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Haiku, Japanese drops in the blue of life
essay [ ]

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by [Petre_Andrei ]

2007-03-20  |     | 



“brushing the yard
the brush
forgets the snow”

Haiku – Basho

The refinement of the Japanese is fulfilled in the miniature art. The oriental is defined by the art of essence, by the capacity to concentrate the ideas of a macro universe into a symbolic cult object. The refined Ming’s are probably the best example of how far this art has come to. To capture a moment is to give it meaning and lift it above the apparent holiness and vulgarism that so often capture us. To stop just for a second, to understand the beauty of the moment, this is art. To forget about all the principles, to forget about all the problems and to concentrate only on the life that blossoms in every cell, this is the road towards the natural happiness, the happiness that of the being, that floods up your existence. Haiku is a drop stolen from the ocean, is isolation into an oasis of incandescent light, is a pulsation of life that bursts unexpectedly and provokes various effects…
The rules differ from case to case. They vary from a master to another and have been modified throughout history, being adapted to the numerous cultures that have imported the haiku model and integrated it in their own poetic fond. Nonetheless, the spirit of haiku resisted, vibrant, powerful, impossible to ignore. To write about what is around you, to try and penetrate the sensibility inherent to nature, that’s what haiku is all about. A solitary meditation, a symbolic turn to your own being transformed into stimulation.
About 5 million Japanese practice the art of haiku. They don’t whish to become famous, they don’t wish to reach illumination. Their solitary exercises blend with Zen techniques, showing a love for life and the pleasure of living surrounded by so many subtle beauties. Nature doesn’t want to get out in front, nature always adapts to the conditions. Nature always finds a way, and human is allowed to assist the making of wonders. We don’t need gods to explain this world, we need those simple moments in which we remain still in front of a water drop, we need those moments in which we know that a single flower is enough to light up our entire existence. Haiku is moment, haiku is trying to escape the whirlpool that tires you, haiku is when you want to become one with the environment, one with life. Observing every image, every sound that surround you, you will learn to treasure every moment, you will learn to love life. And only then will you be fulfilled, only then will you learn to laugh from your heart.
Poetry is the most complex part of literature, because poetry synthesizes the information and offers the reader powerful sensations in few words. In poetry you can truly discover the writer, only in poetry you can have contact with the creator’s universe. That’s why poetry means feeling. It’s a paradox, because, although haiku must remain a simple description, the Japanese art irradiates feelings. You feel the images invading you, you feel how every ray gets inside your soul. The short verses reiterate life in its pure form, instead of trying to cover up. We are alone, in front of the world, and we must be able to resist it. We so often feel that its beauty is too much for us, but through haiku we are able to understand it, to accept it, and to find joy in it. The Japanese understood that life can be discomposed into small images, understood that humans don’t have the time to watch everything, and so they must focus on those special moments that mean everything in the end.
Haiku is brutal image, initial image, before any makeovers. You write about what you see, because reality is superior to any metaphors. Words can’t describe the spirit, because, in essence, our imagination is limited. When you want to analyze the magic universe of those around, you are constrained by your own limitations. But when reality appears pure, when there are no obstacles, the barriers collapse. You see through the eyes of the poet, you see what he has seen, you are the silent whiteness that can truly be glad of everything he sees.
In haiku there is no I. The author wants to melt in the pictures created, doesn’t want his presence sensed. The only thing that has to exist is the contact between the observer and the object of observation, in this case, the image pictured through words. You feel caught up in the scenery, you are able to see everything. There are no hidden senses, no complex meditations, no uncertainty. It’s just a clash of worlds, a look beyond the clouds in which we so often choose to live.
The refinement of simple haiku led to the creations of other forms of Japanese lyrics. Tonka offers the possibility of the many times needed explications while the haibun blends poetry and prose in a hyperbolized description that tries to go even deeper inside the pictures created. The poetic dialogues, known under their different forms (tanrenga, renga, choka, ginkoo, gojuin, hyakuin, shibumi, yongin and so on...) offer real feasts, demonstrating the incredibile combinatory capacity of the human being.
Many occidental poets tried in a form or another the haiku. But only in the Orient can this kind of poetry transform into masterpiece, only in japanese can haiku’s be awesome. Translation steal the simplicity, because their offer meanings, which dimminish the value of the poems.
Through haiku, Japan wrote a page in the history of culture. The filosofy of haiku is known throughout the world, and has influenced many creators. Simple, without trying to force, following life. You can’t refuse beauty, because it’s inside you. Haiku is first of all happiness. The happiness of the moment.
Let’s stop for a moment. Let us listen. We will learn many wonderfull things. The drops melt in the blue ocean, lost in circles, smaller and smaller. We don’t need complexe theories, we don’t need the arhetips of today’s society. We only need attention, we only need trust...

” A world of trials,
and if the cherry blossoms,
it simply blossoms”
Haiku – Issa

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