October 15, 2007

Haiku For Blog Action Day


Today is Blog Action Day.

The theme this year is the environment and anyone with a a blog can join in by posting something today related to the environment.

Maybe it's a local environmental issue, or the beach cleanup nearby, or a poem or story with an environmental theme. Podblogs, videoblogs, and photoblogs count too!

The purpose is to have a massive hit on public awareness by sharing as many ideas in as many ways as possible.

Check out the Blog Action Day blog and read more about how bloggers can change the world. You can register your blog and join the 15,000+ other blogs (with 12 million readers) that are already signed up.

I clicked over to the excellent Poetry Foundation web site for inspiration, and using their search tool found some haiku.

I enjoy haiku for many reasons, but I do particularly like the close-up focus they often take on something in nature.

A few haiku from "After the Gentle Poet Kobayashi Issa" by Robert Hass

New Year’s morning—
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

A huge frog and I
staring at each other,
neither of us moves.


And two by Gary Snyder-

Hammering a dent out of a bucket
a woodpecker
answers from the woods

At the last turn in the path
“goodbye—”
—bending, bowing,
(moss and a bit of
wild
bird-)
down.


Both of those poets are ones that I particularly enjoy reading and having met them both and heard them read, I know that their sense of nature and its influence on their poetry is quite - organic. Is that the word I want? It is within them, not something they take on in the writing. It is part of their practice of poetry.

Still, my favorite haiku still come from the masters.

In this one by Bashō,

In Kyoto,
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

you might say, "Where is nature?" I would have trouble answering you, and yet I am fairly certain that within that longing for place that is prompted by the bird's call is some longing for something lost from nature. Am I imagining that?

In this poem by Issa,

On a branch
floating downriver
a cricket, singing.

the branch, river and cricket represent three areas of the natural world. I hear that cricket's sound as joyful (singing) and yet I also feel it may be doomed in its river journey. Is it singing like those on the Titanic going down? I might even convince some (especially without the author or time period being identified) that this small poem is a plea for our natural world (cricket) which is being carried away while we sing a song of ignorance is bliss or the song of the sirens or a sad dirge.

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