Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


4 Comments

Why I like Japanese-style Poetry

I am not an expert on Japanese poetry.  I don’t read or speak the language, and I have not studied the history of the genre.  I could not tell you the difference between a hokku, a haikai, a renga, or a waka.   I do know a bit about haiku and haibun because I  have tried my hand at writing these two forms in English.   I enjoy reading translations of the most famous haiku writers: Basho, Issa, and Buson.

Why do I like these forms of poetry?   It is simply that I like the clean brevity of these poems.   Only a master of the written word can convey an entire scene in just 17 syllables or a paragraph of prose poetry.    Haibun in general, and haiku in particular,  capture moments of clarity, mundane actions of ordinary people, and subtle movements of animals and plants in their natural settings.  They evoke, sometimes in just single words, the physical experience of entire seasons.  These forms are like a Polaroid snapshots of time and space.

Such poetry is often imbued with subtle, engaging humor or deep emotion.   For example, these two haiku by Basho:

Morning Glories-
Even from unskilled brushes
They look elegant

—-

The first day of the year:
thoughts come – and there is loneliness;
the autumn dusk is here.

Haiku and haibun are elegant, timeless, and completely human.

Here are some links if you care to learn a little more about these forms

A Crash Course in Japanese Poetry
The Japanese section of Shadow Poetry
About Haibun
About Haiku


3 Comments

Early Morning Haibun

image

Many people think that sunrise is the most peaceful time of day, perfect for meditation. I look for that slow and reflective time there as well, yet today all I hear are the muted beeps of a neighbor’s unattended clock radio through my wall, the relentless tinkle, tinkle, tinkle of wind chimes from across the street, the raucous arguing of a murder of crows, and the roar of jet engines from a distant tarmac. Who would’ve thought that morning could be so blasted noisy. I guess I’ll write some poetry instead.

Zephyr from the east
Slate and gold rain clouds ride it—
Parched earth opens wide.

ljgloyd (c). 2014


4 Comments

A Black Friday Haibun

This is my first attempt at writing a haibun.

drought

Rains, long promised, still hold off.   Sycamores and cottonwoods spill their life force like blood over cracked dry hillsides. This does not seem like a place where paradise exists. Glass towers float like castles in the air on a layer of smog, yet I still discover beauty. This is where I was brought during my Black Friday travels.  This is what I found in the middle of the frenzy.

On a sun soaked day
Among flaming cactus spines
hummingbirds battle.

smoggy skyline

 

 

hummingbird 3 small

hummingbird 2 small

getty cactus garden 1 small

These photos were taken in the gardens of the Getty Center Campus.

 

ljgloyd (c) 2014