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Splash Poetry Close to the Heart

Haiku depend rather much on what each person is attuned to in them.

Many traditional proverbs rhyme and are presented on several lines. Are they haiku for that reason? Some could be, and if they seem unfit, they could be made fit and called haiku.

Many of Basho's haiku were actually the hokku (initial verse) of a renga (linked verse). And here we are, free to experiment with and space out proverbs as we like. It could be good training. We condense a statement, and note how it becomes more ambiguous for being made terser, and hence more difficult to get at. At any rate, it may be suggested that what works best as a haiku is not far from one's heart.

We do not have to go to Japanese poetry to be able to write "one mention at a time, line by line, and make it short". We can experiment also.

Haiku With or Without Headings, as You Like It

The following haikuised proverb poem takes off from a Swedish proverb that is slightly altered, broken up and given a heading:
A Still Tongue (It helps to be bulwarked)
You may not say
exactly what you want to,
but think, somehow.

Compare Man får inte säga vad man vill, men man får tänka det. [Swedish proverb].


In the Dark (Icelandic)
The darkness
does not bother me,
said the thief.

We can think "The thief is in the dark because he steals" and things like that.

No Boast (Danish)
Much screaming and little
wool, said the woman,
shearing her sow.

Tomorrow Today (American)
When it gets here
It's today.

Many can learn to combine various proverbs into co-working poems too. Example:

Regretting a Vow
Vow in a storm soon
forgotten in calm waters.
Regrets are possible.

This combined "hokku" makes use of American proverbs that say that vows made in a storm can easily be forgotten in the calm, under seemingly better conditions, and perhaps that great regrets may follow great vows after they get broken. At least it is normal. The greater the broken vow, the greater regret, perhaps.

Old and New "Telegram Styles"

Many modern haiku and other shorthand-like poems may help us open up to those parts of ourselves that stay centred in a feeling and even some salient outlook when we perceive it. Haiku poems that have remained active and latent over the centuries, tried to do just that, as a matter of traditionally handed over ways of looking at things.

The capacity to open up and remain receptive and perhaps advance into further possibilities through ascended inner perceptions of oneself in unison with nature; in one's circumstances of life; and among many common purposes, could bear on one's willingness to see and listen too. See, listen, observe, remain aware to the finer nuances of nature and happenings; that is part of good love as well, its awareness training is quite something.

The modern poem may use symbols and images. What happens when the different planes of references blend, may be fit. Also, being prepared somehow may ease the subtle and gentle perceptions.


Note-taking and Jean Baudrillard

Horses in midstream:
Don't change.

Here is a conciseness that appears to outflank even haiku. That briefingly terse reminder is from the British proverb "Don't change horses in midstream". Or, if you like it better, horses hardly change a lot for being midstream.

A way to do it

Imagists of the 1910s–1920s . . . such as H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) and briefly the energetic [Ezra] Pound, believed lines should be a clear image and poems written by stacking such lines together. - John Lennard (2005, 170)

That is one way to do it.

From fading lives

Sir John Betjeman (1906–84) said he wanted to be a poet as soon as he could read and write . . . Partly to escape the family firm. He wanted "to encase in rhythm and rhyme The things [he] saw and felt" to stop them fading away. He was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1972 until his death. And yet: "Preserving experience doesn't leave too much time for anything else. Most poets live uneventful lives," writes John Whitworth (2006, 15).

Taste on a deduction now: "As we try to write down things, we lose life and become bores too, for that single reason." A dynamism (force) could be at play.

That leads us to academic study and study of other sorts as means of getting less lively - and that many paradoxes can be illuminating as well. We may "compare the beginning and the end," as John McRae writes (2003, 30).

Taking Notes

Note-taking may be a great part of a study. It could pay to learn its basics, which in part revolve around sorting out keywords and key phrases, and put them together in fit ways, ways that help understanding. Tony Buzan came up with guidelines that apply. Among his many books, Use Your Head (2010) and Study Skills (2011) could offer initial help for aspiring poets and many more who think "If he promises a lot, a little could be help too."

Now, many who mean to devise a way of taking notes or change a genre of poetry or parts of culture that matter, could seek to be grounded well enough, be firm and draw benefits as they are up to. And learn from the best at first.

Baudrillard and Salt Lake City

Jean Baudrillard, one of the most topical and controversial theorists of France, died in spring 2007. The following consists of gathered fragments from his sort of travel diary of a book, America [1986].

Salt Lake City
What stunning brilliance
these Mormons show
these rich banker polygamists

I went in search of
the finished form of the future catastrophe.
To understand it, take to the road.

Dare to ask which road
So many roads
lead farther from home.

Jôdan kara, Honma ga deru. Truth often comes out of a jest (Akiyama 1940, 103).


Novel haiku, modern haiku, modern poetry, Literature  

Akiyama, Aisaburo. 1940. Japanese Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases. 3rd ed. Yokohama: Yoshikawa Book Store.

Baudrillard, Jean. 1989. America. London: Verso. (Original: Amérique. Paris: Grasset, 1986).

Buzan, Tony. 2010. Use Your Head. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson.

Buzan, Tony. 2011. Buzan's Study Skills: Mind Maps, Memory Techniques, Speed Reading and More! Harlow, UK: Pearson Education.

Higginson, William J., with Penny Harter. 1985. The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share and Teach Haiku. New York: McGraw-Hill. ⍽▢⍽ Recommended.

Lennard, John. 2005. The Poetry Handbook: A Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McRae, John. 2003. The Language of Poetry. London: Routledge.

Yoshinobu Hakutani. 2009. Haiku and Modernist Poetics. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Whitworth, John. 2006. Writing Poetry. 2nd ed. London: A. and C. Black.

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