Haiku and Tanka
I have been fascinated by the Japanese-originating short poetic forms of haiku and tanka, and related genres such as senryu, haibun, renga, etc. for more than ten years. During that time, I have had many poems published in various British and North American haiku magazines and anthologies.
For almost all that time, I have subscribed to a 'definition' of haiku that seems to be widely held in the English-speaking West, and which in Britain was codified in the British Haiku Society pamphlet, Towards a Consensus on the Nature of Haiku. Although this was later replaced by On the Nature of English Haiku (which, in fact, does not significantly change the ...view middle of the document...
1 (Winter-Spring 2000).
As I have quite recently begun to take much more notice of haiku written by Japanese, both past and present (albeit in translation or written in English), so I have come to appreciate the thrust and worth of Shirane's criticism. To take just a couple of more obvious examples, metaphor and imagination, both of which are more than a little frowned upon in ...Consensus..., will be found to abound both in classical and modern Japanese haiku. And, as my good friend and fellow haiku poet Keith J Coleman recently observed, more than 90% of the world's haiku poets are Japanese and have lived in Japan all their lives, fully absorbed in a culture which has several hundred years of haiku practise (and more than a thousand years of related poetics) behind it. Anything and everything in haiku that is good enough for them.....
So, my views upon what constitutes acceptable haiku are becoming ever wider and more tolerant. I mention all this because I have also set-up on this site a copy of my first collection, Just These Few Stones, which I published in 1998 and which includes an Introduction biased, as I then was, to the 'definition' contained in ...Consensus... I have not revised any of the text of my introductory notes or any of the poems (which include senryu and tanka as well as haiku), but do not wish any reader to accept my haiku notes in the Collection as pointing to the only, or only legitimate strand.
Just These Few Stones was published as a pocket-size (10.4 x 10.0 cm) book, with the poems, mostly two per page, printed on a lightly textured 'parchment' paper. The card covers were heavily textured and the whole was hand-cut, collated and ribbon-bound.
Impong Sela(Maikling Kwento)
Epifanio G. Matute
Noon ay buong kataimtimang minalas ni Impong Sela ang kanyang lalabing-animing taong apong lalaki sa pagkakahigang walang katinag-tinag. Sa ilalim ng maputing kumot, ang kanyang apong nakatihaya ay matuwid na matuwid na katulad ng isang bangkay, walang kakilus-kilos maaliban, marahil, sa maminsan-minsang pagkibot ng mga labing nanunyo at halos kasiimputla na ng isperma. Maya-maya’y marahang dinama ng kanyang palad ang noo ng nahihimlay na maysakit. Sa gayong pagkakadantay, ang nakahiga ay napakislot na animo’y biglang nagulat ngunit hindi rin nabalino sa pagkakahimbing.
“Maria Santisima!” ang nahihintakutang bulong ni Impong Sela sa kanyang sarilisamantalang iniaangat ang kanyang kamay mula sa pagkakadantay sa noo ng apo.” Nagbalik na naman ang kanyang lagnat.”
Ang matanda’y nakaramdam ng isang biglang bugso ng lungkot sa kanyang dibdib. Ang lagnat ng bata ay nawala na, dalawang araw na ang nakararaan, salamat sa kanyang santong kalagyo, ngunit ngayo’y. . .
Mahal na Ina ng Awa!
Ito’y kanyang ikinababalisa. Nalalaman niyang ang lagnat na nagbabalik ay lubhang mapanganib. Ano kaya kung ang kanyang apo, ang kanyang pinakamamahal na si Pepe’y. . . Maawaing langit!
Bakit, hindi ba siya ang maituturing na nagpalaki sa kanyang...