tonyv Posted May 7, 2009 Share Posted May 7, 2009 Inspired by Goldenlangur's recent HAIKU CHALLENGE in the Poetry Playground, I have become motivated to learn more about the fascinating world of Asian poetry. An abundance of information on all forms Asian can be found in the Reference section, within Tinker's Verse Forms archive, and I hope to apply to my own writing that which I learn from there, from my books, and from the members right here at PMO. Whether or not I can write something competent in the Asian forms remains to be seen, but I hope that, overall, my writing will improve as a result of what I learn. Burton Raffel's book How to Read a Poem contains several fine examples of Asian poems. On page 24, Raffel discusses the following haiku by Meisetsu, translated by R.H. Blyth: With a lantern, Someone walking in the night, Through the plum trees. He states that, "This haiku -- like most things in Japanese art and Japanese culture -- works as much with what is not in the poem as it does with what is there. The details are sensual, immediate ..." He goes on to describe precisely why, and then concludes that, "This is as perfectly a Japanese poem as one is likely ever to find ... and in ultimate meaning, the poem is readily comprehensible to any human being anywhere." Raffel then provides one of the saddest poems I have ever read, by Chinese poet DU MU, translated by C.H. Kwock and Vincent McHugh: Parting Gift Much love ---------------why did it seem no love at all? Over the last bottle, nothing; ------------------------------------could not rouse a smile The candle ---------------gracious enough to regret our parting made tears for us -----------------------Dawn came in awhile Raffel explains, "There is quite as much left unsaid as there is actually said. There is no way to know why the lovers are parting, or even whether they are parting voluntarily or are being forced to separate ... In most poems, the coming of dawn is a good sign, the reappearance of light, and day, and life. In this poem, dawn is the equivalent -- never precisely stated but nevetheless clear -- of the dreaded moment of final, irreversible parting" Indeed, so much is said by that which is left unsaid. There is so much to learn, and inspiration is all around. Harness it! Quote Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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