Poetics and Poetry Discussion

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  • Rookie Raynette Eitel (5/23/2005 3:41:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply
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    I attended a workshop years ago given by Japanese poet (translated as he spoke no English.) His definition of haiku was 'a nature poem written in three lines with five syllables in the first and third and seven in the second...but written BY A JAPANESE.' It made me laugh and I never forgot it...but I also felt suspicious of any haiku written by a Western poet.

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    • Rookie Andy Konisberg (5/23/2005 4:14:00 PM) Post reply

      but that's a bit like saying you are suspicious of Japanese poets who compose sonnets or write novels. poetry is nothing if not universal Raynette. there is a valid point about the Japanese 'Haiku', ... more

  • Rookie Andy Konisberg (5/23/2005 3:15:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    This is the most famous haiku ever to have been written in English, by Ezra Pound:

    In a Station of the Metro

    The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.

    I've been doing some research on Japanese forms. I'd thought I'd share this with everybody because I have always got it wrong through nothing more than ignorance. A HAIKU is commonly 5-7-5 (syllables) over three lines. Traditional haikus are nature poems and often contain a word like 'moon', 'wind' etc. The most important thing about a HAIKU is the message (often fairly universal, like a Buddhist prayer) not a strict syllable count, it turns out. Thus, a two-line HAIKU is acceptable if it conveys all it can convey. This is perplexing in the case of Pound, I would concur. However, what a lot of us have confused is a HAIKU (a nature poem or spiritual poem, in essence) with a Japanese SENRYU which IS 5-7-5 and is open to any subject matter...politics, humour, trivia...the development of the HAIKU into a 5-7-5 formation is a century old adaptation; for most of it's history, the HAIKU was a one-line affair. I have been writing SENRYU's (5-7-5) and been thinking they were HAIKU's and a lot of others at 'Poemhunters' have been doing the same. I thought it was an appropriate time to share my findings with others...I really can't decipher how Pound's piece constitutes a Haiku, however. Syllables are entirely out of the window...it must be the reversal of perception in the second line...'faces' becoming 'petals' and 'the crowd' becoming a 'wet black bough'...which is a matter of exchanging common 'labels' for poetic metaphor...very interesting, either way.

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    • Rookie kenneth william snow (5/23/2005 7:32:00 PM) Post reply

      Andrew, I agree with PoHo, people are conditioned to look at a three line poem and call it haiku, in fact Jack Kerouac helped define the American haiku as a simple three line poem, Kerouac writes ... more

    • Rookie Poetry Hound (5/23/2005 5:49:00 PM) Post reply

      Thanks for this, Andrew. It's quite interesting, although I think it's too late to change the popular definition of Haiku. I think we're stuck with it even if it's technically inaccurate.

  • Rookie P.O.P. Erwin Baxter (5/23/2005 11:22:00 AM) Post reply

    To falsely accuse one of anti-semitism is the act of a low low animal. You're so classless Saywell you almost make ME look classy
    ho ho ho

  • Rookie John William Hall (5/23/2005 4:00:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Would it be possible to establish a seperate forum, like a chat room for those who must not only air their dirty laundry in public but who also need to prove how clever they can be with words (they are not) .

    I thought we could all try to incorporate these things into our poems.

    Please, all of you, could we possibly follow the advice of Mr. Chris Higginson and stop all personal attacks? I have only been here a short while but it is not enjoyable to see this warfare.

    I do not claim to be a particularly clever poet but my two poems were not even welcomed with basic courtesy. Could we have some maturity?

    There are so many great poems to enjoy on this website, why don't we concentrate on those and forget the anymosity.

    How about it? And please don't come back saying: 'He started it.....'.

    Hopeful JW

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    • Rookie Poetry Hound (5/23/2005 7:57:00 PM) Post reply

      You are still not believable, 'John William Hall' or 'Janine Mullins' or 'Diane Utteridge' or whatever your real name is.

  • Rookie kenneth william snow (5/23/2005 3:47:00 AM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    If I may interrupt the Erwin Allan show for a moment: Is it right for this website to post the following excerpt from William Carlos Williams 'Spring and All' and leave the uninformed reader with the impression that this is the poem in its entirety? Just wondering.


    Spring and All

    By the road to the contagious hospital
    under the surge of the blue
    mottled clouds driven from the
    northeast - a cold wind. Beyond, the
    waste of broad, muddy fields
    brown with dried weeds, standing and fallen

    patches of standing water
    the scattering of tall trees

    All along the road the reddish
    purplish, forked, upstanding, twiggy
    stuff of bushes and small trees
    with dead, brown leaves under them
    leafless vines -

    Lifeless in appearance, sluggish
    dazed spring approaches -

    They enter the new world naked,
    cold, uncertain of all
    save that they enter. All about them
    the cold, familiar wind -

    Now the grass, tomorrow
    the stiff curl of wildcarrot leaf

    One by one objects are defined -
    It quickens: clarity, outline of leaf

    But now the stark dignity of
    entrance - Still, the profound change
    has come upon them: rooted they
    grip down and begin to awaken

    William Carlos Williams

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    • Rookie Poetry Hound (5/23/2005 8:43:00 AM) Post reply

      If readers are not informed that it's only an excerpt, then it's not right.

  • Rookie mother baxter (5/23/2005 3:24:00 AM) Post reply

    somebody been insulting my ancestors, i'll rip his english nuts out
    god he'll think he's charly nundah, he's a terrible poet real gutter material
    you english deport him to australia give the little cherry a game of leauge
    he'll put some value on his nuts then

  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (5/23/2005 1:50:00 AM) Post reply


  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (5/22/2005 10:53:00 PM) Post reply


  • Rookie Allan James Saywell (5/22/2005 8:23:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    english lesson for lamont, i dont ever post poems, not never

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    • Rookie Andy Konisberg (5/22/2005 10:19:00 PM) Post reply

      You're in no position to hand out English lessons, Al. You can only spell your own name because it's on a label sewn inside all your clothes.

  • Rookie Andy Konisberg (5/22/2005 1:41:00 PM) Post reply

    some interesting posts from earlier:


    Lamont Palmer (5/22/2005 11: 56: 00 AM) Post reply

    Raynette, you said a MOUTHFUL. Finally someone gets me!


    Raynette Eitel (5/22/2005 11: 52: 00 AM) Post reply

    Sometimes prose can be musical. Check out As It Is In Heaven, a novel by Niall Williams (who seems to write in the language of a poet.) Also try Ava's Man, by pulitzer winning reporter, Rick Bragg. No doubt about the music in their prose. But then some so-called poets write in dull, empty phrases and, like the Emperor's New Clothes, they have a following who think they can see the poetry in it. It isn't a matter of the new poetry and the old poetry. It is a matter of knowing the craft of poetry, it's intricacies and its mastery of language. A poet has a full pallete of words and paints his/her canvas with mastery. The musical flow of words comes from the soul as well as knowledge of the way words and phrases flow musically. Sharon needs to read more masters before she throws words at the paper.


    Lamont Palmer (5/22/2005 11: 11: 00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    When I talk of music I dont mean metaphor...they're 2 different things. Let me try to show what I mean by music. Which line is more musical? I'll keep it simple.

    A. I love you
    like I love the stars
    because the stars have
    a warm glow and you also
    have a warm glow which I feel
    when I'm close to you.

    B. I love you like I love the stars,
    they have a warm glow like you;
    I feel it when I'm close to you.

    You'd have to say B has better music. Why? Because its TIGHTER. I took out certain words. 'A' is more like prose. 'B' sounds more like poetry...albeit, cornball poetry but that isnt the point. Its tighter, thus sounding more musical. Now I'll sit back and wait to be either understood or torn to shreds. (smile)

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