Thursday, August 8, 2013

Haiku Introduction

HAIKU INTRODUCTION, an excerpt from my book, Haiku and Tanka Harvest, 
by Susumu Takiguchi, Chairman, World Haiku Club and Editor, World Haiku Review

In addition to social ills and human violence there is another theme which inspires Victor’s poetic sensibility – death. The most painful and saddest of all is the death of his own beloved wife which occurred in 2003. Sad as it is, Victor has been brave and strong enough to sublimate his sorrow and pain into creating deep and serious poems (haiku, tanka etc.) about death itself. They are far from being sentimental or morbid. Most others run away from this taboo of all taboos. 

                 widower's garden                
                 her roses bloom                
                 side by side with weeds      

                 I shadow
                 my shadow
                 to her grave

The life Victor has built in his adopted country for his family he raised with his late wife there and for himself is full, free and peaceful. Beyond his share of vicissitudes Victor seems to have earned tranquillity and serenity. It is a remarkable achievement...
                 unhurried walk
                 the smell of clean earth
                 after the rain

Victor is probably more of a settler than a traveller. His job as a librarian must have given him intellectual detachment and the power of keen observation. His humility and honesty have opened a shortest route to truths. They also seem to have made him able to accept “the unknowable” and “the undoable” calmly. All this, without being armed with Zen, Oriental mysticism, or cumbersome Western haiku theory and rules.

                 year end
                 thinking of what ifs
                 and what might have beens

Luckily for him, Victor is a natural for haiku. However, that is only half the story. The other half tells us that he makes tremendous efforts to be better, listens attentively, observes like a scientist and opens his heart to what is there for everybody to see. 

In answer to my question he says, “Haiku enable me to see the world as it is, warts and all, and embrace any and all happenings both in nature itself and human nature, with me remaining non-judgmental yet involved. It requires discipline yet makes me aware of macro and micro happenings around me.” And whatever happens around him, Victor’s heart remains with his late wife.

                 dining alone 
                 the piped-in music plays
                 our love song

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