Dog without Tail

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No-Definition of Haiku, my Way

If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog?
Five? No, four.
Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.!

Abraham Lincoln

Before reading the parable of Lincoln, I had phrased my question in this way (and that was way before the birth of my kitten Haiku-Kun).

If you take a cat (or dog to keep in the parable),
cut off his head (kigo),
cut off his four legs (5-7-5),
cut off his tail (kire-ji) and
present this creature to the world,
what would it be called?

Maybe a very badly damaged dog, unable to live up to his nameing.

Or maybe reborn as something completely different, vaguely ressembling his former self?

AAAA, what are we to make of this?

How to name the new creature ?

Take your time to read

The Haiku Dog without Tail ... Discussion
with Susumu Takiguchi


spring is coming -
Daruma puts his sandal
on his head

. And here is why Daruma has only one sandal ... .

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Here is a koan about a dead cat

THE TEACHER Nansen found two groups of monks, from the East hall and the West hall, squabbling over the ownership of a pet cat. He picked up the cat, waved it in the air over his head, and said to the quarrelers:

"Say a good word if you want to save the cat!"
No one said a word.
Nansen went to the kitchen, brought back a big cleaver, and chopped the cat in half.
He gave one-half to each group.

That night when Joshu returned to the monastery, Nansen told him the story. Joshu said nothing; but he took off his sandals, balanced them on his head, and walked away.

Nansen said aloud, "Joshu could have saved the cat."



Another thought about the Definition of Haiku

Anything goes.
In an international haiku community, there are many options based on many opinions.
The patient has a right to informed consent.
The poets are given enough information to choose what they can accept.

Basic Haiku Theories
Definition of HAIKU


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To the Daruma Museum Index

To the Worldkigo Database

1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

An interesting ancedote, dear Gabi san.

If you call a tail a leg, how many tales has a dog?

As many as you care to tell. hehehehe

I love Lincoln's parable (koan).

To many people, there are many five-legged dogs about, eh?

fooling some of the people all of the time...

A dog lifts his tail and wags his leg? Very confusing, that!!

ohayo gozaimasu from GEORGIA

ai... chibi


Thanks, Chibi san, for understanding, smiling and wagging your tail !