1/16/2007

Carpet Meditation

  











winter morning meditation -
the mind crawls along
carpet patterns
















Sitting on my Chinese silk carpet in winter,
keeps the bottom warm but ...



.................... alternative haiku versions


meditating in winter -
the mind crawls along
carpet patterns


morning meditation -
the meditating mind crawls
along carpet patterns



After toying a bit with my photoshop, I came up with another version.... :o)

..... LOOK HERE ! Carpet Meditation 02 .....


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... My Asian Haiku Travelogue ...


... Meditation (dhyana) and haiku



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Carpet, Rug .. juutan dantsuu
KIGO FOR ALL WINTER



How many details in a haiku?
(June 2009)
In Japanese, I learned to pack in as much as possible into the 5 7 5 pattern. It should paint a clear picture for the reader to enable him/her to be there with me and enjoy the situation with me. So I do not want to produce a riddle which gets the logical mind of the reader trying to figure out the basics and thus loose me in my moment of the image.

In the above haiku, winter morning meditation ... truely a bit long
BUT
meditation ... this word alone would get the reader into a general mood, philosophizing about meditation in general.

morning meditation ... now the reader can be with me, still half asleep, hungry before breakfast, but at least listening the the birdsong in the morning.

winter morning ... now the reader can be with me sitting in a cold atmosphere, being mostly miserably shivering with bare feet ... have you ever been to a Japanese temple on a cold winter morning, sitting with bare feet ?

Basho tells us about an old pond and a frog, all very clear and simple.
Or about a crow on a branch in autumn, nothing spectacular, but very clear.


morning meditation ...
the mind crawls along
carpet patterns


In English language haiku, things are different ... from minimalist to one line to five lines, the form is not a guideline any more ...
without kigo, so we do not know wheather to feel hot or cold within the given situation ...
and many riddles and ambiguities are presented to jumpstart the logic and take us away from a clear picture ...

So I am back to my problem,
how many details should we pack into an English language haiku so that the reader is able to share our situation at the first reading?
and maybe add a short footnote to take care of cultural differences that are indeed particular to our area?

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Read a discussion of this problem


Hi Gabi!

>> winter morning meditation ...
>> the mind crawls along
>> carpet patterns
>>
>> When I wrote this, it had not occured to me to check for a better
>> kigo, only later did I find that CARPET was a winter kigo.

I think it's okay to have two kigo because this is an English-language haiku, and many of us would not think of carpet as a purely winter image and indicator of a season.


>> How many details should we put in a haiku?
Put as many as you can and then start eliminating them and only stop when it either doesn't make sense or it's a 'so what haiku'.


>> Haiku is not for you only, but to share with others. So your haiku
>> must be understandable at first reading ... that is what my Japanese
>> teacher told me many times.

There's the nub of it, what your teacher said stands not only for haiku but for poetry as a whole. It's a good template to start with.


>> In the above haiku, winter morning meditation ... truely a bit long

>> morning meditation ...
>> the mind crawls along
>> carpet patterns

For me this loses the power of your original haiku. If the poem was put into Japanese it might work with carpet as a winter kigo, but in English, this isn't the ooomph of your original poem.


>> In English language haiku, things are different ... from minimalist
>> to one line to five lines, the form is not a guideline any more ...
>> without kigo, so we do not know whether to feel hot or cold within
>> the given situation ...

Good points, which is why I feel the word 'winter' needs to stay. In the west 'winter' has so many connotations, from Wenceslas and Viking songs, to the Green Man, Santa, Christmas presents, even Coca Cola (as they invented the current Santa) to Victorian times and Charles Dickens to cold brutal times of war and starvation.

Without the word 'winter' I just feel a lot of readers might feel it's just someone doing meditation and being distracted by a bit of carpet pattern.


>> So I am back to my problem,
>> how many details should we pack into an English language haiku
>> so that the reader is able to share our situation
>> at the first reading?

I think you cracked it with the version you posted first of all.


>> and maybe add a short footnote to take care of cultural differences
>> that are indeed particular to our area?

I think a footnote would be overkill, but it might be interesting for some readers, especially if you brought out a book.
This could be an intriguing haiku to use for one of the problems of using
kigo. It sounds like a good chapter for that book Gabi! ;-)


Thank you so much, my friend!
But NO, no book in the near future!



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Some more friends shared their views.

"Details that inform, rather than imply and evoke, should generally be excluded or excised."
B.

"but the whole point of choosing cues is to choose cues that both inform and invoke, like space and negative space
frogs in a pond denote and connote and suggest
and they are transformed in their absence into sounds
all suggestive, all implying levels of evocation that move out like the rings in the pond when you skip a smooth stone across it
details both palpable and evocative, both definitive and metaphorical
storms below, the milky way and galaxies above and beyond"
I.


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18 comments:

. Gabi Greve said...

Hi Gabi san,

This is a wonderful image -- and isn't that how the stubborn mind
behaves?

Gabi, your first line seems too wordy (8 syllables). If you dropped
"winter" it would sound more pleasing to my ear, and you would have a good senryu, which I think would be more appropriate to the subject anyway.

On the other hand, you could drop "morning", but then "winter meditation" sounds more like merely thinking about winter, not zen practice.

Finally, if you dropped the first two word entirely, your senryu's minimalism would nicely match the practice of meditation. In any event, the kigo "winter" seems forced. My opinion only.

Your beautiful carpet photos are a real pleasure!

warmly,

--Billie
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/simply_haiku/message/18069

...................................

I agree the first line is too long, but still, being a HAIKU fan, I prefer it with the kigo.

But thanks for your considerations !

GABI
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. Gabi Greve said...

Dear GABI,
Thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem!!!
thanks Kala

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. Gabi Greve said...

winter zazen . . .
the carpet's pattern unravels
in my mind

Richard Kay

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/simply_haiku/message/18083

Anonymous said...

Gabi,

I like the suggestions made to tweak the poem

carpet patterns
mind patterns

all kinds of combinations

I like the photoshoped picture of the carpet. It reminds me of how the surface of the lake looks in winter when freezing.

thanks from America

. Gabi Greve said...

I cannot tell a lie. I love your rainy days, Gabi...

The pinocchio daruma is smashing and the carpet meditation mind bending...
thanks for such an interesting blog....
doris
...................................

Good morning, Doris san,
and it is raining again today ...
GABI
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Anonymous said...

wow beautiful carpet

Your cats might have a wonderful meditation on it too

Have a nice haiku weekend

Etsuko

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cherrypoetryclub/message/29893

Anonymous said...

I think even for people who don't meditate (as such) they can relate to this, because on one level any kind of mental concentration on one
thing can be distracted by something else? Even worse if you are trying to avoid 'mindfulness' which I believe is a mental action in its own right. ;-)

winter morning meditation -
the mind crawls along
carpet patterns

Gabi Greve, January 2007


Wonderful haiku, and not just visual, I really experience 'carpet
patterns' making me almost dizzy.

I also feel that even though the first line is very long that it works, and gives us not only the season, but an experience of being in a cold start to the day place feeling. ;-)

Wonderful wonderful! Just glad it's summer here or I would be
shivering uncontrollably right now. ..grin..

all my best, A.

Anonymous said...

If I may jump in, it's interesting why exactly it works so well.
If you think of it, you don't need "meditation" (speaking to Gabi) because the mind creeping along definitely denotes and includes meditation... however the addition of "meditation" makes the line itself creep along, so you have a parallel between not only concrete things like the winter's morning and the mind moving ploddingly, deliberately, ever so slowly, but also between the lines themselves, it is such a morning that even the words, the pattern (in the poem as well as what's happening with the rug's pattern), the cadence, all creep along in like manner. Gabi, this is excellent!
D.

anonymous aha said...

I love this, Gabi.
Anything, I find, will serve as a distraction when you need one.
J.

anonymous said...

Thanks for the link, Gabi. It makes me think of a busy mind . . . one that definitely needs the calming influence of meditation.

Have you considered 'my mind'? It seems a little better to me, except for all the alliteration. Maybe:

meditation –
my mind crawls along
carpet patterns

S.

Anonymous said...

ahhhh... I saw this right away. Excellent image. Wonderful capture.
D.

Anonymous said...

The carpets are beautiful, Gabi.
B.

anonymous said...

Gabi, just beautiful!!!

I would stay with the original.
We meditate to get away from this chattering mind, the humour comes through better when you don't lay claims to your mind!!
Lovely!
K.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Gabi san,

Lovely haiku and a lovely rug.

I'm with K. on this one. "the mind" touches the universal consciousness in a way that "my mind" doesn't.
neko

anonymous said...

Very nice Gabi. I would never have thought that carpet could have been a kigo...everyday's an education at AHA.

crawl is an interesting word here. I wonder if it creates a feeble impression, rather than a relaxed or open one.
Suggestions: strolls, wanders etc.

Very much enjoyed this.
W.

anonymous said...

... gave me a big smile, Gabi...yes, certainly not just your mind. Besides that, 'the' fits with the detached noticing of what the mind does that can happen [and is an objective, if I can put it that way for want of a better expression] of meditation.

Carpet a kigo for Winter! well, blow me down...I'd never have clued in to that one!
L.A.

anonymous whc said...

" , I think "winter" is the most expendable word of the three. while it does identify the season, this may mean more to the poet than it does to the reader, ... "

IMHO, winter morning light is a very different meditation from a summer morning light

the light is a completely different color[if you take a picture of the same room with the sun at the azimuth, you should i think see the difference in color temperature] of course the internal temperature is different as well

"> So I am back to my problem, how many details should we pack into an English language haiku so that the reader is able to share our situation at the first reading?
> and maybe add a short footnote to take care of cultural differences that are indeed particular to our area?"

it's so interesting to see the very same question i have been asking in so many ways rephrased from yet another point of view
i'd be happy to read the answers

I.F.

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

門の雁片足立つて思案哉
kado no kari kata ashi tatte shian kana

a goose at the gate
stands on one leg
in deep meditation . . .


(the cut-marker KANA is at the end of line 3).