My Poetics [#9]
edited: Thursday, April 22, 2004
By john k zimmerman
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2004
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Here we go ahaiku-ing among the leaves so green
Here we go ahaiku-ing so fair to be seen. . .
In that haiku is about nature what better place to write haiku than in nature? Call it a walk in the park, a nature hike, or a hike ku it is a perfect time and place to haiku. On our hike we can either write haiku, or through observation store up the raw data to write haiku. All we need is a pen or pencil some paper and a place to walk.
Where shall we walk? In nature. That might mean the seashore, a vacant lot, a national park, a stone quarry, or sand pit. It might even mean a walk in a backyard or down a busy urban street. Where one finds the natural world there you will find haiku. Haiku is about seeing; sometimes it is easier to see nature in a sand pit then in a meadow--the old saying about forests and trees applies.
How do we proceed? Quietly, very quietly. No music, no worries, no thoughts of what comes next. Just a conscious intention of being in nature; just the conscious intentions of seeing nature. Try to avoid the worst trap of all --the expectation of writing haiku. Haiku are not imposed upon nature rather haiku come from the observation of nature.
You walk should be long enough that it consumes the business of your mind. Your daily business is important and therefore you need to allow your mind time to put it aside. Once you have laid aside the concerns of your day your mind needs time to free wheel-to relax.
Keep walking. Now begins to attend to your surroundings. Listen to the birdsong. Feel the breeze. Smell the smells. Something will click. Or not. It may be that just being in nature will be your reward.
If you do decide to sit and write haiku try this old trackers ' trick. Scan the ground around you in ever increasing concentric circles. When something catches your eye describe it and carry on scanning. Don't skimp on the number of descriptions you record: not all will result in a haiku. Do not worry about final form or even about “finishing" the -ku. No time for polishing in the field!
If you do not actually write haiku in the field you may want to take notes or sketch, or take photographs. At the very least you should try to write soon after returning home, even if it is only a word or a phrase- just enough to jog your memory.
Well there you have it
Have fun . . .