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The Marrying of Prose and Poetry


The Marrying of Prose and Poetry by Kala Ramesh

The marriage of haikai prose with haiku, known as haibun, is one where there is no better half!


Near the end of his life, Basho told his students that karumi is the most important aesthetic nuance to incorporate in what he called “haikai writing.” He compared karumi to “seeing a shallow stream rippling lightly on a sandy bed.” Karumi is a combination of characteristics including being natural, effortless, smooth, simple and clear.


When I was a teenager, I remember having seen the famed Ms Balasaraswati dance to a traditional ballad. In simple body language and facial expressions, she mimed the setting sun and the birds returning home as she waited on the doorstep for her beloved to return. Her dance portrayed something so personal yet so universally accessible, that it remains etched in my mind to this day. In haikai literature, karumi can be thought of as distilled emotion.



peace of m.i.n.d


guarded secret ...

once again his hands

probe


not easy to escape a mental prison for tears unshed don't stain the cheeks but stories kept locked breathe on pulsating thoughts — in and out and out and in of each cell in the body what and where is this thing called the mind


swollen vulva ...

in her eyes the stretch

of the border camp



Comments on my haibun:

A news story inspired me to write "peace of m.i.n.d." In today’s India, we are witnessing rapes and incest – a complete disrespect and disregard of young girls’ and women’s rights and dignity. Our newspapers and media coverage have condemned these acts, unfortunately in dramatic language. As writers, we all know it’s not easy to leave things unsaid – we want to elaborate, decorate our writing with facts and language that startle and stun our readers. But that’s what the media does – sensationalize.


This is something that newcomers to haibun writing can try to avoid. Karumi is the heart of haikai literature – let us not lose it in this race to complicate our writing. Our mission is more to show a story, not sell newspapers. In writing a piece about such serious and unsettling issues, I feel the prose should use a voice that carries conviction and yet not go overboard – a tough call. It’s like walking on a razor’s edge! This feature was first published in contemporary haibun online October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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9 Comments


Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Feb 18, 2022

https://www.trivenihaikai.in/post/showcase-februarywall-2022 Please share your published poems here. It would be a good reference point in case anyone wants to refer your poem in their essay.

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Vandana Parashar
Vandana Parashar
Feb 18, 2022

Well said, Kala! Writing should flow from heart like a mountain stream- effortlessly. The moment we try to embellish too much, the honesty is lost.


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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

Yes! well said. Good to see you are able to post your comment here. try TANKA TAKE HOME once again.

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priti aisola
priti aisola
Feb 18, 2022

For sharing this, no words except a huge thank you Kala.

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

Most welcome, Priti.

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Attendance to language and word choice is an important part of communication. Words have weight, we have power to choose how we present our words. Positive communication is a conscious act.

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

Yes, thank you

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Feb 18, 2022

Hello Kala


Undoubtedly, You are a born genius for our Haikai world! I duly respect your voice and have high regards to every word you quote. This is so much deep and resonating.

Wish to write something like this.

Both the ku just strike like words slashing like the sword. I think I can say, "Words do speak louder than actions".

Yes, we have discussed about Karumi in our sessions and to write something like this is marvellous!

Kudos!!!!


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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Feb 18, 2022
Replying to

Thanks, Lakshmi. _()_

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