poetics, it does become something different. It cannot replicate the original, it can only suggest a new direction, or new form, in English, or whatever new language it is being used in. Although, I do believe that the under lying structure, Jane Reichhold's fragment and phrase theory again, is a fundamental structure that exists in the cosmos, as surely as, say, the blues form or the AABA form of the swing era does in music. And as a universal form it belongs to all. The Japanese first discovered it and developed it according the structure of their language. We have learned of it from the Japanese, but must develop it according the structure of our language.
But I have somewhat gotten away from the main point of our dialogue here, which is the mixing of forms.
Scholarship has its place and I am always appreciative of scholarship and good translation of traditional material, that keeps alive what was once a great concept and practice, but this is a touchstone from which to create anew. While I am all for experimentation with the mixing of genres (and I think here we are talking to a great extent of mixing Japanese traditional forms with western poetics), while I am all for experimentation, I will admit that there is the HAIKU, in capital letters, which is a form and a certain content and an aesthetic tradition, and that it can be truly great when it works. But to try to hold it there is to limit.
And limitation, of this sort, limitation not of form but of the evolutionary processes of the universe, is futile and has been the cause of a great many woes in this world. In the political and governmental areas it is easy to see how limitation leads to punitive governments. How can it be any different with poetry? Limitation of this sort is to stifle creativity.
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Page Copyright© Jane Reichhold 2002.
I would like to know more about Renga.