Haiku Diary 04-23-17: Is Poetry Dead? Or Are the Dead Poets Still Around?

Updated on January 16, 2018

Japan's poetry
underwent changes itself.
Evolution rules!

(Change and continuity are twin topics that are of vital significance to Poetry in particular and Society in general. In the field of sonneteering, after 800 years of crafting those little songs, there is this exquisite balance between continuity and innovation both of which are recognized as valid principles and respected traditions of the art. But haiku doesn't need to follow the two traditions of sonneteering -- that of continuity and innovation -- because it isn't necessary to do so. Why? Because if you examine the history of Japanese poetry, and of haiku in particular, it has itself its own tradition of continuity and innovation. It has been observed for instance that the haikai tradition from which haiku sprung was originally earthy, vulgar or comic in character. But Matsuo Basho refined hokku and turned it into a respectable art. Now, that's innovation and evolution.)

Poetry's not dead!
As for the scornful and dumb,
box in or box out!

The night has fallen.
It's seldom dark nowadays
in towns and cities.

English senryu
should follow Japanese rules
as best as it can.

© 2018 Jose Rizal Reyes


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