Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Haiku and Tanka... March 5

A chance to meet the RAHG (Rochester Area Haiku Group) and hear from their chapbook, Five Seasons.
Opening page:
Matsuo Basho's Instructions to poetry students:
Learn about Pines from the pine, and about bamboo from the bamoo.
Don't follow in the footsteps of the old poets; seek what they sought.
Don't imitate me; it's as boring as two halves of a melon.

Actually, two halves of a melon sounds appetizingly tasty and I don't see how that could be boring, except that when one is dissected, in such a way, there is the loss of melon as part of vine, the wholeness of its fruiting...

A haiku shared by Emily which goes straight to the heart:
Just in fun, I took up mother on my back
but he was so light that I broke down and cried
before I could take three steps.

for perspective:
Crane's legs
have gotten shorter
in the spring rain

A bee
staggers out
of the peony.

How satisfying to allow th emind to leap to a more profound reflection about ourselves, our consciousness and our relationship to the natural world (initial subject of the poem).

Poetry exists in EVERY culture -- Haiku is the most popular form INTERNATIONALLY --
perhaps because so much is said with such compressed elegance, attention to 31 syllables of music, in the space of a breath.

Here is Richard Wilbur's Tanka (from his collected poems --p. 11 of the section of new ones (2004)


Black-and-white Holsteins
Crown downfield at feeding-time,
Mingling their blotches.
It is like ice breaking up
In a dark, swollen river.


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