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thinkALONG! 5 July

host: Muskaan Ahuja

guest editor: Gauri Dixit


“In order to write about life first you must live it.”


--- Ernest Hemingway


Doesn’t this perfectly fit haikai poems? Isn’t a haiku / senryu almost always a slice of life? Isn’t that why it haikai is so relatable? Isn’t that why the process or writing a haiku is almost meditative, showing it as one sees it? What do you think?


Do you think a haikai poem works only when it is close to life?

Can one write about things that they haven’t experienced themselves and yet make the poem relatable? Share your point of view with examples. Let us all learn from this exchange.

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15 Comments


Firdaus Parvez
Firdaus Parvez
Jul 11, 2022

Great topic Gauri! Normally poetry is an exaggeration of an experience, to make it more appealing. Finding something interesting to write and grab the reader’s attention is not easy with mundane stuff. But of course an ‘experience’ can be totally imaginary. In haikai though I feel we find the extraordinary in the ordinary. That’s why it appeals to the reader and they think ‘of course I’ve seen this a million times but never actually seen it this way!’ This is how I perceive haikai. Now the question is: do we always write from experience? No, not in all cases. And that’s okay too. Maybe we picture it from people’s stories, experiences, pictures, etc. so that means it did happen t…

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Gauri
Gauri
Jul 11, 2022
Replying to

Thank you Firdaus.


I like the way you talk about how haikai finds extraordinary in ordinary. And when this is done well, the reader too relates / finds the extraordinary.

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Kavita Ratna
Kavita Ratna
Jul 07, 2022

Personal experiences, no doubt, are our biggest teachers. It is also true that these experiences, in retrospect take on their hues from the vintage points from which they are viewed. A matter that appears earth-shaking while it unfolds - couple of years later may turn rather inconsequential.


memories

threaded faded fragments

seamless history


A beauty of haiku, as I understand it, is the moment it so gently captures, most often, while still staying in it. Yet, how that moment is viewed is supremely subjective - sometimes almost like another version of us has written it ... known to us, but no longer us. What connects the two 'us', is the empathy between the two selves.


Extending this, when in deep…


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Kavita Ratna
Kavita Ratna
Jul 09, 2022
Replying to

Thank you very much Gauri for your appreciation. So glad this resonates!

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Jul 07, 2022

This is about an experience I had many years back but wrote it after getting into haikai.


hope he removes my tooth, the whole tooth and nothin' but the tooth


I suffered the whole night from unbearable tooth pain, after my molar extraction.

And I went to my dentist's clinic early morning and asked him why my tooth was paining so much even after removing it. He looked and casually removed a small part of the tooth that was still stuck inside. He said, you'll be fine now!

I could have murdered him that day! In Indian courts - we have to swear before the judge, placing our hands on the Gita - I'll tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but…


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Gauri
Gauri
Jul 09, 2022
Replying to

I remember this one Kala and the smile that it brought on 🙂


Our experiences stay with us and get written whenever it is time .

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RS
RS
Jul 07, 2022

Beautiful and thought provoking questions. Hemingway's saying makes one go deeply into the question of 'life' and the living of it. Each of us are lived experiences. The art of haikai is a beautiful expression about life, lives,living and deeper aspects beyond words. Yes, I think we can write about things that we haven't experienced ourselves and relate. It conveys ultimately that we are all deeply connected to each other on Earth. Even if a haikai poem is about a machine, it is the very life we are living.

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Gauri
Gauri
Jul 09, 2022
Replying to

Beautifully expressed Richa. I too think that we can write about things that we haven’t experienced personally, it is possible for us to get under the skin of others and write.

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somewhere between

the running man

and total recall


the sound of silence

in a breath of air

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Gauri
Gauri
Jul 09, 2022
Replying to

Lovely

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