Do You Remember This - Charles Henderson's Blog

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Never would I have thought I would start writing at 73 years of age. I have thoroughly enjoyed my voyage into the written spirituality of poetry and am thankful for the opportunity.  In my seven years here I have met many new and wonderful persons. Having them accept me as a friend has been a moving experience.


Do You Remember This

Blog Posted:11/8/2012 1:39:00 AM

The following is a direct quote of Dr. Randy Brooks of Millikin University, taken from the second of a two part series discussing Literary theories of writing poems/haiku'>haiku. This is taken from HSA publication Frogpond Vol. 34:2 of 2011, pages 25-41 titled Revelations:Unedited

Concerning Haiku:

(1) In objective rhetorical theories, reality is defined as the external, material world subject to the laws of nature. The role of the writer is to observe reality as accurately as possible, using our limited sensory perception. The goal is to discover and find the truth and express it without bias or interpretation. Writing based on this is often expressed in a plain, scientific style, minimizing the personal pronoun because the focus of the writing is about observed reality. This type of writing theory places a high value on description and accuracy of the revealed truth. The role of the reader is to validate the descriptions and perceptions as accurate without the blurring bias of the writer interfering.

(2) In subjective rhetorical theories, reality is defined as a personal construct of the individual. The goal is to develop and understand yourself and how you have constructed not only your own identity but also your own world view. Writing based on this approach is usually very introspective and expressive, focused on the self, with a goal of “finding your own voice” and sharing your unique perspective. This type of writing theory places a high value on sharing emotions – letting others into your private, inner world. The writer lets readers see the world through his or her own perspective. The role of the reader is to validate the writer as authentic and genuine in expressing who the writer “really is” through the writing. The sensitive reader connects to or empathizes with the writer’s emotions.

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Date: 11/9/2012 2:55:00 PM
aha, therein lies the rub. It IS a challenge to justify the event. That is why the need is great to approach it with diligence and doubt that you will embrace the moment accurately so most people will be able to feel the same emotion you felt. I have often said it is the hardest poem I could ever want to write, but the reward of doing it well and correctly is worth the challenge. That completely explains my resentment at those who do not know what meat should go on the bones, shortcutting and therefore do not have the same challenge in getting to the finisihed product. Therefore resulting in loss of depth and true projection of their moment. Many need to know they have to find the forest before recognizing the trees, and poem/statements inherently bad, will skew the knowledge of those coming afterward wishing to continue writing the same form. I know from experience how hard it is to unlearn a form. That is why so many of my haiku do not have season words. If someone wishes to criticize me, let them do it for that. Not for my trying to uphold the traditional values of a true haiku, recognized by the preponderence of total haiku writers in America.
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Date: 11/9/2012 2:25:00 AM
The haiku 'as is moments' to which I referred below ,are not ones one goes out looking for,but those that 'just happen unexpected'. Even then the difficulty lies in , translating that 'happening' into a satisfying 'three liner' that does justice to the 'event'.Hence their rarity in my experience of this form. It is kind of like the reason in art why painters like Monet painted the same scene, over and over.The illusive is so named because it is.. this is perhaps what motivates and keeps us writing etc
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Date: 11/9/2012 2:16:00 AM
A one liner 'haiku' is a monoku.You'll find a category here for it on PS when such a poem is posted.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/9/2012 2:28:00 PM
Yes, I was having a person confusing a one line haiku with a one part haiku. An impossible dream if there is to be juxtaposition.
Date: 11/8/2012 8:13:00 PM
Oh, I have no problem with that Chris, unless the writer thinks that is the only way it should be written. I do think that visual layout can be an added quantity to the poem which enhances the flow and harmonic visual balance. Which with no words read should project a desirable effect. Sometimes the writer wants to project an emphasis on another aspect other than balance and in that case has a good reason for doing in one straight line. It's all in what the writer wants to emphasize. If you have sort of a free verse style of writing haiku, I would think that one straight line would be more effective than the canned three line effect. As far as I know, anything in structure is ok, but it would be foolish I think to just write it in something other than the three line just on a whim. If one sees it in another way without realizing it makes some kind of positive difference in the poem, than it might leave them wondering, hey did I miss something. I don't know. You are as up on that sort of thing as much as I am. Seems to be a common sense thing as no one I know has ever discussed it.
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 11/8/2012 11:43:00 PM
Good reply, Chas. Now you have me thinking all over again, which can be dangerous for my shrinking brain-pan. Yes, I agree there should be an underlying purpose to writing one-liners; not to be used on a whim. People have touched on the subject ever so slightly, years ago. I was hoping there was more discussion regarding this topic....but I suppose in the end, it isn't all that important anyway.
Date: 11/8/2012 3:09:00 PM
Chas, whot do you think of one-line haiku?(literally written-out in one line, using commas). Sort of like these ones(warning, subjectivity ahead :D): hunted mercilessly, the sparrows still migrate through town -- her sad face, exposed by flashes of lightning -- in the beggar's tin, a few copper coins and the evening rain
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Date: 11/8/2012 1:38:00 PM
Interesting information..Sara
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Date: 11/8/2012 11:20:00 AM
I still think for the most part, people aren't actually writing traditional haiku. Traditional haiku was written in Japanese a long time ago. Everything since isn't traditional, except for maybe that Shinto monk in Hokkaido, who writes in 'high' Japanese. I am not going to let some hussy-fussy English-speaking uber-analyzers keep telling me how haiku MUST be this, and NOT be that, when their own understanding is part of a biased, backwater cult.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 8:39:00 PM
Hey Chris, I just found out today that Shiki was writing metaphoric, modern haiku in the late 1800's. How bad is that. I put a bunch of his examples in my next blog after this one.
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 11/8/2012 11:49:00 AM
And even when people claim to write Traditional Japanese haiku(which if they are writing in English, is not possible), one needs to truly research(and not just online)the schools of thought concerning traditional Japanese haiku. Issa's and Buson's styles were so different from each other, and there was a lot of in-fighting and vehement debate way back then concerning objectivity/subjectivity; the concept of haiku possibly being an overall metaphor even if specific words aren't....and on and on. From the get-go, people have been at each other's throats when it comes to haiku.
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 11/8/2012 11:41:00 AM
Chas, you know all of this already. You are sound in my books. Sometimes, I just have this overwhelming urge to add the point when I notice people suddenly become instant haiku gurus overnight, preaching how they write 'traditional' haiku. Traditional Japanese haiku written in one line? Traditional American haiku? Traditional Romani haiku? Western? I am excited to be breaking down my habits and sort of re-inventing, starting from scratch.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 11:31:00 AM
Chris, your point duly noted. Even most "in the know" haiku guru, note the difference. To the extent that you see reference to U.S haiku as "western haiku" or "American haiku", Higginson touches on this very well, and it is not a bad thing, just the truth. Some Japanese are very critical of us, while others emulate. Strange world,- - full of people I guess.
Date: 11/8/2012 10:35:00 AM
I write two types of poems, haiku (the first from above) and everything else (the second type) For decades it was either haiku or free verse, now I have added some knowledge of forms. Just had one published in LYNX, but I would not call it haiku, more of a series.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 11:19:00 AM
Just fyi, if you make a series of related haiku, yet can pull any 1 out and it makes sense on its own, you can call it a "string" and put a title on the string. They would be like verses in a poem, which is titled.
Date: 11/8/2012 10:15:00 AM
Further to my comment below to Debbie rather than try to 'emulate' the Japanese haiku requirements,into English(practically impossible for the western mind set) I have found the 'monoku' and 'spaces' form easier to reflect my 'as is' moments.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 11:09:00 AM
Versitility, in my opinion, is what adds spice to anything, including poetry. I'm glad you found something that works better for you than the haiku. We should all take our poetry to the place where we are most comfortable. We are all unique, with diverse knowledge and different capabilities and that is a good thing.
Date: 11/8/2012 10:06:00 AM
No amount of learning Debbie will lead to the perception of a 'haiku moment', for this reason, in my humble view the 'three liner' is a 'rare' experience for most mortals.I have found the lanterne or cinqku a better vehicle and sadly can count on one hand the number of 'three liners' that have reflected my' as is ' moments.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 10:59:00 AM
At a haiku conference last month about 25 of us went out into nature for about 30 minutes and found 25 rare experiences concerning the trees, flowers, bugs, grass, roots, birds, water, deer. boats, houses, buzzards, et al. Oddly enough, all were oohed , ahhhed, and applauded. All were 3 liners.
Date: 11/8/2012 9:09:00 AM
Dr. Brooks was asked to formulate this haiku POSTULATE so there would be an AUTHORITATIVE opinion of how to define a haiku from a non-haiku. Haiku is an art ONLY when it is haiku. I BOW to the authority's opinion.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 1:40:00 PM
Again you are right about personal opinion. However, as with other things of import personal opinion remains only personal until a majority of all concerned decide their personal opinions coincide to the point that it becomes a mandate. At that point it is no longer personal, but common practice.
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Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 11/8/2012 11:35:00 AM
Art in itself is subjective, as are personal opinions of what is art, what might not be art; what is haiku, and what isn't haiku.
Date: 11/8/2012 9:03:00 AM
Since I credited this in my original post, and was referring just a part of the original I did not credit the author. I was wrong to do that, but thought that surely no one would transpose these two absolutely correct statements into something NOT haiku necessary.
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Date: 11/8/2012 6:53:00 AM
I write much more in the second type and that is why it took me years to write a traditional haiku. Actually I dwell so much in my own reality I must admit to self hypnotizing and at many times convincing myself my reality was the truth LOL. BUT actually have a visual learning style helped alot in developing my haiku, once you can separate your perceptions from factual observation you still need to write an imapacting verse OR it becomes just description and I stayed in this category for months [and often fall back into it!]
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 10:07:00 AM
That is a problem. It helps me to revisit my poem to find those bad poems that I thought were so good when I wrote them.
Date: 11/8/2012 6:30:00 AM
I... am a windbag. I wax on, pile on, go on, drag on. What haiku is to me is like running a marathon through a sand storm wearing a snowsuit. YET I do enjoy it because it forces me into the moment. It is a zen experience, to me. Now, it is also very very personal. I will not (repeat will not) remove myself from my poetry and I also will not feel like I am failing to write a haiku because I am found within that moment (not saying you are saying this) I love metaphor and will continue to use this in MY personal experience because it is an observation I had during my epiphany, a... sense of awakening and being aware of the layers in the world, cross overs. I look forward to learning, but I am feeling more comfortable with myself, with not only what I say, but how I CHOOSE to say it. I still can edit. I still can hone haiku, add and delete words (thank you! you are so right about pond. REDUNDANT) but I do not feel the need to wipe myself out of any moment that I've cherished. I prefere to bring the reader with me. If they see their own moment, equate the sum differently, I am learning to let that go, too. Did the reader get something from it? Did it move them? Transport them? Did it lift them a bit? Make them wince? Nod? Shake their head and scowl? Then I HAVE DONE MY JOB AS A POET. If the reader YAWNS... squints... scratches their head.... then I have failed the reader, though I may have satisfied myself, which on the rare occasion I am fine with. Haiku will --- despite the constant attempt the clueless --- remain without definition. What is a proper prayer? Your interpretation? Mine? To me, a haiku is a moment, real and relevant. Should there be some constrictions. Certainly. Should the readers LET GO OF PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS and SIMPLY READ, DIVE IN? YES! YES! (standing on my desk waving a sign like in Norma Ray) " FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. POETIC LICENSE!" Hugs, the windbag
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 9:59:00 AM
Bravo, I didn't disect every word, but do not think you said anything I disagree with. I think the rub comes from personal opinion of what constitutes "putting themself into the poem". To do figuratively may can turn out objective, to do actually seems more subjective, by authoritative definition.
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Suzette Richards
Date: 11/8/2012 7:46:00 AM
:-)) That is why it was a welcome change to have found a website such as
Date: 11/8/2012 2:18:00 AM
Perhaps the two key things to remember Charles, is that haiku (of whatever type) is 'a recorded' image moment and ..all poetry (inc haiku) is an 'art' not a science. Over analysis is never a substitute for 'doing it'.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 11/8/2012 6:57:00 AM
yes but trying,to do it,over and over in no where vaguely near the form,only makes it harder to finally get to even a simple child-like haiku in traditional form,there are dozens of forms which use a subjective view it is very worthwhile to learn the difference and if laerning traditional haiku teaches us to 'be in the moment' & the difference between fact and fantasy THAT's a BIG accomplishment
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Suzette Richards
Date: 11/8/2012 2:40:00 AM
I agree with you, Brian. That is why I had shared 3 different site's info on the previous blog. Poetry is after all a mindset. Haiku are haiku (Japanese in origin), Limericks are Limericks (British in origin), Glosa is in uniquely Spanish...etc ... and never the twine shall meet :-) The Japanese mindset is very different to that of the West. Blessings, Su
Date: 11/8/2012 2:01:00 AM
Thank you, Charles, for this post. For the sake of this discussion, just one question, if I may?... I am of the understanding that haiku is egoless objective. Ie It reads like a police statement - no elaboration. The trick is in the arrangement of the words - something which can effortlessly be done in Japanese, without loosing its meaning. But it is more tricky in English. Love, Su
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Charles Henderson
Date: 11/8/2012 9:24:00 AM
I see your point Su and I think I would say yes and no to your statement. It is egoless and traditional is objective, however it must have elaboration of some kind in order to resinate. I don't know how to say this but your def. sounds like the haiku is written with no particular words. The WORD/THOUGHT IS EQUALL OR MORE IMPORT THAN THE ARRANGEMENT OF THEM tho that can change meaning.

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