Litkicks Message Board Archive


Posted to Haiku Board

funny, I feel a little reluctance to respond because we could probably go back and forth for a while...and already have. The reluctance in the poem is tied to the wind by a trope called zeugma, a yoking of two different things one usually in a wholly other category. It is an example of the use of "tricks" that I've been talking about elsewhere. But, hold on, but I agree with you that this poem is unsuccessful, especially as a haiku, but just as an abbreviated poem like a longer lyric (that's why I said tanka, which I've been reading). Your version and your ideas about contextualizations make that very clear. Crystal clear.

But, by the same token, the ideas about contextualization also go somewhat against arguments you have made elsewhere. In other words, there is a preexisting condition so to speak, something prior to the moment that allows the moment and is in the moment too but primarily outside it. The emotion, insight, experience set on fire by the haiku 'moment' happens in the poem, set up by the previous experiences refined and crystallized in a sequence designed to catalyze. Secondary effects then can resonate as well if the context evoked has sufficient richness. Basho's haiku

departing spring--
birds cry
fish eye tears

is enhanced by the fact that he is departing himself, that the fish and birds are personified empathetically with his saying goodbye to his friends and students (and that he isn't well if you know that). there's the resemblance of fish eyes to tears and that these words in Japanese have visual affinities that defy our alphabetic understanding of resonance. And there are other complex word plays going on that also defy simple explanation. Anyway, just to say, as usual, I agree and disagree with the sense of what haiku can and should do.