Opening Book: There Was a Woman Page 15

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Page 15 There was a Woman

6 responses

  1. I can’t say free verse is my favorite cup of tea but I really enjoyed this poem. As one reads it how can you not see in your mind’s eye a lovely young woman crossing a puddled street? Perhaps an archetypal vision we all have had at sometime or another. Somehow it reminded me of Robert Herrick’s Julia Poems.

    • Hi Roger, free verse isn’t usually my cup of tea either, but I want to write some more. Blank verse is my favorite… Anyway, thanks. I get so few comments on my poetry that I do appreciate it. The woman described in the poem was one I knew, from afar, in college. She was beautiful.

  2. Do you think Haiku is worth the effort. I am not convinced it has been successfully taken from the Japanese. I have a couple of small books of classic Japanese Haiku (in English translation, of course) and though I can usually get the mind picture sometimes I am just not sure. My understanding is that they are damnably difficult for a trained Japanese. Some things just don’t seem to translate well such as Rilke’s poetry. Just my not very well informed opinion.

    • Do I think Haiku are worth the effort? That’s an interesting way to ask the question. I guess it depends on why you’re writing them. I think they are difficult in any language (in some ways). I *do* think they’re worth it. My own opinion is that haiku *do* translate very well – perhaps better than any other form of poetry. For example, there are foreign language (not Japanese) poets who are very popular in Japan. Unlike Sonnets, let’s say, which greatly rely on their form for their effect, the haiku form is *almost* tengential to the effectiveness and meaning of the haiku. I love them.

  3. OK, I can accept that the typical 17 ON can be translated to English such that the form is close and the nuance is maintained, at least for the most part. I guess Basho’s frog makes a splash either way. I assume when one writes Haiku in English you try to maintain the basic three line form that translations from Japanese use but you don’t maintain the necessity to use 17 syllables? What can I read to better understand all this?

    • //I can accept that the typical 17 ON can be translated//

      Yes, but don’t forget that punctuation is considered a part of the total “syllable” count in Japanese…

      //What can I read to better understand all this?//

      I think that the very best book is “Haiku: A Poet’s Guide” by Lee Gurga. It’s too the point and nicely covers just about every facet of the form. There’s a quite beautiful haiku I’ve been meaning to find. It’s by an American poet. Soon as I find it I will post it.

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