Monday, July 1, 2019

Haiku Poetry as a State of Wonder

Think Small 
 (Theme Song: My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music)

peony buds--
can an ant
relax?
  - John Stevenson

Mason feels that "think small" poems stand in stark contrast to one of the prevailing values of Western, and especially American, culture: namely, the perceived need to "Think Big" and thus provide a counter-balance to the cultural bias.

Come To Your Senses
(Theme Song: I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash)

the tickle of bristles
I cover-up
my hickey
 - Yvette Nicole Kolodji

R. H. Blyth called haiku "a door half-opened, a mirror wiped clean." Thinking of it this way, haiku can help us "come to our senses" once again. 

Feel The Moment
(Theme Song: Anthem by Leonard Cohen)

winter night
the slow circling
of the bar rag
 - Bill Kenney

With advances in technology, our lives have become more busy not less so. To paraphrase Basho, haiku allows us to focus on "what's happening right here, right now."

Prepare For Surprise
(Theme Song: Surprise, Surprise by Bruce Springsteen)

sudden gust--
the book opens to a poem
I like even better
 - Carolyn Hall

This group of haiku also operates counter to the prevailing cultural tendency to feel vulnerable by surprise, an thus trying to limit, predict, control it, instead of finding delight in the unexpected..

Only Connect
(Theme Song: We Are The World or Circle of Life from the Lion King?)

migrating whales
all our footprints
wash away
 - paul m

The fifth category is perhaps a "meta-category" in that it encompasses all good haiku, which allows the reader to make a connection between the two parts of the haiku, and also between ourselves and the world. Mason ended his presentation by inviting all to experience the wonder of life through haiku, with his final statement, "Life awaits...may its wonder be with you."

from, HNA 2017 Recap: Scott Mason and The State of Wonder

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