Friday, September 13, 2013

Her slender beauty and grace

In a book about the life of the whiltetail deer, I read that females can become pregnant in their first year--as early as nine months old! How amazing is that? This one brought her children here today to browse and I took this portrait through the window. She's been here before; I recognize the dark spots on her front.
I've been picking up and putting away books, magazines and papers; I need to get things done before we leave after the leaves turn. Today I found Mariposa 16, Spring-Summer 2007, the membership journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California. I'm a proud member.

One of our haiku friends was Paul O. Williiams, who died in 2009. His haiku and his thinking about this form were very special, so I was delighted to find that I had marked this haibun in the Mariposa 16.

The Singularity of Haiku

Paul O. Williams

    One of the most endearing things about haiku to me is its difference from pop culture. We arae being told endlessly of the vast importance of the celebs. We are supposed to know what is the latest with Jessica and J. Lo, to worry about Brad Pitt's latest attractions. The newspapers often confuse these non-events with real news. They even report the latest twists in the soap plots.
     Fortunately for haiku, it is very much a non-pop art. No haiku poet will even become a Liz Taylor, or an Andy Warhol, nor will his or her work ever draw the adulation of a Britney Spears. And that, of course, is good. The poems must be taken singly, turned in the mind until they burst open with meaning. The meaning each haiku gives us has nothing to do with the mass of thought. It is totally singular, It appeals to one mind at a time, even in a room of listeners.
Beyond that, it appeals often only to the mind of its creator. The poems are so individual that an experience of one person can mean important things to that poet, but lie like a wet pancake on the minds of others. That doesn't really, really matter. Why? Because the truly important thing about the poem is writing it--- thinking it and writing it, not necessarily presenting it to another person. One hopes, of course, it is a pleasure to both. But nonetheless, the truly important thing about poems is the doing of them. Never forget that. That is where the poems are individually, singularly experienced at their most intense.

                                     this one mockingbird
                                     today on my chimney, singing
                                     spring's perfect song

                                                  * * *

Thinking about this, I find I agree with most of it, but I am not sure that everyone will feel the same. I also think that "the truly important thing about poems is the doing of them."  Perhaps you will agree. It is interesting to think about. I still miss Paul's laughter, humor and incisive mind. 

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