Morning Haiku and Waka (Movement) – Beyond – January 6, 2016

winds of time

beyond the stars
echoes throughout creation
a big bang

going beyond now
meditations upon life
an apple seed

this spring’s augur
a dried cherry pit – found
behind the cupboard

in the winter pond
how big the full-moon grows
beyond this haiku

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #64 Beyond “movement”

In this episode we follow the debate between Chèvrefeuille and Jane Reichhold on the possibility of movement in the haiku.  Ms Reichhold’s view is that a haiku is: a static moment in time, characterized by the a-ha moment

“as short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water. Just an eye-blink, a heart beat … And if you would bring that short moment into haiku there is no movement at all.”

Chèvrefeuille’s opinion is slightly different, he uses the example of Basho’s famous haiku about the frog in the pond:

old pond
frog jumps in
water sound

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

“In that famous haiku by Basho lays the birth of “undou” (movement). “Undou” (movement) however is more than only the movement of a frog. It’s the movement of nature, of our world, movement that is everlasting like a “perpetuum mobile” and that, my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, is why I created “undou” (movement) as a new haiku writing technique.”

I personally think that even if one wanted to use the Zen concept of “here and now”  there is a here and now movement.  Something that is static,  or so my Shiatsu Master Ohashi taught us, is dead. Also from my understanding, in the present traditional Japanese haiku there is no A-Ha moment, Zen was excluded from haiku by Shiki – but even Basho and the other classical haiku poets didn’t use haiku as a part of a Zen practice.   Unless a monk put one of his mondo in haiku form there is no Zen haiku though there are Buddhists who wrote haiku – many of the Renga schools liked to use haiku in this way … but besides all this, it would seem that the idea of the A-ha moment is not in fact Japanese at all, it is Western:

“Traditionally, in Japan, haiku is not of zen inspiration. At the best, it follows the buddhist attitude that consists in observing things without a priori, as things are, before formulating an opinion. Haiku is sometimes considered as a mental exercise.

By us Westerners, haiku has been introduced in the beginning of this century (20th Century), in an exotic atmosphere. The zen dyeing seems [to have] arrised in the 50s with the popularization of that philosophy in the American culture.

Blyth’s fundamental work (1949)  based upon the idea that haiku is the poetic expression of zen spread,  through the ‘beat generation’ (Allan Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac). This idea would then dominate the Western haiku approaches.”

tempslibres – free times
© Copyright Serge Tomé, 1999