LETTERS TO LYNX
We are deep in snow, and more is forecast for the coming week.
And it is my long-suffering wife who has to shovel it; snow is not wheelchair friendly! Denmark keeps winning in the handball VM, and so does Germany.
Some TV people are looking ahead to the possibility of a Denmark / Germany final. That would be something. One of the better Danish players plays his club handball in Hamburg. Is Doris Lynch a new discovery? I have looked back in previous issues and have not found her name. Anyway, liked her SANTA ROSA ISLAND, FLORIDA; it made me homesick. FAMILY AFFAIR by Jeanne Jorgensen I also liked very much.
And Steven Carter's ANOTHER MORNING NOCTURNE brought back "been there, done that" type of memories. NOVEMBER'S FIRST ICE, Daryl Nielsen, was my favorite single poem. And I have read and liked Patricia Prime for some time. Thanks for the photo —and the interview! Don Ammons
Dear Werner and Jane,
And now for something a little different! :
Due to the relative rarity of male/female collaborators in the short form world (not to
mention our love of a challenge!), my life partner, Gary Foster, and I have begun writing together. Our first sequence was composed after our Christmas trip to Northern
California, where we visited with Gary’s family. As happens during such occasions,
many recollections surfaced, some painful. Knowing him to be a poet at heart, I
convinced Gary that tanka can create a safe holding place (and that poetry-writing is not
just for private diaries!), and he took his first brave plunge! This sequence is a little different, in that the last lines are a repeated mantra which laps and recedes with each new tanka, recalling the way memories wash over us like waves. We decided to share it with you, in the hope you might consider it for an edition of Lynx. Many thanks for being our "first readers!" Autumn Noelle Hall
Thank you for submitting such an interesting collaboration with Gary. You mastered the challenge. The links and leaps are excellent. The matching of the last lines of your tanka has also something in common with the old Persian Form of composing a ghazal. Interesting, your work is reminding readers that there is a lot to adapt that is making the Japanese forms richer for us Westerners. Greetings to Gary and all the best to you, Werner and Jane
Dear Werner & Jane,
Thank you so much for all your kind, encouraging comments! Gary & I are both so pleased that this sequence succeeded for you! The ghazal connection is interesting, especially as we both admire the Sufi tradition which expanded that form. Your last sentence regarding making the Japanese forms richer for Westerners was particularly meaningful, as this is one of our dearly-held writing goals. While we think it is important to understand and honor the long tradition from which these forms arose, we also think it is critical to continue to nudge and experiment with them in order to move them forward and maintain their relevance in our modern world. Gary and I both have backgrounds in Mandarin Chinese, so we have a great appreciation for Eastern languages, philosophy, and tradition. But as lifelong readers/writers, we also respect and admire the great Western Literary traditions of our own heritage. Far from being a detriment, we feel making full use of the English language, with the myriad sounds, symbols, and subtleties available to us, can only serve to enhance tanka and all its related Asianforms. As poetry is a living thing, we believe actively breathing new life into it is crucial! Thank you for giving us this opportunity, and even more for being a nurturing and supportive force in the short form world. Few editors offer the kind of gentle encouragement and openminded-ness that you and Jane consistently show your writers. Your teaching tools, flexibility with form, and your own fine examples of writing serve to promote the confidence and daring necessary to attempt something new. We cannot tell you enough how very much this is appreciated! Warmest wishes, Autumn & Gary
Autumn and Gary,
My relations to the far Eastern regions go back to the time in the 1930s when I grew up in Berlin, Germany. The house of my parents was flooded by vases, scrolls and other oriental art works. The main reason was that my mother's brother was working with the Attache in Yokohama, Japan, and another uncle from my father’s side of the family was the German ambassador to China (before the political changes in Berlin.) Whenever these men saw an empty box at the embassy, they didn't wait for long filling it with stuff they bought and wanted to store in Berlin. During their vacation times they insisted that we 3 boys learned at least ten Japanese or Chinese words a day, and they left us with brush and ink to paint the characters - and we, brats as we have been - went on decorating the wallpaper! Best wishes to you and Gary, also from Jane, Werner
I don't feel the need to rework some of my text. What I was trying to convey is fully revealed in the structure of my haibun, which you read very well ("in this, your verse, there are clichés (T. S Eliot), right? This is followed by a teacher's lesson, saying "Be aware of clichés.” Then we are left with a student's comment")
[April is] The Cruelest Month (the "clichéd" title, which, I hope, works effectively as the opening and closing lines)
with the blank space
when words fail...
on my attic window
April rain pattering
... "followed by a teacher's lesson, saying "Be aware of clichés." ...a student's comment"
... And the rain started to pour... [April is the cruelest month]
This cyclically thematic structure is mainly used to rework the clichéd phrase, "the cruelest month," into a new context in which to ponder the dialectical relationship between writing/the poet and the use of clichés/literary tradition. Hopefully, this will stir the reader's interest in re/reading T. S. Eliot's best-known essay, “Tradition and the Individual Talent.”
In my humble opinion, for an experienced writer, nothing is a cliché. It all depends on how one uses it in an innovative way. One of my favorite German writers, Gunter Grass, has elevated the clichéd phrase, "peeling the onion," to an ontological level through his writings (such as the "Onion Cellar" episode in Tin Drum and his "memoir" of the same
I principally agree with your insightful comment on different understandings of the use of clichés in the Japanese/Western literary contexts:
the Japanese principle of using Kigo is simply an attempt of integrating a cliché.
Yes. the question is how. One of the poetic characteristics the haikai masters had advocated was to create a haikai twist, and its creation was dependent on the poet’s “skillful balancing of the conventional meaning, i.e., the honi, of a topic with whatever new and startling insight [he/she was] able to add to it, typically creating a clash between the worlds of ga [the elegant and refined] and zoku [the mundane or commonplace].”
Yesterday, I published a post,<http://neverendingstoryhaikutanka.blogspot.ca/2013/02/to-lighthouse-plagiarism-or-honkadori.htmlTo the Lighthouse: Plagiarism or Honkadori
(loosely-defined allusion), on NeverEnding Story.
Below is a relevant excerpt from the post:
"Veteran haiku poet and editor Cor van den Heuvel gives an incisive explanation about these perspective differences: “If a haiku is a good one, it doesn’t matter if the subject has been used before. The writing of variations on certain subjects in haiku, sometimes using the same or similar phrases (or even changing a few words of a previous haiku), is one of the most interesting challenges the genre offers a poet and can result in refreshingly different ways of “seeing anew” for the reader. This is an aspect of traditional Japanese haiku which is hard for many Westerners, with their ideas of uniqueness and Romantic individualism, to accept. But some of the most original voices in haiku do not hesitate to dare seeming derivative if they see a way of reworking an “old” image.”
8 (note: Jessica Millen's contextualized analysis of "Romantic Creativity and the Ideal of
Originality" can be accessed at http://goo.gl/qQUnF) Individual imagination and creativity has been theorized to represent a high value in literary criticism. This view is well-explored in Forest Pyle's influential book, The Ideology of Imagination: Subject and Society in the Discourse of Romanticism. Today, high poetic value placed upon originality remains ingrained in the Western literary culture. This fear of unknowingly writing similar haiku or the reluctance or disuse of allusion proves that Thomas Mallon's remark still holds true: the poets live under the "fearful legacy of the Romantics." 14 Could those poets or editors who are constantly worried about "not being original or fresh" imagine that a poet deliberately using a direct quote as the first two lines of his
haiku can achieve a great poem?" Thanks for accepting my tanka sequence. Best, Chen-ou Liu
Dear Werner and Jane,
good sunny afternoon. and frigid. . . did i say frigid? it is -27C. outside and with the windchill -35C. we can cope with anything almost if the sun shines and the skies are blue. i just got back from my chair yoga class which i am learning to enjoy. i practiced hatha
yoga for over 5 years and then developed terrible pain in my rotator cuff muscles in my left upper arm so cannot put all my weight on my upper arms anymore. with rest, the muscles are (almost) as good as new again but the physiotherapist was adamant that i never take another regular yoga class again. i am also taking a stretching class until march and then hope to get into a more active class and stay with the same yoga. roses starting to bloom . . . mercy you are lucky. take good care of each other and yourselves. thank-you so much for your reply. hugs and fondest regards, jeanne jorgensen
Last autumn I got a letter from Thomas Sayre, the artist doing a commission in Chattanooga, Tennessee, asking permission to use one of my haiku he had found in A Dictionary of Haiku on AHApoetry.com which I readily gave him. He had this idea of making huge bridge parts that could be moved by passersby turning a steel hand wheel. On the walkway below he wanted to place four haiku – one for each season. He wanted two by men and two by women, two by Americans and two by Japanese. However, the poems had to fit his idea of the complete complex. After many weeks of e-mails Mr. Sayre picked these haiku to be embedded in colored strips in the cemen
a spring day
in the young girl’s feet
deep in the night on a bridge
we are strangers
Chiyo-ni as translated by JR
on the path
only one of us touched
by a falling leaf
everyone comes out
to appreciate the bridge
a frosty road
Basho as translated by JR
You can read more about the work at:
mentions the haiku
Paul Merken, of Holland sends his new template for the solo renga “A Wandering Soul” You can find the poem in the solo works.
Een modernistisch kettinggedicht New Junicho volgens het schema:
hokku [cultureel – muziek] le
wakiku [cultureel – kunst]
#5 [cultureel – film]
#6 [cultureel – film, politiek & religie] nj
#7 [gendai] he
#9 [cultureel – literatuur]
#11 [shasei] wi
ageku [cultureel – politiek]
gendai - 2 verzen - modernistisch - atypische structuur, toon of inhoud.
shasei - 4 verzen – schetsen uit het leven - ervaringen, waarnemingen, niet gezocht.
cultureel - 6 verzen - een elk uit: kunst, film, literatuur, muziek, politiek, religie.
A modernist renku New Junicho according to the template:
hokku [cultural – music] sp
wakiku [cultural – art]
#5 [cultural – film] su
#6 [cultural – film, politics & religion] ny
#7 [gendai] au
#9 [cultural – literature]
#11 [shasei] wi
ageku [cultural – politics]
gendai - 2 verses - modernist - atypical structure, tone or content.
shasei - 4 verses - sketched from life - lived experience, observational, uncontrived.
cultural - 6 verses - one each of: art, film, literature, music, politics, religion.
ny New year
Jane, I forgot to tell you, when we spoke last, that I won Third Prize in the 17th International "Kusamakura" Haiku Competition in Kumamoto. Here's the link to the haiku:
http://www.akitahaiku.com/?s=d.s.+lliteras Danny Lliteras
Gigno wrote to me about a new form he has developed which he calls the “ellip.” On his blog he ran a contest and this was the winning entry.
tea for two
the bees knees
By: Debra Squyres 2/14/13
For: Member Contest "Ellip"
You can see all the winners and learn more about the Ellip at: http://www.poetrysoup.com/poetry_blogs/blog_detail.aspx?BlogID=14745&PoetID=19851
Dear All, The new issue of Shamrock (No 24) is now available online at http://shamrockhaiku.webs.com/currentissue.htm It has a big selection of English-language haiku, a haibun and a review of the haiku collection by Bruce Ross, as well as all the prize-winning and commended haiku from the recent Irish Haiku Society haiku competition 2012. Many thanks to the contributors. We hope our readers will enjoy it.
Contemporary Haibun Online: Haibun & Tanka Prose Editors Ken Jones, Jim Kacian & Bruce Ross, http://contemporaryhaibunonline.com
Haibun Today: Haibun, Tanka Prose, Articles & Large Resources Collection on Haibun and Tanka Prose. Editors Jeffrey Woodward, Patricia Prime, Glenn Coats, Claire Everett & Ray Rasmussen
A Hundred Gourds: Haiku, Tanka, Haiga, Haibun & Tanka Prose, Renku, & Articles.
Editors Lorin Ford, Susan Constable, Aubrie Cox, Mike Montreuil, William Sorlien & Matthew Paul. http://www.ahundredgourds.com/=
Scott Mertz: RoadRunner R'r 13.1
An’ya and Peter have a New Online journal Kernals http://www.kernelsonline.com
Notes from the Gean: monthly haiku journal. Subs close on the 1st of the month, full details here: http://www.geantreepress.com/Submissions.html Please check out our current issue or archives to see what we are about. http://www.geantreepress.com/Current_Issue.html
We publish all haikai genres but are always particularly interested in multimedia, hearing new voices and would also love to see more people have a go at creating cartoons (let your funny side loose) and we always welcome images for our covers. We also publish free to read e-books: Don Baird's L.A. Thru a Lens came out last week;
and my publisher has kindly allowed me to put up my first book, A Seal Snorts Out The Moon, for free http://www.geantreepress.com/Books.html 2 new books will be out very soon: one book of haibun by Ed Markowski; and a book of haiga by John Carley. Slainte and thank you for your continued support. Colin Stewart Jones: Editor
You can sign up for The Ghazal Newsletter by Gene Doty http://www.ghazalpage.net orhttp://genedoty.org
The poets in Breda, Netherlands, continue their project of placing stones with poems engraved on them in special places around the town. Here they are with their latest installation. A member of this group, Silva Ley, uses both tanka and free verse on her stones.
Just thought I could share this news with you . . . all the haiku sessions where I was involved since Nov 2012. And a millions thanks to you for encouraging Haiku in India! Kala Ramesh
1. November 2012 - 5 haiku sessions at Bookaroo, Festival of Children's Literature, Delhi. More than a hundred children and their parents attended the sessions.
Two sessions in Haikuwalkathon!
Two sessions in Haikucrazee!
and a HUGE Haiku Wall (I'd requested Bookaroo to provide) to pin up all the haiku that were written.
2. An interview by AuthorTV on Haiku, taken during the HLF
3. January 2013 at the Hyderabad Literary Festival: An Hour of Haiku and Raga
Designed a PPT presentation of haiku (read by Gabriel Rosenstock, K Ramesh and myself) along with raga music by bansuri artist Bapu Padmanabha.
4. Invited to participate at The Pune Biennale: Mohor, a ten-day event to celebrate the Pune hills through art, architecture and design, on 12th January, 2013.
5.Symbiosis School for Liberal arts -- Floating Credits Program - 30 hour module at SCMS (UG) from Feb 9 to March 8th, 2013.
Out of 23 students, 18 of MY Own Created KIGO Word were excellent. And they are just 19 / 20 years of age!
This is featured in A Hundred Gourds, June 2013, along with a few chosen haiku written during this course.
6. Haiku Utsav - Feb 23 & 24, 2013 (Partly sponsored by Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts)
12 haiku enthusiasts from all over India attended a two-day Utsav. The junicho renku which was composed in record time of 4 hours is published in A Hundred Gourds, linked to the feature - Haiku in India. IN haiku was founded, to get Indian haiku poets and enthusiasts together. The name suggested by Bhavani Ramesh won unanimous approval.
7. The British School, Delhi. 10 hour haiku module, March 2013, for 15 selected students. Many beautiful haiku and a junicho renku came out of this workshop.
A 2 hour session on "How to keep the love for poetry alive in children" was attended by teachers including their principal. All of them wrote their first haiku at the end of the session!
8. Dignity Club's 17th Annual Celebrations - 25th April at Pune :: 3 invited writers to talk on their experiences ::To discover life through art! I'm be talking, reading Haiku to them!
9. Haiku workshop at The Writer's Bug - Mumbai. on 26, 27 & 28 April, 2013 at Kitab Khana, South Mumbai, for a mixed group of kids and adults.
10. 12 & 13 May, 2013 at Kashmir Bookaroo Festival of Children's Literature 2013, at Srinagar.
We'll be having the Haiku Wall -- where all the haiku poems written by the participating children would be pinned up
Haikucrazee! An introduction to Haiku!
11. Haiku in India - a Feature in A Hundred Gourds - A reputed online journal of haiku, tanka, haibun, haiga and renku. June 2013
In my eyes haiku has arrived and the interest is only growing in leaps and bounds.
My heartfelt thank you to each of you, who made it possible. warmly, Kala Ramesh