Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TED Talk : Transcript from the TEDx video: Amazement of the Ordinary: Life through a haiku lens by Alan Summers



TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design: http://www.ted.com/pages/about

Amazement of the Ordinary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxLTiR7AKDE



Transcript from the TEDx video:
Amazement of the Ordinary:  
Life through a haiku lens

“We see things not as they are, but as we are.”
That’s a quote from the Talmud, an ancient text, containing opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects.

Now I’m sure many of us have been there, overlooking the ordinary because we feel it’s… well ordinary… mundane, boring, annoying, a distraction, or mostly unnoticed in our busy schedules.

I’d like to talk about how a tiny practice of reading or writing haiku, the world’s shortest type of poetry, can add an extra depth to our world.

I’m adding examples of my own haiku poems to attempt to inject some lateral shift time, as in our linear lives some of us can rarely take time to step off, safely, we’ve just got to keep going even if it kills us, even if it alienates those we love.

Lateral shift?   Bending time?  No.  

It’s just that sometimes we are only aware of how long time is if
1) it’s horribly boring, or
2) we are in great danger. 

This could be your third choice, your third option, and all without a safety net, to have something parallel on your timeline.

mist haze-
a crow cleans its beak
on a rooftop aerial

Ah, perhaps you are a driver, worried you might miss the early morning sights and sounds of birds getting up for their own day ahead?

traffic jam
a driver fingers the breeze
through the sunroof

One of the world’s greatest short story writers, Raymond Carver, back in the old century, wrote about people who worried whether their cars would start in the morning; about unemployment and debt; of individuals who make our day to day life tick.  He never pretended a wonderland still existed but said:  “a writer sometimes needs to be able to just stand and gape at this or that thing—a sunset or an old shoe—in absolute and simple amazement.”



Are we not writers of our own life, writing out cheques, or pin numbering our way to coffee and snacks;  those last minute remembered bunch of flowers at a supermarket, to filling our cars with petrol to get somewhere…
an attic window sill
a wasp curls
into its own dust

…and however much we can afford a mortage, or need to pay the landlord…


the rain
almost a friend
this funeral

As the 1931 song says: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

Brother, Sister, can you spare yourself a haiku moment?

sunlight breaks
on a bird
and its portion of the roof


A day consists of 86 thousand and 400 seconds: A haiku is six seconds. 



Try bending some time, maybe on your travels, catching a…

train whistle
a blackbird hops
along its notes



Mary Oliver, a poet, said, from When Death Comes:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.



I’d like to end with this last haiku, that takes less than six seconds to say,

and, time me if you’d like…



this small ache and all the rain too robinsong



Other links:
http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Amazement-of-the-ordinary-life
 


Japan Times award-winning writer Alan Summers regularly teaches haiku and tanka, including his popular online courses:
http://area17.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/dates-for-next-online-haiku-tanka.html


Amazement of the Ordinary transcript haiku poetry publication credits:

mist haze-
a crow cleans its beak
on a rooftop aerial


Publications credits: Azami 38 (1996); First Australian Online Anthology (1999); Cornell University, Mann Library, U.S.A. "Daily Haiku" poet (October 2001); The Haiku Calendar 2003 (Snapshot Press); Watermark: A Poet’s Notebook - Crows (2004); Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2008)

Award credits:
Runner-up, The Haiku Calendar Competition 2002 (Snapshot Press)


traffic jam
a driver fingers the breeze
through the sunroof

Publications credits: Snapshots 2 (1998); tinywords.com (2002); The New Haiku (Snapshot Press, 2002); Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 , Part 2  (Akita International Haiku Network 2010)



an attic window sill
a wasp curls
into its own dust

Publications credits: Woodpecker Special Issue, Extra Shuttle Issue ISSN 1384-6094
 (1997); Snapshots Four  (1998); First Australian Online Haiku Anthology (1999); Haiku International 2000 Anthology, Japan ISBN 4-8161-0675-8 (2000); HaikuOz Information Kit (2001); The Omnibus Anthology, Haiku and Senryu, Hub Editions ISBN 1-903746-09-4 (2001); Cornell University, Mann Library, U.S. "Daily Haiku" poet (October 2001); tinywords.com (2002); Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan (for my birthday, September 16th 2002 while in Tokyo); The New Haiku, Snapshot Press, ISBN 978-1-903543-03-0  (2002); Raku Teapot: Haiku Book and CD pub. Raku Teapot Press in association with White Owl Publishing Book: ISBN 1-891691-03-1 CD:  ISBN 1-891691-04-X (2003); First Australian Haiku Anthology, Paper Wasp ISBN 0 9577925 9 X (2003); Yomiuri Shimbun Go-Shichi-Go On-Line feature Language Lab (2005); Swot, Arts & Literature magazine, Bath Spa University (2007); Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 , Part 2  (Akita International Haiku Network 2010); THFhaiku 2012 app


Award credit:
Highly Commended, Haiku Collection Competition, Snapshot Press (1998)
Joint 7th Best of Issue, Snapshot Five (1999)

Education: HaikuOz Information Kit:  The Australian Haiku Society Getting Started With Haiku.



the rain
almost a friend
this funeral

Publications credits: Azami #28 (Japan, 1995); Snapshots 4 (1998); First Australian online Anthology (October 1999): Blithe Spirit article On minimalism and other things  DJ Peel Vol 9 No.3 (1999); tempslibre (Belgium 2001); Cornell University, Mann Library, U.S.A. "Daily Haiku" (Oct 2001); The Omnibus Anthology, haiku and senryu  (Hub Editions Hub Haiku series 2001); Hidden (British Haiku Society Anthology 2002); The New Haiku ISBN 978-1-903543-03-0 (Snapshot Press, 2002); First Australian Haiku Anthology (2003); Birmingham Words Magazine Issue 3 (Autumn 2004); seven magazine feature: “Three lines of simple beauty”  (2006); tempslibre (Belgium 2010); Blogging Along Tobacco Road: Alan Summers - Three Questions (2010); Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 , Part 2  (Akita International Haiku Network 2010);  The Temple Bell Stops: Contemporary Poems of Grief, Loss and Change (Modern English Tanka Press 2012); THFhaiku app for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch (2011); The In-Between Season (With Words Pamphlet Series 2012)

Award credit:
Highly Commended, Haiku Collection Competition, (Snapshot Press 1998)
Joint 9th Best of Issue, Snapshot Five (1999)

Temps Libre analysis in French:




sunlight breaks
on a bird
and its portion of the roof

hi   wa   torini   yane   no   ibasho   ni   sosogi   keri

Romanised version (Romaji) trans.
Hiromi Inoue, Masegawa Kawauchi town, Ehime Prefecture, Japan

Publications credits:
Haigaonline vol. III (2003); Haiku Friends ed. Masaharu Hirata (Umeda, Osaka 2003)



train whistle
a blackbird hops
along its notes

Publications credits:
Presence #47 (2012): THF Per Diem (September 2012): The Elements


In Swedish:

tågvissla
en koltrast skuttar
längs med dess toner

trans. Marcus Liljedahl
Gothenburg, Sweden


theevandiude choolam
oru karutha pakshi thulli
athin swarangalil

Malayalam translation by Narayanan Raghunathan (2012)



neruppu vantiyin choolam
oru karuppu paravai thulliyatu
antha svarangalil

Tamizh translation by Narayanan Raghunathan (2012)


train seeti
ek kale rang ki chidiya naachti
vah svar lahiri me

Hindi translation by Narayanan Raghunathan (2012)



this small ache and all the rain too robinsong

Publications credits: Modern Haiku vol. 44.1 winter/spring 2013

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