The blog of Alan Summers, Recipient of the Japan Times Award (2002) and owner of With Words, a UK provider of literature, education and literacy projects, often based around the Japanese genres.
For events and workshops for families, children, and schools contact us through our With Words website: With Words.
Online internet courses by Call of the Page
Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku (beginner and intermediate, and advanced). We also run workshops and courses on tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.
Please email email@example.com if you would like to know more about these and our other courses.
Ever since Masaoka Shiki adopted a little known term for a new poetry to come out of the older classical haikai literature of Matsuo Bashō things have never stood still. Haiku keeps time, both its own time, and the time where society is or maybe going.
The hokku of Basho, and those before him and up to Shiki, was fixed in the pre-industrial era, and the force of nature, and was always more of a form than a genre. Haiku is contradictorary a form that doesn’t, and cannot, stay fixed, yet is more than just a general genre. Haiku came about in the new world of early globalisation, and the Industrial Revolution, quickly followed by the various technological advances of the 20th Century. Haiku became so flexible, and challenging its own ‘form’ and ‘perceived genre’ that it keep up and go beyond mere social fads, and social media. It’s a poem and a record of evolving times.
Haiku[plural spelling as well as the spelling for a single haiku] is the strange and wild; surreal; and even wilder; avant garde; gendai; political; social commentary; social conscience; socio-political; the seasons of nature and the seasons of society; it’s conscience writing; a writer of conscience; contemporary poetry, and at the same time rooted in a classical tradition. It’s a chameleon of poetry and should never be pinned down because it’s the challenge and not the conquest. Mastery is an illusion and not an end goal. We need to be in constant beginner mode, and if we need to master anything it’s ourselves, and to always get back to zero, to the beginning, always the beginning.
Haiku, the new poetry that came at the same time as the industrial revolutions, and changed everything, and got caught up in the fight against suppression of voice:
Lee Gurga and Scot Metz, editors of Haiku 2014, asked a simple question with complex undertones: “what can haiku be?” The question, of course, dwells in possibility: it is tinged with future, as: what do the haiku which interest us most tell us about the new directions the form is beginning to take? But it is also grounded in the vibrant present, a question a child might ask upon coming across a strange creature for the first time: what is it?
Hirst's butterflies disturbing the exhibits people
Roadrunner 12.3 (December 2012); Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts Vol.1, No.1 February 2013
Collection: Does Fish-God Know (Yet To Be Named Free Press 2012)
According to Plato's philosophy, the soul has three basic parts, or levels of expression. Located in the solar plexus, between the diaphragm and the navel, the Gastric Center is the seat of the lower part of the mortal soul, or what Plato called the Appetitive Soul. It's also the seat of personal power, ambition and drive, which seeks to conquer all and assimilate it into oneself…and sparkles with the fire of a million jewels: http://www.greekmedicine.net/b_p/Greek_Chakras.html
Publications credits: Bones - a journal for contemporary haiku Issue 0.1 2012 reissued 2013
Collection title: Does Fish-God Know (Yet To Be Named Free Press 2012)
moongarlic is an E-zine for short verse, art, word sculptures, photographs, propaganda, for the unwanted, the crazy, the lonely, the good, the bad, the psycho-tropically challenged, the loaded, the clean, the dirty, the hair washers, the head shavers, the fakers, the shakers, the laminated takers . .