Monday, April 19, 2010


The pheasant cries
As if it just noticed
The mountain

-Koboyashi Issa


  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    I haven't read much haiku at all. In fact, a while back, I wrote all of one verse, in haiku, and "set it afloat, downstream" so to speak (in the sense, I never bothered to save a copy for myself (but still kinda remember it in all its 17-syllable glory).

    I wiki'd Koboyashi Issa and loved reading this from Salinger's "Franny and Zooey":

    O snail
    Climb Mount Fuji,
    But slowly, slowly!

    So lovely, so languorous. And this one:

    Everything I touch
    with tenderness, alas,
    pricks like a bramble.

    So harrowing, so heartbreaking... mirroring a state of mind (mine), almost.

    Speaking of poetry, I've never been a big fan of coffee-shop readings and such (much prefer lolling about in my own room, reading stuff all by myself), but there's this one reading I'm planning on attending (in downtown San Jose this Saturday) coz, interestingly, it's my favorite Bohemian Rilke, in relation to favorite sculptor, Rodin.

    The session (as its summary notes) "..will discuss Rodin's influence on Rilke and interweave a reading of some of Rilke's New Poems which include some of his most famous pieces, such as the Panther and the Archaic Torso of Apollo... how Rilke assimilated the Rodin sculptural aesthetic to his poetry and how this revolutionized Rilke's writing," ... I'm obviously intrigued.

  2. Thanks for the comment Lexi.

    Haiku can be quite harrowing particularly in Tamil (தமிழில் எழுதப்படுபவற்றில் அனேகம் ஹைக்கூ அல்ல, பொய்க்கூ - சுஜாதா). But for folks like me who are wary of investing a lot into poetry. It is just about the right size.

    I don't understand poetry readings at all. Isn't the form's appeal intensely personal that it clings on and leap up at some instance somewhere. Even reading should be challenging. A collection of poems which you can read from start to finish like a railway paperback - hasn't quite passed muster.

    And yeah personal relatability is what makes poems tick. Matsuo Basho is a personal favorite largely because I find his haikus very personalizable !

    Hope you enjoy the Rilke-Rodin reading though. Btw upon googling I found that apparently Rilke changed his first name from René to a more masculine Rainer at the insistence of his girlfriend ! Now, that is as poetic as it gets :-)

  3. "The pheasant cries
    As if it just noticed
    The mountain..."

    I'm 27 now and makes beautiful sense from where i am now and what I've been through this year. The mountain was only getting ever more formidable, where was i looking all these years for it to scare me this bad now. Thanks for posts 28,29,30 & 31, a glimpse at whats to come.