thoughts of Issa in mid-season

4:08 PM Posted by James Owens

A surprise discovered while surfing at random:

Today Issa's Untidy Hut: The Poetry Blog for Lilliput Reivew is highlighting work dealing with autumn from the November 1995 issue, among other things a haiku of mine. (Click above, scroll down.)

That is, suddenly, thirteen years ago...

I haven't written haiku for ages. Maybe I should.

*

Again the first frost
recalls other years' red leaves.
What would Issa say?

.

15 comments:

Sorlil said...

This one's nice but I really like the maple leaves as haiku - very you!

Roxana said...

As I view the moon,
Many things come into my mind,
And my thoughts are sad;
Yet it's not for me alone,
That the autumn time has come.
(Oe no Chisato)

not a haiku. but among the many things coming to my mind, does the frost remember? other years' leaves, have they ever existed? thirteen years ago... and this haiku is suddenly more real than this past. can this be?

sam of the ten thousand things said...

What Would Issa Say?

Lines about spiders,
and the dark, worn floor, unswept -
I'll sell my broom then.


Enjoyed the piece at LR, James.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

James:

If the haiku come your way, you know where I am.

And anything else, 10 lines or less. Your poem from November 1995 is a beautiful today as it was 13 years ago ...

all the best,
Don @ Lilliput/Issa's Untidy Hut

anhaga said...

Sorlil: Thank you for recognizing me, there in those leaves where I was hidden for so long. I agree, the Lilliput Review haiku is better than this one (which is really just a hassty jotting for the blog entry).

That one was one of the first things I ever wrote which ended up being published. I remember that it cost an extraordinary effect -- many drafts over a couple of years -- all for seventeen syllables, lol! That's what we do though, isn't it?, sometimes anyway, we try to get the world into one word....

anhaga said...

"hassty"?

I kind of like that

stet

anhaga said...

Roxana: Thank you for this poem. Somehow, even in translation, Japanese poems are lighter and real at a different level than I can hope for...

Have the leaves of 13 years ago ever existed? Sometimes it seems that only they have existed! My hands pass through these ghosts, and on the other side the leaves of 13 years ago are clean and bright with the frost.

Mais où sont les moi d’antan?

anhaga said...

Sam: A beautiful haiku. You should keep it for a new book, I think.

Isn't it strange how contemporary those "classic" writers of haiku are? Maybe its just because this feels like a place where poetry hasn't been co-opted into the academy (though probably that wouldn't be true in Japan). But haiku feels very real and immediate and, paradoxically, personal. I think I have a better sense of Basho as a human being than of, say, Robert Lowell or WS Merwin (or maybe I just like him better....).

anhaga said...

Don: Maybe the haiku will come. If so, there's never been a better place for them than Lilliput Review. It's truly one of my favorite poetry magazines, and one I was so grateful for when I was starting to publish.

You know, I used to live haiku (or as close as I could get). Today, I'm missing that, as if I've become confused and distracted. Some Pure Land monk needs to slap me up side the head and shout: "Don't focus, look!"

Thanks for the post at Issa's Untidy Hut and for dropping by here.

anhaga said...

"it cost an extraordinary effect"

hmmm

don't think i like that one as much

effort, i mean, effort

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Have you ever read 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei - ed. and commentary by Eliot Weinberger & Octavio Paz? If not, try to find a copy, James. It focuses on various versions of one poem by Wang Wei, and raises issues of tranlation that I'd never considered.

Roxana said...

ou sont les moi d'antan - and how can one continue to live despite this irretrievable loss. I cannot find an answer to this question which has bothered me ever since.

but changing the topic: not only haiku, but almost all arts in Japan have this contemporary feeling about them, no wonder there are so many who talk about the avant la lettre postmodernism of Japanese culture. I read a very interesting study about japanese architecture in this respect.

Roxana said...

ou sont les moi d'antan - and how can one continue to live despite this irretrievable loss. I cannot find an answer to this question which has bothered me ever since.

but changing the topic: not only haiku, but almost all arts in Japan have this contemporary feeling about them, no wonder there are so many who talk about the avant la lettre postmodernism of Japanese culture. I read a very interesting study about japanese architecture in this respect.

James Owens said...

Roxana: How can one continue to live? It is impossible, of course. One tries to retrieve the lost in poems and photographs, but then they are lost, too. Est-il possible que tu sais comment il m’est nécessaire que tu comprenne cela? C’est une réponse.

I can't go on. I go on.

Roxana said...

je comprends. je ne comprends pas. et pourtant il y a ces moments de paix absolue quand toutes les questions et reponses disparaissent et on devient les feuilles rouges des annees passees, on _devient_ ca. alors je souris, je souris seulement.