Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Haiku (Part 2)

One of the features of Japanese Haiku is its relationship to Zen Buddhism with the Haiku being used to highten mystical awareness.

".................... Often there are two pictures, and the reader is expected to respond with heightened awareness of the mystical relationship between non-related subjects.
This mystical awareness is one of the seekings of Zen Buddhism, and was introduced into Haiku by the first, best loved, greatest master of the form, Basho (1644-1694. A second master was Buson (1715-1783) a poet less interested in mystical relationships than in exquisite vignettes. A third was Issa (1763-1827), pathetic, wryly humurous, utterly individual. A fourth was Shiki (1866-1902) - a modern Buson who gives us perfectly-phrased glimpses of everyday scenes and situations.

Almost every Haiku holds a key-word. The reader must take this key-word not as a statement, but as the author's cue to him, so that he can call up in himself his own associations and nostalgias, and read the little poem against that background................... because the poem is tiny does not mean that it is simple. A good Haiku is apt to be not only subtle but complex, with inner meanings (often because polysyllabic words are made up of syllables which have meanings of their own; often because phrases used have literary and historical associations."

These Haiku are some examples of the great masters of Haiku poetry:

IN MY NEW CLOTHING
I FEEL SO DIFFERENT
I MUST
LOOK LIKE SOMEONE ELSE
(BASHO)
.
THE SEASHORE TEMPLE...
INCOMING ROLLERS
FLOW IN TIME
TO THE HOLY FLUTE
(BUSON)
.
RAINY AFTERNOONS...
LITTLE DAUGHTER
YOU WILL NEVER
TEACH THAT CAT TO DANCE
(ISSA)
.
HERE IS THE DARK TREE
DENUDED NOW
OF LEAFAGE.....
BUT A MILLION STARS
(SHIKI)
.

11 comments:

Janice said...

Alden, I thought you might enjoy this, if you have not seen it already!

In Japan, Sony Vaio machines have replaced the impersonal and Unhelpful Microsoft error messages with their own Japanese haiku poetry, each only 17 syllables.



A file that big?

It might be very useful.

But now it is gone.


The Web site you seek

Can not be located but

Countless more exist.


Chaos reigns within.

Reflect, repent, and reboot.

Order shall return.


ABORTED effort:

Close all that you have worked on.

You ask way too much.


Windows 98 crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death.

No one hears your screams.


Yesterday it worked.

Today it is not working.

Windows is like that.


First snow, then silence.

This thousand dollar screen dies

So beautifully.


With searching comes loss

And the presence of absence:

"My Novel" not found.


The Tao that is seen

Is not the true Tao, until

You bring fresh toner.


Stay the patient course.

Of little worth is your ire.

The network is down.


A crash reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone.


Three things are certain:

Death, taxes, and lost data.

Guess which has occurred.


You step in the stream,

But the water has moved on.

This page is not here.


Out of memory.

We wish to hold the whole sky,

But we never will.


Having been erased,

The document you're seeking

Must now be retyped.

Alden Smith (Nick name - Pal) said...

Janice, I think they are great - I love this one:

"Windows 98 crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death.

No one hears your screams"

Before I retired, part of my job in my school was ICT coordinator, which really just means you are the sucker who gets asked to fix everything - and if it doesn't work its your fault! - anyway I well remember the years of Windows 95 and Win 98 - Win95 was the biggest load of crap that was ever invented - it crashed and crashed and crashed on our school computers, constantly causing huge problems / loss of data etc and driving me completely bonkers trying to run around fixing stuff.

I remember the launch of Win95 - Microsoft paid the Rolling Stones a million bucks to sing, "Start It Up" as the backing for their world wide release of this piece of goats manure - The song should have been titled "Watch It Crash".

There now, got that off my chest! and I feel a whole lot better for it too!

Delwyn said...

Alden you have posted another great selection of Haiku...

I know that in the original form Haiku followed a number of 'rules' and were to represent a season though an allusion or word, and then have a complementary but slightly edgy marrying of two ideas, but writing haiku these days seems a much freer enterprise and often doesn't even stick to the 5/7/5 syllable pattern...

thanks for more treats

Happy days

.

Alden Smith (Nick name - Pal) said...

Delwyn, you are right - like a lot of things Haiku seems to have morphed into something other than what it was at it origins.
Haiku is something written by children in schools quite a lot, with the onus put on the 5/7/5 pattern but without any other demands or references to the metaphysical - I guess each culture and time changes the archetype in subtle ways to suit its own context.

Anonymous said...

Alden, this is one of the wonderful things about our new home; this town makes room for wildlife, and it is nothing to see five or six of them grazing on a lawn. Of course, if you value your garden, you fence it in.

Tiny pretty deer
roam freely through the gardens
of this peaceful town

Janice said...

Oh phooey, I did it again! The not so anonymous Janice.

Alden Smith (Nick name - Pal) said...

Unbeknown to you Janice your comment contained two Haiku that I like, the other one is:

Of course,
If you value your garden,
You fence it in.

Janice said...

The fences abound
but you can't fence the whole world
so the deer feed on.

Alden Smith (Nick name - Pal) said...

Don't fence in your Haikus, you are good at it, and you are on a roll!!

Janice said...

Many thanks, oh kind sir
Thee of the white bobbing boat
with your sea-glazed eyes.

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