Monday, June 07, 2004

Haiku - more insight

I've gained more insight from reading R.H. Blyth's notes on Haiku than I ever expected to get. He says well what I dimly understood, and in clarifying things has made me more appreciative than ever of the beauty of this medium of poetry.
...the art of haiku is as near to life and nature as possible, as far from literature and fine writing as may be, so that the asceticism is art and the art is ascetisism.

That's the minimallist "Zen" concept behind and reason for hauku that is only dimly realized in the West - the reason for its perceived sparseness and discipline.
What distinguishes haiku from (other forms of) poetry is this physical, material, sensational character, and it might be termed what Buchanan called the pre-Raphaelites, 'the fleshly school of poetry', but with no sexual implications.
The self in haiku should be looking out, not in. These are not introspective poems - they are 'exo-spectrive' poems. And for that I am grateful.

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