Writing poetry has been an important method of self-expression for me since early childhood. The Japanese poetry form of haiku, however, is a fairly new approach for me. I appreciate the minimalist quality of haiku as well as the presence of the global self through the observation and mystery of nature.
Prior to travelling to Rome on February 3rd, I began a four-part course in haiku and haiku art on January 25th. Each part of the course focused on a season, and we reviewed carefully the work of Basho. It was from my experiences in this course and then my subsequent research on the history of haiku that truly led me to my love for the form. While travelling to and during my stay in Rome, I often reflected on my experiences through the haiku form.
I will say that haiku may seem quite simple, but it is in its simplicity that lies the complexity. I have worked hard to begin the journey of understanding haiku, and I am glad to have found a path upon which to tread…
Thus, I invite you to journey along with me in my discovery of haiku…
Leaves must turn towards
the colour of rust- Find joy
beginning the end.
Haiku for a long journey
Sit there stand here- Stop
Many hours to travel- Still
snow falls sun rises
Two clocks, two cities
Once again I seek
time lost between winter-spring
Boston to Rome: me
Hear whispered prayers:
my own. Others sleep, lulled by
winter’s night gentle breeze
With the exception of my very first haiku, the following ones were quite modern in the approach. While in Rome, I consulted with my haiku instructor, Pamela Bailey Powers, on my poems. She offered me some feedback and guidance…
My style… “sentences, weighted heavily with imperatives, conclusions, and towards the concerns of the self” – Not haiku.
Haiku is… “[the poetry of] Basho… analyze, realize, reach into, how do they affect [me],… know them… Know how they work, how they change, surprise, the seasons, dualities and opposites play and are let go to become so much more…”
“The self is rarely spoken of, yet infuses itself in a way that is metaphorical, transformed, and transcendent…”
To get to haiku, she told me that I had to “go… away from single conclusions, summations that reduce to a single idea. Poetry’s mission goes far beyond anything didactic. It goes toward complexity and the sublime. Art”
Thus, I took my notebook, my pen, and my camera and I headed out to discover the haiku of Rome…
Wondering how to
start. Rome is in its winter –
No frost on windows
-db (Feb. 2011)