Sunday, January 17, 2010

The first entry

My next post is going to be the first entry in my new paper journal. I just spent about an hour drafting it. The new journal is a haibun journal, a combination of prose and haiku. Like haiku, the haibun has compressed language and it emphasizes the image over explaining. I'll try to put the entry in the new journal tomorrow.

Characteristics of haibun, according to The Haiku Handbook (Higginson & Harter):

1. Written in prose, usually concluded with one or more haiku
2. Brief
3. Abbreviated in syntax; grammar words, sometimes even verbs are omitted.
4. No explanation of the haiku; the connection between the prose and the haiku is often like linking in renga.
5. Imagistic; relatively few abstractions or generalizations.
6. Objective; the writer is somewhat detached, maintains an aesthetic distance, even when describing himself.
7. Often humorous.

I believe the haibun journal will be good for me for several reasons.

*For one thing, I'm requiring my poetry students to keep one. I think I should keep one as well.

*Two: one of my major breakthroughs for the novel happened as a result of writing haibun this past summer.

*Three: it's always good to get aesthetic distance from every day experience.

*Four: Compression is important for me to practice, as I have a tendency to be wordy.

*Five: focusing on imagery is also important for me, as I have a tendency to be vague.

*Six: Basho says we don't have to say "everything" in each piece that we write. Haibun will help me to accept that, to be happy with saying one thing as well as I can.

*Seven: humor; I need to practice giving my writings a lighter touch.

As for the journal itself, it is a Moleskinne with heavy paper.

1 comment:

V said...

I marvel at your enthusiasm.



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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken


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Fave Painting: Eden

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The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

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