joi, 17 octombrie 2013


Melinda Hipple <>
către mine
Dear Gheorghe,

With regard to the haiga by Ion, his haiku has things in it that we can actually see with our own eyes. We see the leaf and the bird in our minds, and we see them 'defying' the wind by taking to the air. I do take issue to some extent with the leaf 'defying' anything as leaves don't think. It humanizes the leaf too much for my taste. And though we do see both a bird and a leaf in the image, the haiku brings another layer far beyond the graphic, telling us that it is a windy day and that the bird is most likely struggling against that wind at the same time the leaf is being tossed about by it. The haiku has a little more depth of meaning that we can explore. I would still prefer to see more distance between the image and the haiku, but who am I to argue with a master.

Different cultures do bring different ideas to all things, especially poetry. I subscribe to the Japanese idea that haiku should 'show, not tell' and have a link and shift within the poem. In other words, it should not tell us what to think or give us ideas, but should show us something we can feel, see, hear, taste and then add something of a second part that gives contrast or comparison, etc. In my haiku, I can tell you what "I'm" thinking, but not tell you what you or a leaf or even another person is thinking. That I cannot know for sure. Western culture has a long history of personifying and romanticizing. Eastern culture does not have that imbued in their haiku/tanka history. In the Gean, we tend to favor the Eastern approach.

To comment on your other haiga:

an old source of life -
under the weight of snow
is ending

The first line is not something I would see specifically without the image. As a stand-alone poem, an old source of life could be many things. I much prefer that things be stated directly in haiku so the reader has a good grasp of what they are looking at. Perhaps "abandoned well" would be a more concrete image for line 1.

The phrase "under the weight of snow is ending" is telling us something and not showing us. We see the snow, yes, but what does "ending" really mean as something I can see, hear or touch? If you simply show us something about the snow, we the reader can come to conclusions about an ending.

The next issue is putting a haiku together with an image that brings yet another layer. So changing the haiku would add more information beyond what we already see in the photograph. For instance:

abandoned well -
we no longer touch
each other

Not the best example, but what this brings to the story is the visual of the well both in the image and in the stand-alone haiku (if we didn't see the image) and then brings a new element that has resonance. "We no longer touch each other" is something I can state as a fact and that others can experience when they are around us. I'm not telling you what to think, but I am telling you something I know as verifiable fact. Yet, putting these two things together lets us explore the connections. What does an abandoned well and the fact that we no longer touch each other have in common? It tells us something about a failed relationship. It gives the image a stronger impact when we now compare it to our own experiences with relationships that might have failed or grown apart.

I hope this helps to explain.

Best regards,