Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Carpe Diem's "Just Read" #3, Jim Kacian's "Skinning the fish: Interpenetration in haiku"


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I have another nice article written by Jim Kacian. This time it's about Interpenetration in haiku. He first published this article in Valley Voices: A Literary Review 8:1 Mississippi Valley State University Spring 2008, pp. 58-59.
I think it's a great article and it will give you maybe new insights in writing haiku. I publish this article with permission of Jim Kacian.
By the way: the included photos are chosen by your host and weren't included in the original article.


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Skinning the Fish: Interpenetration in Haiku

Jim Kacian

For many, perhaps most, practitioners of haiku, it's the process that matters, the growth of spirit and realization of our lives, moment by moment. But the actual products of this process, the haiku themselves, can help us gauge our progress, at least in literary terms. I offer this string of fish by way of illustration.

In the infancy of my encounter with haiku, I wrote

the silver carp leaps
for its dragonfly supper,
disturbing the moon 
Credits: Koi Carp Tattoo

I was delighted with it at the time. It met all my criteria of the time for excellence: it was 5-7-5 without seeming to strain; it was a single moment in time and yet time seemed to stand still, despite the seeming action, within that moment; it interrelated two disparate objects with some cohesion; and it was a pretty picture to boot. Since then I have come to realize some of its flaws, offering as it does a rather polished and pictorial surface, but not a particularly great depth of insight, but admit to an affection for it nonetheless. There is the fish; there is the moon; they are both portrayed simply as themselves. There is a connection that unites them. So far, so good, but there is a problem, and the problem is not in this connection, nor in the objects themselves, but in the writer: he has not enough insight into the being of these objects. That's just it, the objects remain objects. The poet witnesses, and that is all. It is not too much to say that the majority of haiku written and published in the west have been of this type: we might call them objective; Shiki called them shasei. They present a picture, sometimes a charming or arresting one. They are occasionally finely crafted. And, very rarely, they are original in subject matter or approach (as the example above is not). As an editor I have published some of these (especially those of originality) willingly. But they are not, for me, haiku of the highest standard.

After a little practice and growth, I wrote the following:

autumn twilight,
the shadow of a fish
stops at the weir 
Credits: Autumn Twil

Following the first flush of infatuation, I found this poem to be similar to the previous example, but with this difference: it possesses the beginnings of what we might call sympathy, a cognition of the circumstances of the other regarded in the poem. There is kinship here, in the poet's mind and being, between the failing of the light and the staying of the fish's course; and the even deeper resonance that as the remaining light attenuates, so, too, will the fish's shadow diminish. Moreover, there is an integration of the emotion of the circumstances, a constriction binding the fish, the day, the poet, the reader. The poet witnesses, and shares.

But there can be more, of course, yet a little later:

hooked trout
feeling the life
on the line 
This is, in many ways, much the same, but again in an important way it is quite different. Once again, the level of connection with the subject has deepened, beyond sympathy this time to empathy. The difference as stated seems slight, but makes a world of difference in the experiencing: empathy is more than the recognition of circumstances, and a commiseration in kind, empathy is identification with the other, and an actual taking on of the intellectual and emotional reality of the situation.

How like a fish can a human be? and how human a fish? Here the poet explores this question, imaginatively (how else?) partaking in the struggle, conjuring the feeling of the life” of the fish, and its play, through the connecting medium of the fishing line. He knows the trout's contortions and thrashings, and thus comes to embrace a conjectured version of fish-fear and fish-rage, comparing them to how they are like our own fear and rage. We are directly linked, by the monofilament, yes, but also by our capacity to empathize: the poet witnesses, shares, identifies.

But there is yet a ways to go. In all of the examples above, the poet is manifest, he is observing, approaching, identifying with the other, but there is yet a chasm between them, the chasm of self. As long as self is present, we can get only so near to the other. We are approaching interpenetration. Interpenetration goes as far beyond empathy as empathy moves beyond sympathy. Interpenetration is total identification with the other, outside of one's sense of self. One so totally identifies with the other that one loses one's self, and in so doing takes on a oneness with all else. Consider the following:

some of the sun
glinting off the sea
is dolphins 
Credits: Dolphin

Here there is an absolute identification: sun and dolphin and poet (though he is nowhere to be found) are of the same stuff, intertwined and indistinguishable. We are all children of the sun, but only occasionally do we acknowledge it. But here no barrier distorts the oneness, sun and dolphin and poet interpenetrate, identification super cedes witness. Of course, it's not simply a matter of using a transitive verb, or describing one thing in terms of another, to realize such identification. Interpenetration is rarely expressed, even in a medium such as haiku that seeks and honors such states, because it's neither easily stated nor easily achieved. There are many ways to skin a fish, but only at the right angle, in the proper light, will it shine, and then again, only by a refinement of that angle and a focusing of that light will the scales glow from within. It is not enough to look, one must see, and identify, and then recluse the self in the identification.

It's the process, it's worth repeating, that matters most, but specific haiku can illustrate how successful the fishing has been. And, as the Chinese proverb has it, give us a fish and we eat today, teach us to fish and we will be nourished for a lifetime.

Jim Kacian

     Winchester, VA
     2008

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I hope you did like this article.

Namaste,

Chèvrefeuille, your host

Carpe Diem Special # 113, Shiba Sonome's 4th "longing for someone"


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What a joy to present to you the 4th haiku by Shiba Sonome, our featured haiku poetess. She has not a lot of haiku left behind, but the haiku are all beauties. Here is her haiku for your inspiration (and mine):

longing for someone
I sit by the gate and draw
eyebrows on a melon

© Shiba Sonome

A beauty I think suits the time of the year well i think, as i read this haiku i felt loneliness and longing, but i also thought of Halloween ... Could have been written for Halloween, but instead of pumpkin she uses melon ...
As i read this haiku at first i thought of a haiku by Basho, Sonome's master and her friend.

after the storm
only the melons
don't remember

© Basho

Credits: Watermelon and Melon

And one by Yozakura:

feeling alone
lost in the woods around Edo -
just the autumn wind

© Yozakura

In both these haiku, by Basho and Yozakura, i sense loneliness and longing. Both sound also desparate ... The sadness is very strong in these haiku ... all three have lost loved ones and are longing for them.
Will not be easy to compose a haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the one by Sonome, but (of course) i have to try.

in front of the fireplace
an empty bottle and broken wine glasses
after the quarrel

© Chėvrefeuille

Credits: Broken Wine Glass

Well .... now it's up to you my dear Haijin, visitors and travelers, to write an all new haiku in the same tone, sense and spirit as the one by Sonome. Have fun!

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 25th at noon (CET). I will publish our next episode, Vladivostok (January 2014), later on.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #30, Garry Gay on "thinking out of the box or misdirection"


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at our 1000th post on Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. I never had dreamed that I would publish that much in two years time. From the beginning of CDHK until today we have had already 1000 posts. Awesome, a new milestone.

As I told you earlier this week's Ghost Writer post is written by Garry Gay, who last year was one of our featured haiku poets. Garry Gay was born in Glendale, California in 1951. He received a BPA degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1974 and has been a professional photographer since his graduation. He is skilled in all formats and has been creating digital images since 1993. His award winning Polaroid Transfers have hung in numerous juried art shows. He is a proud member of Advertising Photographers of America, Film Arts Foundation, Friends of Photography, Artrails, and the Cultural Arts Council of Sonoma County.
Greatly influenced by Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North, he has steadily been writing haiku from 1975 to the present. He is one of the co-founders of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, serving as their first president from 1989-1990. In 1991 he was elected president of the Haiku Society of America.
Garry is also the inventor of the Rengay, a modern version of the Renga. I am glad that he will be our one time Ghost Writer and I am honored that he will do that for us.

new snow--
the path you made last night
has gone with you

(c) Garry Gay
Garry is a photographer and the above photo and haiku are © by him. I hope you all like the Ghost Writer post by Garry.

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October Inspiration


October is the first full month of autumn. It evokes iconic words that are very useful for inspiration in haiku writing.  It is also called Indian Summer where I live in California.  The days are starting to get shorter, they are very warm, almost warmer then summer, and are bathed in a golden glow.


Credits: Indian Summer Québec Canada
I love October, the leaves are starting to turn, the nights are a little bit cooler, the time for candlelight and crackling fires is drawing near. The abundance of summer’s bounty is dying, the colors of earth and foliage are changing, and nature is preparing for the coming winter. There is much that inspires poetic instincts in autumn.

You begin to see everyone putting pumpkins on their porches. Halloween is a big holiday here in the US. Decorations begin to appear everywhere. Skulls and skeletons are in people’s windows or hanging on their doors. There are so many poems to be written with the Halloween theme. I have always liked anything to do with skeletons, maybe its dark and macabre, but it fascinates me. Try to think outside of the box when you use Halloween topics. It’s a good source of humor as well. Everyone likes to dress up in costume and scare each other. This leads to good fun. There are haunted houses, lots of candy to be given out and spooky places to visit, like the cemetery late at night.

Here is an example of thinking out side of the box or misdirection.

My skeleton
going for a walk
in the cemetery

This poem has both a subject of death, yet a dash of humor. A misdirection if you will as my skeleton is still living yet visiting the graveyard. Enjoy the environment of the rich colors and creepy Halloween decorations of October and create your on haunting  misdirection’s.

Garry Gay


Garry Gay

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Well I hope you did like this GW-post by Garry Gay. Thank you Garry for providing us with this "October Inspiration" for Carpe Diem's Ghost Writer feature.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 24th at noon. I will publish our next episode, the fourth haiku by our featured haiku poetess Shiba Sonome, later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Carpe Diem's "Ask Jane ..." #5, a question by Carol


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Jane asked me to publish this new article for Ask Jane. Jane is responding spontaneous on a comment by Carol, which Carol shared in our last Ask Jane episode. Here is our new episode of Carpe Diem's "Ask Jane ..."

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In reading the comments to the last Ask Jane question I found this by Carol and felt she needed some help. So here is another letter. Use it if you wish.  

\o/ Jane

Question: I am trying to do some haiku without the 17 syllable rule. I assume you just “follow your heart” and forget the counting. Carol in Creative Harbor.

Dear Carol,
I get a wisp of indecision about counting syllables in haiku in your comment on Carpe Diem and wanted to try to put your mind at rest.

If you were Japanese and writing your haiku in Japanese it would be proper for you to use 17 kana (not syllables!). These are the sound units in spoken Japanese. Since your haiku are written in English you cannot use this Japanese rule because our syllables are about 1/3 longer than the Japanese sound units.
The Japanese who brought the knowledge of haiku to English-readers made this mistake of calling a sound unit a syllable and saying we should use 17 of them. The mistake persisted until English scholars figured out the error. And the error persists.

So if you are writing your English haiku with 17 syllables they contain about 1/3 too much information / words / ideas. The newest English rule to keep the haiku shape is to suggest the author use “short, long, short” lines in a relationship that suggests the Japanese haiku form. Many are using this rule and I find it results in haiku that can be accurately translated into Japanese sound units or kana. The 17-syllable haiku come out too long.
So we have more freedom in shaping our haiku than we thought.

You ask if I ignore counting syllables. No. If one of my lines looks too long I will count the syllables to find a way to shorten it. Sometimes a haiku will use up 17 syllables, but my rule is to NEVER PAD OUT THE LINE to make it fit. If it happens naturally, without padding or adding extra words, I occasionally will leave it as I received it. At some time then, I may rewrite it to shorten the haiku.
I hope this helps you and gives you the freedom to more easily accept your own ideas!

\o/ Jane

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I hope you did like this new episode of "Ask Jane ...". Do you have a question for Jane? Email them to our special emailaddress:

carpediemhaikukaiaskjane@gmail.com

Carpe Diem "Time Glass" #7, "Valley Stream"


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies when you have fun or have been very busy. It's time again for our time challenge "Time Glass" in which we have to respond within 12 hours after publishing.
This week I have a Time Glass episode with a twist.
This week I have a photo and a haiku for your inspiration. You have to use both of them to write an all new haiku, with a second stanza !! So the goal is to write a "Solo"- Tan Renga.

Here is the photo:
Maui Hawaii
And here is the haiku to use next to the photo for your inspiration to write an all new `solo` Tan Renga.

gurggling valley stream
brings joy to the heart of Mother Nature -
Il Silenzio


© Chèvrefeuille

Well I hope this photo and haiku will inspire you enough to respond within 12 hours. Good luck and have fun!

This `Time Glass` episode starts NOW and will be open until Tuesday 21st October at 7.00 AM (CET), so you have just 12 hours !!

Carpe Diem #587, Sacred Earth (December 2013) reprise


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are past halfway of our anniversary month and we have arrived now by our next stop in our memory lane, Sacred Earth, which I published in December 2013. It was a inspirational music prompt with the music of Adrian von Ziegler. I have met him and he is a great musician and composer. His music is divers and beautiful.
I will share this musical piece, Sacred Earth, here again with you all.


It's a wonderful piece of music I think and it inspired me to write the following haiku:

Mother Earth blossoms
while I dream of unknown paths -
the scent of roses


© Chèvrefeuille

This was the haiku which I wrote in December 2013 and I haven't written (yet) a new one, because of lack of time. Maybe I will be inspired later on.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 23rd at noon (CET). I will publish our next post, the Ghost Writer post by Garry Gay, later on.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Carpe Diem #586, River Stones (November 2013) reprise


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As we are going further on our memory lane along all the months of the last two years we have now arrived at November 2013. In that month we had all Tan Renga Challenges for prompt. It was a very busy month for me, but I enjoyed it a lot.
The episode to which this prompt for today refers was published on November 4th 2013 and it was a haiku written by Becca Givens to which we had to write a second stanza to complete the Tan Renga.

Logo Carpe Diem's Tan Renga Month November 2013

Here is my attempt than to make it into a Tan Renga:

river stones
caressed by flowing water
pale moon shines
                                        (Becca Givens)


the sound of a waterfall
makes the night more silent                        (Chèvrefeuille)



As I look back at that month I feel overwhelmed by pride and happiness, because contributors than are still contributors now ... so I think we really have become a family of haiku poets. At least I am feeling that we are a family.

For this episode you may choose if you write/compose a new haiku in response of the prompt "river stones" or to write a second stanza (again) towards the haiku by Becca. I have chosen to write another second stanza towards the haiku ... and here it is:

river stones
caressed by flowing water
pale moon shines
                                                       (Becca Givens)


behind a thin veil of clouds
she, the one I love, smiles at me                                (Chèvrefeuille)

Well ... it's a joy to make CDHK for you all and I thank you all for being part of this haiku family.



This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 22nd at noon (CET). I will publish our new episode, Sacred Earth (December 2013), later on. For now ... have fun!
!! Tomorrow I will publish a new Carpe Diem Time Glass episode too, in which you have to write a haiku within 12 hours !!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Carpe Diem #585, The Lighthouse of Alexandria (October 2013) reprise


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Maybe you can recall our journey along the seven ancient world wonders which we performed in our first anniversary month October 2013. It was an idea by Hamish Gunn and in our first anniversary month we visited all the world wonders. I remember that it wasn't easy to compose haiku inspired on those world wonders, but there were very beautiful haiku to read.

We are on memory lane along the months of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai as a celebration of our second anniversary and I love to read those "old" episodes and I am glad to see that you all like it too.

Here is one of the haiku which I composed in response on "The Lighthouse of Alexandria":

stormy nights
entering the harbor save
led by the Lighthouse

© Chèvrefeuille

And this was our anniversary logo back in October 2013:


This first anniversary month we had wonderful haiku written by Garry Gay, our featured haiku poet that month, and I am happy to announce that Garry Gay will be our next Ghost Writer (October 22nd). Garry Gay was born in Glendale, California in 1951. He received a BPA degree from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1974 and has been a professional photographer since his graduation. He is skilled in all formats and has been creating digital images since 1993. His award winning Polaroid Transfers have hung in numerous juried art shows. He is a proud member of Advertising Photographers of America, Film Arts Foundation, Friends of Photography, Artrails, and the Cultural Arts Council of Sonoma County. 
Greatly influenced by Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North, he has steadily been writing haiku from 1975 to the present. He is one of the co-founders of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, serving as their first president from 1989-1990. In 1991 he was elected president of the Haiku Society of America.

Garry Gay
Garry is also the inventor of the Rengay, a modern version of the Renga. I am glad that he will be our one time Ghost Writer and I am honored that he will do that for us.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 21st at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, river stones (November 2013), later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.


Carpe Diem "Sparkling Stars" #10, Tea


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I am preparing this episode of "Sparkling Stars" (I first write all the episodes, before setting them online) it's around 5.30 AM (CET) and I am not in the nightshift anymore, but I couldn't sleep. I have slept that's for sure, but only for a couple of hours, a very deep sleep. As I awoke I tried to stay in bed for a while, but couldn't sleep anymore. So I got up to make me a cup of tea and something to eat.
That cup of tea brought an image in mind, the tea-ceremony as performed by the classical tea-master Rykyu. Isn't it great to take part in such a tea-ceremony?
I remember that I once wrote a haibun about me being a participant in a tea-ceremony performed by Rykyu. It was a great experience.

Yozakura (1640-1716)

Not so long ago I introduced Yozakura (1640-1716) , the unknown haiku master, to you all. Recently I discovered a few haiku written by him and I love to share them with you all. These haiku he must have written after participating in a tea ceremony, but I don't know that for sure.

deep silence
only the sound of boiling water
an empty cup

© Yozakura

all alone
at the foot of Mt. Fuji -
tea and nothing else

© Yozakura

in this tea house
the smell of cherry blossoms
scooping hot water

© Yozakura

All wonderful haiku I think and in a way all associated with tea or the tea ceremony. In classical (and non-classical) Japan drinking tea is a spiritual and religious experience. The Japanese have turned drinking tea into an Art.


crystal clear water
ghostly curls of steam -
the perfume of tea

© Chèvrefeuille

Look around and see the beauty of the little things, the beauty of boiling water. Try to see Art in all those little things.

shimmering pebble
between colorful leaves -
departing summer

© Chèvrefeuille

Can you do that? I think you all can see the beauty in those little things, because that's what haiku does with you, with us. Through haiku, that short moment, that eye blink, we make Art

I am looking forward to all of your beautiful pieces of Art ... haiku inspired on the above haiku, this post ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until next Saturday October 25th at noon (CET). For now ... have fun!



Carpe Diem Extra October 2014


Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I need some help. As you all know Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is a weblog which uses Google's blogspot. I am very happy with blogspot, because it's easy to use, but ... I have a question for you all.
Jane Reichhold has given us the exclusive rights for two E-Books, I love to share them here and make it possible to download them, but I don't know how to do that. Can someone help me?

Namaste,

Chèvrefeuille, your host.

PS. I will publish our new episode "Sparkling Stars" later today.