The blog of Alan Summers, Recipient of the Japan Times Award (2002) and owner of With Words, a UK provider of literature, education and literacy projects, often based around the Japanese genres.
For events and workshops for families, children, and schools contact us through our With Words website: With Words.
Online internet courses by Call of the Page
Are you interested in a Call of the Page course? We run courses on haiku (beginner and intermediate, and advanced). We also run workshops and courses on tanka; tanka stories/prose; haibun; shahai; and other genres.
Please email email@example.com if you would like to know more about these and our other courses.
Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Amos White, Guest Blogger: Haiku Poetry and the Sense of Place
Guest Blogger Amos White
Place names, and a sense of place, are evocative ingredients in any kind
of creative writing whether works of fiction or non-fiction. Here is a part of a series on Sense of Place and Identity.
If anyone else is interested in being part of this series please do email me, with a subject line of Sense of Place and Identityat: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amos White, Guest Blogger:
Haiku Poetry and the Sense of Place
By Amos White
Author of “The Sound of the Web:
Haiku and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter”
Haiku is somewhat a profound adventure in concentration for
me. In short, a meditation.
Most of my haiku write themselves in that moment between
breaths. Yet, it is on the second breath, the one when I realize I was witness
to something greater, that I let the words take form.
It always begins with a sense of place and my sudden
connection to that place or an object or experience within that location, time
The following haiku represent a different aspect of “place”:
from the personal (identity as one's sense of self in this world), to
geo-locational, to the spiritual, and to the temporal.
(Place of Identity)
The oneness felt in realizing not only
do you look like your parent, but that you also empathize with a particular
life perspective they too hold. Memorial Day, we honor those fallen in service
to our country. To be there in that moment when all has somberly fallen quiet
and motionless, yet somehow the stars and stripes are still flying upright?
Only a veteran could believe.
Papas drifting lip
the stars and stripes still flying
in the absent wind
(Place of Identity)
The Buckeye tree means home. It is as
much a sign of my youth as it is symbolic to The Great State of Ohio and its
denizens. The buckeyes always fall from the tree the week before school begins,
officially closing summer when arriving teachers unlock battleship gray drawers
to disgorge and reorder their stores of wares for the coming year.
Hakone village lies in the distance before Mount Fuji. This
natural event of a noble tree being undressed in the warming air left me
feeling like a voyeur- witness to a moment so intimate, yet so decisively a
harbinger of spring.
lone pine tree
sheds its white robe
Spring in Hakone
The hunt for the Boston bombers found me struck to internet
social media probing for sounds and sights of helicopters shredding the night
into day above the suburb of Watertown. Time, place and our sense of our selves
for “what's next?” were all suspended and projected in disorientating real time
From the dust of earth we are born and to her we
are reclaimed. The ephemeral nature of a fireflies' lifespan on earth spans but
days. The persistent confluence of these two events in Africa portend an
enormity of both sadness for the many lives who have perished all too soon in
the political firestorms that have engulfed many of her nations, and of
promise. For we all know that fireflies, too, will rise again.
The olive tree bears the fruit, oil, wood and
year round greenery to most of Italy. Harvesting olives takes long hours to
where cleaning olives from the nets below the trees can easily become be a
lulling meditative act. Losing my place in the moment has been as humorous as
it is humbling. For only then do I realize that I was whatever I was doing
until I fell back into the conscious duality of this reality thinking about
what I was doing.
Cleaning out the nets
there are two thoughts
Being lost and found in the haiku moment is
mystifying. There comes a grounding in all things as if there were but one lung
we all shared pulling on the same coolness of air. Whether walking an Oakland
city street with eyes level on the Bay's horizon, or passing unwet through the
garden in a downpour, one can find themselves a participant in the subtlest of
moments and partake of them just long enough to know their deeper meaning.
Amos White is an awarded American poet, and author of
"The Sound of the Web: Haiku and Poetry on Facebook and Twitter"
(CreateSpace, 2013). Recognized for his American interpretations of the
Japanese Haiku poetry art form, Amos has won recognition as Finalist in the NPR
National Cherry Blossom Haiku Contest 2013 amongst others. He currently
completed his first book, "The Sound of the Web”' (CreateSpace, 2013) and
his next haiku books are "What Does the Moon" (2013), and
"Sometimes a Whisper" (working title: 2014).