(Untitled – René Magritte, 1926)
First of all, thanks to everyone who read the first haiku post one month ago.
When I posted it, this wordpress’ stats somehow boomed, and I never thought my poetry would be that apreciated.
It was not a big deal, but still something that exceeded my expectations more than I could possibly conceive.
So, thank you everyone, from the bottom of my heart. I truly apreciated it and I hope you’ll read the other upcoming monthly haiku posts as well!
I’d like to keep the same structure as the other post, except that, for english haikus, instead of being a continuum of speach, there will be poems (with titles, that I missed in the previous posts) with small prefaces.
I don’t think I should focus on certain topics each month.
The best thing about poetry is that it’s free and boundless.
It’s the product pure ispiration, so writing poetry knowing that you should stick to certain themes, structures or styles is, in my opinion, very restictrive.
I don’t think there’s a need for a strict ideology or mind guidelines when one’s speaking / writing / singing about what he / she holds inside.
Everything that involves opening up also involves pureness and simpleness.
If that’s not the solid base of writing, than everything will be artificial, cold, empty.
Following the same logic, collect different haikus under a same topic undergoes the same process.
It’s like we’re giving priority to the aim rather than the content, and that’s why I decided not to write only about a single topic per post.
Then again, to write is to use words. And words are limited.
So, it’s about finding the right combinations without losing its aim, its raison-d’etre.
And that’s what makes it harder. One can never be really satisfied about what he / she wrote / attempted to.
That’s not something to be read in a negative way. It just mean we should keep going and going, moving forward and trying to make new discoveries from our experiences.
An italian neon-light artist, Maurizio Nannucci, wrote a really meaningful line, to me: “The missing poem is the poem“.
It held a really deep meaning, and I found this to be one of the most inspiring and beautiful phrases of all time.
It’s the line which is making me go on when I feel like giving up on writing poetry, translating, playing and composing my music.
Something has yet to come out, and it lies in the space between the notes, in the blank which separates the words, in the lapses of time from thinking to writing.
I’m still searching, I will keep searching for it forever.
And maybe that’s how it should be, maybe the research itself is the experience. I’ll just keep going forward. We all just need to do so.
Take this as what it is: a stream of consciousness, a continuum of thoughts.
I’ve already said pretty much of what is going through my mind in the preface, but what I probably didn’t outline is how difficult is the contrast between glorious past and innovation. In music / poetry, that’s an issue. This haiku of mine fills pretty well in the same context.
“One road, endless ways;
An anchor tied to my foot
Fights the wings I spread”
What you see, what you should see. What you have in front of your eyes, what lies beyond them. What you think you know and what you really know. What you think you have and what you forgot you had.
“A moment to breathe
The air is filling my lungs
I can feel my life”
As I read somewhere, “The world is full of exchanged glances between could’ve-been lovers”
“Never swam freely
As I’m now, in the unknown
Sea of your blue eyes”
Today it’s raining. It’s pretty unusual, being the italian summer really sunny. I don’t dislike the rain, once in a while…
“As the sky turns gray
Everything else around me
Seems a bit brighter”
…And it also got chilly out of nowhere. A dear person I used to know once told me that between July and August there’s a period of time of almost 10 days that she used to call “the kite’s week”, because it gets colder, windy and cloudy, the perfect weather to let the kite fly in the sky… according to what she said. That’s kind of nostalgic.
“Midnight pallid moon
In between my fingertips
Wider, colder, still”
One of my favourite (if not my absolutely favourite) artist is Gustav Klimt, and one of his painting from the Beethoven Frieze is called “The longing for happiness finds repose in poetry”, and I think that’s beautiful and worth sharing.
Through art and people who led me into getting into each and every form of it (music, poetry and everything else), I think I learned how to apreciate my life and myself better than I thought I could.
But then again, it’s not something I discovered by myself. So, art is still something that makes me recall of people, someway.
“Art became her blood
And she forgot who she was
And she never was her”
I recently broke several parts of my electric bass. Its black paint coating is all cracked damaged all over its body. I thought it would be a great idea to paint it anew. But before doing so, I came to realize that I actually like my bass the way it was, the way it is.
The silent orchestra plays
Flaw, lack, truth, beauty”
Let’s spend few words on religion. Personally, I don’t like to identify myself in a certain religion, though I really like buddhist and taoist philosophy and I was raised in a christian environment.
There’s surely something we can’t understand, something which makes us more than flesh and bones.
But not everyone thinks like that. Several people believe we’re just that. Just souless pieces of meat, born to die, moved by instincts and “electrical impulses” (like a friend of mine said).
And yeah, scientifically speaking that’s not false, I admit it.
But isn’t it sad to think only about that?
Then why can’t we express something we hold inside? Why we do crazy things which go against our instincts? Why there’s so much beauty that we can’t even attempt to describe?
I don’t think we’re just like this.
I’m not afraid of dying, but I’d be so goddamn afraid of living, if I was to believe I’m just something so empty as they proved.
And, again, I can’t find the words to describe what I’m trying to say.
But I can try. Maybe using some words I said to someone else before…
“Live your soul, your fate
Don’t rot away while you still stand
Unlived life is death”
“My shape, my vessel
Endlessly flowing inside
Nothing can touch it”
I think I’m going to run out of things to talk about in this first part.
I mean, that’s what it’s important in my life, at least to me. And that’s what I think I should write about.
…Or is it? How can we say something out loud?
“Smoke from the mountain
The city knows it will hear
Someone’s echo soon”
And as a conclusion, a thought about a discussion I had with a pianist friend of mine last night, in a pub. Every musician, writer, artist is bound to feelings. But “positive” feelings are never as strong as “negative” ones.
I mean, happiness is a momentary condition, while thinking, doubting, being insecure is not.
So, we’re more “negative” than “positive”. But that doesn’t mean we’re negative beings.
We can unleash our true strenght by opposing those “negative” thoughts we can’t escape from.
If we’re just filled with positive thoughts, then we’ll just be empty and silent.
Negativeness is the voice of poetry, of music, of art.
It’s the voice that screams for happiness.
And that’s the reason why it’s so important.
“I shed pointless tears
Without knowing their meaning
But now they have one”
…I ended up posting 11 haikus instead of 10. Well, that’s it!
(Haiku titles, in order: “Two Cages”, “Minimalism”, “Lost at Sea”, “Home”, “August Blues”, “Her Shade”, “Baroque”, “Unsent Letter”, “Voyage”, “Confusion”)
I must say, I really apreciated how italian / japanese haikus got apreciated by several people.
I didn’t know they would, I didn’t want to post them to begin with, but I’m really glad I decided to do it.
I’m italian and I love reading, so I like to work with words.
I grew up with english videogames and books, so I never had any kind of trouble learning it.
I’m learning japanese since 3 years and I’m almost graduate with high scores, plus I’m into this language by more than 8 years thanks to anime and stuff like that, so I’m pretty familiar with it too.
Those 3 languages are the languages I love the most.
So it’s really a bliss to me to be able to write using all of them, because I love them all.
That’s why I’m thankful to those of you which told me not to give up writing in other languages except for english.
I’m really enjoying this and I’m considering something crazier.
Like, writing poetry graffitti around my hometown. Because poetry, even if low and yet unshaped, has yet to die.
I don’t want to bring flowers to the poetry’s grave. I’d rather search for a potion to make it resurrect from its grave. If it was dead. But it isn’t.
Poetry is not dead. Not yet.
“I tuoi capelli “Your hair
Come olio su tela Like oil on canvas
“Palcoscenico “A Stage
Silenzio tra la folla Silence amongst the crowd
Scorre la vita Life flows”
“Il mio incendio “My fire
Non può essere spento Can’t be extinguished
Dalla tua acqua” By your water”
喜び (yorokobi) “Joy”
いくつもの ikutsumono “No matter how many
花が咲いても hana ga saite mo Flowers will bloom,
春を待つ haru wo matsu I’ll wait for the spring”
憧れ (akogare) “Longing”
遠い海 tooi umi “While I still can’t
届かないまま todokanai mama Reach the far sea
見つめてる mitsumeteru I’m gazing at it”
昔の影 (mukashi no kage) “Shadow from the past”
午前の後 gozen no ato “After 12 A.M.
家の香りが uchi no kaori ga The scent of home
お帰りを okaeri wo Welcomes me”
Again, last section.
As you already read on the previous post, it will feature some Haikus (from 3 to 5) that I’ve read online or on books, or even haikus you sent me via mail / twitter / whatever.
Don’t be shy, send me your haikus!
So, the first Haiku for this last section has been sent to me by a french friend of mine, who likes to write poetry but never actually tried haikus (sadly she has no blog / websites to link).
“Maintenant, demain “Now, tomorrow
Les jours seront les mêmes The days will be the same
Memoire, espoir, nuit” Memory, hope, night”
To quote what she told me about this:
“I spend most of my time wondering what’s the meaning of everything that makes my life easier and harder. I feel like my objective is to find the reason for this balance that keeps me from falling down the abyss of dullness. As I keep trying to come up with new solutions, I look back to what I did and what I plan to do, and it looks like a circle when gazed up from a distance. It’s like everyday is the same experience. They start with the solid structure of what I already got in my mind and are dragged around now forward and now backwards by the unknown, by the mystery of what could be but isn’t yet. And while the field I move my thoughts in is still the same, the pact that this burden of thoughts is describing is never the same. On one side, we know the sun will shine and set, but on the other side we don’t know what can happen while the sun is showing or not. That’s how I came up with this haiku. I don’t find its contents depressive at all. I actually find them thrilling. I find the word “possibility” exciting but scary. That’s why I handle this word so carefully with my left hand, as I hold onto the word “certainty” with my right one. Anytime, everywhere, every day.”
I love this way of thinking and I can relate a lot.
Thanks for sending me this haiku, I’m really glad I got to read it.
The second Haiku from this last part is a really particular one, and it’s in italian.
“Chiuso fra cose mortali “Closed in between mortal things
(Anche il cielo stellato finirà) (Even the starry sky will come to an end)
Perché bramo Dio?” Why am I longing for God?”
(Giuseppe Ungaretti, 1916)
Giuseppe Ungaretti is a famous italian writer that every italian know, for he’s studied since elementary schools, here in Italy.
He lived during the first World War and take part in it, that’s why his poetry is full of strong messages and cold topics.
I stick to traditional haiku structure when writing (5-7-5), but Haikus can be longer. This one, in fact, is not a 5-7-5 haiku, but a 8-11-5.
Haikus are meant to be short, for they’re immediate, simple, a reflection of what we’re feeling in a moment, but without limiting its content and meaning.
This poem was written, like others Ungaretti’s poems, while being inside a battlefield.
With it, he’s speaking to the whole humanity, making us realize how sad is the human condition, surrounded by limits and fragility but still longing for an answer, trying to grasp the perfection of the unknown, a solution that many can find in God.
The poet himself knows that we’re limited, that everything, even the sky, will come to an end.
But still, he’s not giving up on everything. He’s still trying to seize a solution.
Because we’re limited, yet limitless. That’s what marks humanity.
I can’t state this is a proper haiku (I think the 5-7-5 structure adds the right challenge in writing haikus), but it deserves credit because it’s one of the most haiku-based strongest-impact poems I’ve ever read.
As a last haiku, I decided to choose a very old one I wrote at least 4 years ago. It’s a very unique one, and I’ll explain more about it later:
Capodanno (New Year’s Day)
“Pochi secondi “Few seconds
Per ripetere sempre To repeat once again
La stessa merda” The same shit”
Okay, first thing you noticed is that it’s vulgar and funny. And that’s the point.
The first Haiku I used to write were comical haikus just like this one.
I used to write short poetry whose aim was to make people laugh, but also criticize / make one reflects about something.
This haiku of mine is the perfect example.
Poetry is perfect to make people laugh when wrote in the right way, because it’s the exact opposite of “funny”.
But going beyond that, this haiku of mine carries a feeling of powerlessness, as if we can’t run away from what we’re bound to.
It’s of course a comical haiku, but it’s also a bittersweet one.
We laugh at this thought because it’s better to laugh than crumble into depression.
Always choose the bright side of something. Even if it’s the smallest part.
Maybe that’s what this haiku is trying to say? I don’t know. Even though I wrote it, I still don’t know. My haikus are a mystery, even to me.
Poetry can work well with everything.
Some people are skeptical about it, but I’m not.
And while I think this more of a funny text rather than a poetic one, I still think its meaning behind its hilarious side is pretty strong and eerie.
One day I’ll make a whole friggin’ post about hilarious haikus I wrote time ago. It’ll be fun.
That ends it with this month’s dose of doujin(?) poetry!
I’d really enjoy adding more haikus on part 3, so don’t be shy and try to write a haiku too!
Writing haiku is something anybody can do, and if you’d like to give it a try and don’t know from where to start from, just read here on the bottom section to get the picture.
I’d really love to get some haikus from whoever reads this post or other posts by me.
You can send me your haikus to my email adress, twitter or facebook (contacts down below), and the ones I like the most will be published in the upcoming posts.
I’d really love to keep the modern haiku tradition alive.
We really need poetry in a world where everything else is attempting to kill it.
We must help leave it untouched and gracious.
And I’d love to “fight” this “war” with you!
So, just try to close your eyes, think about what you think it’s important to think about (wtfdidIjustwrote) and try to write down your feelings: If a poem, a haiku, a song or every other writing comes from your heart, than it’s already good enough.
Send me your haikus…
Via facebook: /sanzunokawa
Via twitter: @FGRNDNoises
Or via mail: email@example.com
I accept haikus in EVERY language! Only one condition: If the haiku is not in english, it needs to be send along with a translation for it.
Poetry is international!
…But I’m not. Sadly.
Hope you enjoyed this post.
Next haiku’s post will be out on September the 18th!
Other ordinary translation posts will be coming soon.