Posts Tagged ‘Kigo’


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misty stars . . .
is it of any help,
my camp-fire

©2016 dalvir gill

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the earthworms
around a rose-bush . . .
family-reunion


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ਮੇਰੇ ਜਿਹੋਂ ਤੂੰ;
ਅੱਧ ਕੱਜਿਆ, ਨੰਗ . . .
ਮੇਘ ਆਕਾਸ਼ੀਂ


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wildebeest
crossing the torrents . . .
ibis screech

ਵੱਗਾਂ ਦੇ ਵੱਗ
ਨਦੀ ਪਾਰ ਜਾਵਣ . . .
ਕੁਰਲਾਂਦਾ ਕਾਂ


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blessings,
unable to contain . . .
calotropis

ਸੰਭਲੇ
ਨਾ ਸੰਭਾਲੇ ਬਣੇ . . .
ਅੱਕ-ਭੰਬੀਆਂ


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From Hototogisu To Kokil, With Love—DalvirGill

Kokil Amb(i) Suhavi Bole (The Sweet Song of Koel Bird From the Mango Tree) is mainly a book on haiku, with an added bonus of 363 haiku/senryu by 18 haiku-poets including those by editor Sandip Chauhan and Harvinder Dhaliwal, Co-Editor. This is the second haiku anthology edited by Dr. Chauhan. (Previously she co-edited In One Breath –– a Haiku moment with Elaine Andre in which Andre wrote a pithy, condensed and concentrated introductory essay on the genre.)

The book is divided into two major parts: A collection of haiku/senryu and an essay by Dr. Chauhan. The 43-page essay is further divided into three major parts, along with a small note on senryu and the very important Concluding Remarks.

  1. Haiku: The Form and Function –– deals with the form of the genre, it’s history; the haiku vision, haiku mind-set, haiku moment; its relation to and the importance of kigo, the place and position of kigo in haiku that is written outside of Japan.

  2. Haiku: It’s Structure & Creative Tools –– deals with the form or structural elements of haiku, namely kireji (cutting word); its what, how and why, and paying special attention to Ma (gap, pause, or negative space), explaining that it is not only the structural value of cutting a poem into much expounded-on ‘phrase and fragment’ but how these two parts juxtaposed have psychological and philosophical affects on the reader and invite one to enter into the poem, participate, and complete it for oneself. All this is discussed in the same manner as was done with the kigo, that is, that kigo is important not only to the form but also adds a certain emotional value to the poem in enabling a reader to relate to it by entering into it through this door and to re-create it by interpreting, traveling across time and space.

In this sub-chapter while discussing the Language of Haiku, metaphor (overt, unresolved, absolute), simile, and allegory are discussed. It is suggested that these shouldn’t be used in the same sense as in the other genres of poetry/literature, for they appear, when they do, in a haiku with a widely different value and in a nature that’s unique to haiku. And, even though haiku may have a certain internal rhythm, but end-rhyme or a conscious effort to create rhyme, while dulling the elements of haiku, can almost eliminate the effect created by kire (cut marker) and turn it into a three-line free-verse.

  1. Haiku: Aesthetic Principles –– deals with often ignored and omitted, less discussed aspects of Japanese aesthetics in reference to haiku, vis-à-vis yugen, wabi, sabi, and mono no aware. Here too, these elements/principles are discussed as to why they are important, and how these are used in haiku.

The Concluding Remarks portion is very important. Using the analogy of “A River and Its Banks” to ‘creative process and creation/technical rules’, offered by a prominent Indian scholar Kala Ramesh (an aesthete who is an expert on Indian classical dance & music and haiku), Dr. Chauhan not only talks about the importance of the one to the other but suggests that because the kigo is always local, Punjabi haiku lovers and all other communities of haiku writers in their respective native languages and/or in their particular geographical spheres shall work towards creating their own Saijiki. It does make sense. For example, we associate frog with monsoon but in classical Japanese saijiki frog is a kigo for spring. And most importantly, we have six seasons while the Japanese have four.

It should be pointed out that this is the third book in Punjabi that’s not merely a collection of haiku by one or more poets, but deals with the genre at length. The first book was Japanese Haiku Shyeri (Japanese Poetry: Haiku) by Parminder Sodhi, who was a Punjabi poet residing in Japan for over two decades, to whom this book is dedicated. Until its publication, no one in Punjabi literary circles had really heard of haiku, so the book was more an introduction to the genre. Then a reader of that book, Mr. Amarjit Sathi, after forming the Punjabi Haiku Forum and Haiku Group on Facebook, c. 2008, watching the growing popularity of haiku among Punjabi poets and upon a unanimous demand from them, put together the second book Haiku Bodh (The Haiku Primer), in which he borrows heavily from the Haiku Society of America and Western scholars, and for the most part, translates their views/definitions for those Punjabi poets who weren’t that well-versed or fluent in the English language. Mr. Sodhi’s book was leaning more toward classical form when Punjabi poets were almost oblivious to the genre. Mr. Sathi’s book came when a number of Punjabi poets were creating haiku/senryu, and he does make use of those poems to exemplify different aspects of the genre, but does so within the periphery defined by English language scholars, and consequently, doesn’t show any attempt to start a dialogue with the original Japanese form from the Punjabi perspective.

Dr. Chauhan’s book, being the third book on the chronological chart, can be rightly called The First Book on Haiku in Punjabi. Even in the Preface by Dr. Jaswinder Singh –Dean, Academic Affairs and Professor, Punjabi Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, India, Dr. Singh points out the matters which are central to and burning among Punjabi haiku enthusiasts and currently are not central to the international haiku scene.

Other than the dozen or so collections of Punjabi haiku that have been published, and even though this is the third chronological book on haiku in Punjabi, this is the first comprehensive volume. It not only suggests bypassing the English Language Haiku (ELH) experience, it wants us to connect directly to Japanese masters & Japanese aesthetics and fairly does so itself. Dr. Chauhan has her finger on the pulse through her colleagues; Dr. Gabi Greve, a professional translator who has a direct experience of Japan and haiku, and Elaine Andre, who shared research and made this haiku journey with her. The abundant footnotes indicate that while trying to understand the major concepts of Japanese aesthetics, Dr. Chauhan didn’t restrict her research to English language scholars but approached them through different channels – painting, architecture, Noh theatre. And there’s a conscious effort to avoid all the Western misconceptions about haiku. This kind of research is quite scarce in the English world and utterly non-existent in Punjabi or in the other Indian languages.


 

a river
reaching the ocean;
white clouds

 

 


 

cloudless sky
reflected in wave-less pond;
meditation

that i just scratched is nothing, just clever wording, soothing to “some ears” -a mild short poem, at the best; but, ( your )

the sky
tousles in the pond . . .
a lotus

is a really nice hokku!
do you catch my drift?

the jump from first two lines to the third ( a lotus ) is which brings in the “Dreaming-Room”, creates the Ma. There’s Yugen ( mystery & depth ) in it. solving the mystery is what we call “participation by the reader”, something a must in hokku – preached, but not practiced.

Now, Every reader will interpret it differently based on his/her sociology-geographical and/or cultural background, on one’s own personal intellectual/existential experience, adding layers to this hokku – its forte.

Whereas, a “description” of a moment/images blandly juxtaposed on doesn’t leave anything for a reader, it doesn’t let the reader to enter into the poem and hence doesn’t encourage him to interpret, to re-interpret it – over and over.

A “small nature-poem” describing “a snap-shot of nature in a moment” even if written while following all the so-called “rules of haiku-writing” is fated to only ONE interpretation, no matter who reads it;
but, a hokku on the other hand will not only be interpreted by each reader differently, but also, the same reader will interpret it differently at different times, in different states of mind. Only because of one reason and that’s Ma, created by “kire” ( the act of cutting ), it not only lets the reader enter into the poem but welcomes him/her.