Welcome to episode 11 of the Haiku Chronicle. I’m Patricia, your host. This podcast recounts my journey as I try and improve my haiku writing. And I’m sharing what I lear along the way with you. I’m definitely evolving from the traditional school room haiku towards the contemporary English version. Sometimes it’s not such comfortable journey and I’m finding that the two are worlds apart.
I also like to feature work from other Haiku writers and find out what interests them, what they are reading and what they can recommend to you and I. This week my Guest Haijin is Goran. Goran is from Croatia and I’m not entirely sure how to pronounce his surname so I’m not going to as I will make a complete mess of it. However you will find in the show notes, so you will know exactly who he is.
If you remember way back at the beginning of these podcasts, I said the point of my efforts was to try and get some balance back in my life, to try and focus on the small things The micro in order to stabilise the macro.
Well this week, apart from Monday which I’ll come to later, I was taking my daily walk, trying to commune with nature but found myself disturbed by what was going on in my environment.
You may know that I live in Switzerland, and last week we had rather an important event going on over here, the world economic forum. It rather disturbed my walks and took over my writing from Tuesday onwards. You can read the resulting haiku on my website www.poetrypea.com but perhaps if I illustrate what was going on with a couple of them you can get my gist.
These two came from my Wednesday walk. I was walking in the woods, not long before lunch, when I heard the sound of planes overhead. It’s not a noise that happens much round here, at least not at that time of day. I looked up:
patrol our skies…
When I got home I turned on the television to catch the lunchtime news and what was the first image? Well, this is what I wrote, when I saw it. Perhaps you can hazard a guess?
wears a winter coat…
There were a number of Presidents at the event: President Macron of France, President Modi of India, President Temer of Brazil, President Macri of Argentina, etc… but if you guessed President Trump, you would be right.
Subsequently I shared a couple of my poems with other Haiku writers. What they said to me was some of them would really be Senryu rather than Haiku. Once they pointed that out it was obvious.
What are Senryu? Well essentially they are much like Haiku, same rules and structures apply. Senryu is much more concerned with human nature, political issues, and satiric humour than Haiku. So I felt comfortable with this analysis of last weeks work.
Then this morning I started to watch a video with Scott Mason of the Herons Nest. I’ll put the link in the show notes. Now I’m sure that they don’t qualify as Haiku. Scott said within the first five minutes of the video that haiku are not pop psychology or philosophy in 17 syllables. I will have to analyse whether this weeks work even qualifies as Senryu.
However, I think I did have a bit of success on Monday. I wrote this…
in the night…
This is miles away from the work I was doing when I started back in October. At that point I was determined to stick with the 575 format but I now know that this is not the way of contemporary English language Haiku. I don’t worry so much about the syllable count any more. At the moment I am concentrating on brevity, leaving some negative space and not explaining too much. As such I think this one was not too bad an effort. What do you think?
Now for the recommended reading this week. I’m actually going to go with recommended viewing. I recommend the video I was just telling you about from Scott Mason. I’ll put the link in the recommended websites section of the poetrypea website.
And a quick reminder that there are some submission deadlines coming up. You will find them on the poetrypea website on the dropdown menu for submissions.
And so to Goran. our guest this week. Let’s learn a little bit about him before we hear his Haiku.
Goran originally graduated in physics and chemistry at the Faculty of Science in Zagreb, and stayed on to undertake his doctoral studies.
He publishes poetry, haiku and prose in literary magazines, journals and anthologies and has won several awards for poetry and haiku in Croatia and abroad. He is member of the Croatian Writers’ Association.
Although Goran wants to encourage others to take an interest in Physics and Chemistry, there is more to him than the scientist and Poet. He also enjoys, diving and photography.
Why does Goran write Haiku? To capture a deeply felt moment or experience from his daily life. He loves the brevity of Haiku, that with only a few words we can create something meaningful and say so much.
He reads many other haiku poets and their experiences and recommends that you do to. Not only is it pleasurable but it is good for learning.
I asked Goran what else he thought makes a good Haiku. To which he replied: I think that the focus in haiku must be on a brief moment in time; use of provocative and colourful images; an ability to be read in one breath; and a sense of sudden enlightenment and illumination.
So much to try and achieve in three lines, which is why Bashō, one of the great Japanese Masters of the art said that whilst he wrote many Haiku in his lifetime, the number of good ones was only a small proportion of them. It’s much harder than it looks!
So to Goran’s Haiku:
refugees spent night
in a truck
I think this is a Haiku that speaks to each of us about the world we live in right now, don’t you? Thanks Goran.
You can learn more about Goran Gatalica by following the links on the show notes to Haiku Masters, where you will find more of Goran’s work.
Haiku Masters, NHK World from Japan (Haiku Master in the Rikugien Gardens, Tokyo and Haiku Master in Biei, Hokkaido with my Photo Haiku)
Goran thanks for submitting this piece and I look forward to featuring you again and learning more about you.
If you write Haiku, please send in your work for consideration by us for the website and the podcast. We are accepting submissions now for March onward.
Can I ask you for a favour? To go to The Haiku Chronicle facebook page and give us a like. It’s much appreciated.
Thank you so much for listening. I’ll be back next week and we will have another Guest, Giddy who is just a treasure and has lots to tell us. Take care and keep writing….
The Heron’s Nest: Submissions http://www.theheronsnest.com/submit.html
Scott Mason: Haiku The Poetry of Focus https://vimeo.com/165512364
Poetrypea: Submissions: http://poetrypea.com/submissions/