Saturday, December 5, 2015

10 HAIKU TOHTA KANEKA



Tohta Kaneko



Dimitar Anakiev

TOHTA KANEKO, PESNIK KOLABORACIJE SA OKUPACIJOM I PRIHVATANJA KAPITALIZMA

(10 haiku Kaneko Tohtae)




Tohta Kaneko (1919) je rodonačelnik estetskog pravca Gendai haiku. Kao japanski okupacioni vojnik u Mandžuriji primetio je da u stranom ambientu ne može efikasno da prenese japanske pesničke stereotipe koje je oličavao tradicionalni „kigo“ sistem. Novi geografski pojmovi i novi klimatski uticaji zahtevali su drugačije poetske fraze. Kada se ovoj spoznaji o neuniverzalnosti lokalnih poetskih izraza pridoda revolt mladog Japanca zbog poraza Japana u drugom svetskom ratu, kojim su poražene i sve tradicionalne vrednosti u ime kojih je Japan (navodno) ratovao, dobije se ishodište za utemeljenje novih estetskih principa u japanskom posleratnom društvu. Tohta Kaneko je prvi zaorao ledinu i kasnije tokom više decenija bio lider novog anti-tradicionalnog smera japanskog posleratnog haikua. Liderstvo mu je omogućavao izuzetan poetski talenat i predanost reformi, ali i konzervativni politički stavovi koji su bili u skladu sa američkom okupacijom Japana. Tohta Kaneko, po profesiji niži službenik u banki, ceo život se je trudio da dovode u pitanje herojski epos japanske tradicije i haiku kao feudalnu umetnost prilagodi vladajućem kapitalizmu. U tom smislu je on i dan danas, kao pesnik kolaboracije, savremen i aktualan za nas na Balkanu.

Haiku posleratnog Japana vrlo brzo se podelio na dva velika pravca unutar kojih su cvetali različiti podpravci. Večina je još uvek sledila klasični haiku na čijem čelu je bila u ratu kompromitovana figura samurajskog sina Takahame Kjošija. Ova grupa uzimala je za svoju osnovu Budizam i sklad se prirodom (čije oličenje je i forma 5,7,5). Na čelu mnogo manje grupe reformista nalazio se Tohta Kaneko koji je odbacio Buduzam i harmoniju sa prirodom a prigrlio haos kao svoj umetnički kredo koji korespondira takođe stanju prirode kako ga vidi starojapanski paganizam-animizam (shintoizam). Iako su se sledbenici Tohta Kaneka nazivali „avangardom“ (jer nisu sledili klasičnu školu izniklu iz Budizma i kineske tradicije) jasno je da vraćanje paganizmu nije nikakva „avantgarda“ (napredak) u Evropskom smislu te reči, već suprotno: još dublji konzervatizam, još dalje vraćanje u prošlost. Međutim ubrzo su se unutar Gendai počeli pojavljivati mnogi pesnici koji su razmišljali moderno a među njima i oni koji su bili kritični prema društvu, dakle levičari, kojima Tohta Kaneko nije pripadao. Tako je Gendai ipak postao sinonim za pesnički pluralizam, za otvaranje novih puteva pesničkog izraza.

Poezija Tohta Kaneka najvećim delom pisana u 5,7,5 slogova ali, kako neki tvrde, „prevazilazi 5,7,5 ne u formi već sadržinom“ (sadrži elemente haosa a to ne znači ništa drugo nego to da značenje nije linearno podređeno običnoj logiki-manje je razumljivo). Zato sam u prevodu sledio klasični metar 17 slogova svuda gde je to bilo poetski opravdano. Mnoge od njegovih haikua su alegorije, što je tipičan pomak za Gendai (od metafore klasičnog izraza ka alegoriji Gendai izraza). To znači da su mnoge pesme hermetične, teže prohodne, zato ponegde dodajem i svoje komentare. Ovde predstavljam 10 njegovih pesama za koje mislim da dobro predstavljaju njegovu filozofiju i raskošni talenat:




Ujutru

bankari fluorescentni

kao lignje




Dobro poznata pesma u kojoj Tohta pomalo pogrdno intonira svoju profesiju. Ipak fluorescentnost svedoči da su bankari moderan fenomen, pa se oseća da Tohta u bankarstvu vidi modernost.




Zakačio se

za nekakvog kurjaka

svitac u noći




Superponiranje kurjaka i svica je fascinantno. Dramatična diskrepanca čini se ne može biti veća. Krvožedne životinje su česta tema Tohtinih haikua. To da se svici uhvate za neko krvoločno biće podseća na mnoge pesnike koji služe totalitarnim režimima. Ne znam da li je Tohta ovim haikuom imao u vidu Kjošija Takahamu i njegovu vezanost za vlast fašističnog Japana. Ali i kod nas pesnici služe bogovima vlasti, pa i onim najkrvavijim.







Jesenja kraba

zarobljena svetlošću

u mojoj glavi




I ovaj haiku je fascinantan. On pokazuje moć animističkog poimanja sveta. Pesnik oseća samilost za "krabu" koja je zarobljena na rentgenskoj fotografiji njegove glave. U stvari reč je o ćelijama raka. Umesto da ga uplaše ili razoružaju i napune negativnim emocijama pesnik u rakavoj formaciji vidi živo biće (malignih ćelija) koje pati zarobljeno u njegovoj lobanji. Kakva fascinantna uzdignutost nad sudbinom!




Prolećno brdo:

puteljkom divlji vepar

vazduh preživa




Kada sam ovaj haiku čitao na engleskom, razumeo sam ga kao pesnikovo divljenje apsolutnoj moći. O tome sam pisao u jednom od brojeva Frogponda. Svi elementi pesme veličaju snagu: proleće, divlji vepar, akt preživanja. Prevedena na srpski ova mi pesma deluje manje otuđeno od ljudskosti. Ima divljenja snazi ali možda govori i o odsustvu hrane. Poeziju treba čitati na maternjem jeziku, ako su prevodi dobri tj. ako ima pesnika koji prevode.




Na forziciju

popeo se kit: zaseni

dane i noći




Ovo je alegorija, tipična Gendai pesma. U ova tri reda skriven je ceo roman. Jasno je zašto Gendai pesnici retko pišu haibune, a češće eseje. Jer su njihovi haikui širi ne samo od kratke proze već su možda duži i od mnogih romana.




Prestanem li da

pijem, kojem poroku

ću se odati?




Ova pesma, inače dosta klasična po stilu izraza, izražava pesimizam u ljudski napredak. Pesnik smatra da je čovek nepopraviv. U toj tački se izgleda Tohta razlikuje od protestanske logike kapitalizma.




Bezbrižno spavah

sve dok pustopolje sna

ne ozelene




Ova pesma o postopulju je parafraza Bašoove pesme o pustopolju i odlična je prilika da se upoređenjem uoče razlike između klasičnog haiku i Gendai. Bašoova pšesma je jesna i jednostavna puna patosa a gornja pesma je vrlo kompleksna i pomalo paradoksalna. Postoji i Kjošijeva pesma o pustopolju, znalac haikua bi morao sve to znati i duboko studirati.







Plava ajkula

pokaza svoj stomak-

tu se ja rodih




Još jedna alegorija u kojoj je „plava ajkula“ metafora majke Tohta Kaneke, sa kojom Tohta nije imao dobre odnose i koja je krivac mnogih njegovih dečačkih frustracija.




Ozračene krave

u pirinčanom polju

čekaju smrt




Među mnogim Tohtinim pesmama o katastrofi u Fukušimi ova je meni najpotresnija, neobično statična, kao da svedoči o čovekovoj nemoći pred stihijom.




Polumesec na

nebo dignut: muslimani

večito ljuti




A ova pesma je dobar metaforički komentar na mesto islama u današnjem svetu.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

THE THREE ARTS OF MINE, haibun




Dimitar Anakiev

THE THREE ARTS OF MINE, haibun
(written at the request of Carmen Sterba)

My name is Dimitar Anakiev, I am a MD, poet and filmmmaker. That means I am involved in three arts. Among them, according to Hippocrates, medicine is the most noble. I work in an Emergency Unit at Slovenian/Croatian hilly border in the south. We save human lives every day, that is our job. Recently we rescued a shepherd with severe myocardial infarction and transported him by helicopter to the hospital. He survived. One day he visited me in my infirmary and put big piece of cheese on my desk.

A shepherd,
gives me his heart
a piece of cottage cheese

I started studying Japanese haiku in the 80' during my medical studies. For nearly 20 years I have been writing haiku by imitating Japanese poems. Later I was able to develop my personal style, to express my life and my culture. Probably my first original poems appeared around 2000 when I hosted a conference of World Haiku Association in Tolmin, Slovenia.

A child inside me
is swinging through the mist
over the deep water

In my filmmaking I tried to face historic changes in Eastern Europe that influenced strongly my life. In 2006 I got Slovenian national award for my documentary film. But soon I recognized that haiku is also a tool for facing history. I wrote numerous engaged haiku. Recently I published my first collection of engaged poems. It is named Hiroshima Day. It is dedicated to Fukushima nuclear disaster. Poems are originally written in English, then translated into Japanese by my friend Haruka Shima.

Name for a bomb
and name for a plant
Hiroshima & Fukushima

Radovljica, September 19, 2015

http://www.amazon.com/Hiroshima-Day-Dimitar-Anakiev/dp/1516975758/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442649816&sr=8-1&keywords=Hiroshima+Day%2C+Dimitar+Anakiev


Monday, March 23, 2015

BAŠO U DAIHIKAKU MANASTIRU

(Haibun-reportaža Alme Anakieve)




Godine 1690, nakon putovanja po "Dalekom severu", Macuo Bašo se uputio prema staroj japanskoj prestolnici Kjotu. U okolini jezera Biva je posetio prijatelje a 1691 se uspeo do manastira Daihikaku u brdima iznad Kjota. Od te njegove posete Daihikaku ("Daihikaku" na japanskom znači "Velika tuga") ostala su dva haikua, od kojih je haiku posvećen manastiru uklesan u kamen postavljen ispod manastira, na mestu gde ga je Bašo zapisao.




Cvat u planini-
dvesta metara višlje
Velika tuga


Mesec je juni
a vrh u oblacima
Arašijama


Matsuo Basho, 1691
(prevod sa japanskog: Alma i Dimitar Anakiev)


Ova dva haikua napisana samo par godina pre Bašove smrti nisu široko poznata ali ih monah u Daihikaku recituje kao mantre i spreman je da ih posetiocima manastira svojeručno zapiše.

Daihikaku je mali manastir izuzetno živopisnog položaja. Okružen šumom nalazi se u brdima Arašijame izmedju kojih vijuga planinska reka Hozu, čiji kanjon je poznat po svojoj lepoti. U vreme moje posete cvetala je šljiva a kiša je sipila:




























Fotografije snimila Alma Anakieva

Sunday, March 15, 2015

MELTDOWN-THE REAL HAIKU ANTHOLOGY OF THE 21st CENTURY





Dimitar Anakiev
Meltdown – The real haiku anthology of the 21st century

At the outset of the 21st century the world has been faced with fresh dilemmas with regard to social, political and cultural development. One cultural question that has been posed is, what the haiku will look like in the new century. Conflicting solutions have been proposed, by those who are negating the primacy of Japanese haiku tradition by ascribing it to alternative cultural values on the one hand, and by the apologists of classic haiku principles on the other. The biggest breakthrough has been the discovery of the concept of key words in the kigo technique, however the concept’s way forward is as yet unclear. There have been worthy attempts at grouping the ‘key words’ around a fictional cosmogony and based on the classical saijiki, around local cultural sites, or around a specific literary theme. The organizational structure of ‘key words’ remains flexible to various editorial concepts and investigations. Within the sphere of ‘key words’ there will be editorial endeavours, and I believe that these endeavours – in pursuit of the ideal concept – will delineate haiku in the 21st century. The choice of ‘key words’ will determine the anthologist’s credo, his world outlook. The editor of the Meltdown anthology, Stephen Gill, a British poet living in Kyoto, has offered two conceptual choices and editing of ‘key words’. The first one is part of a wider concept dubbed ‘Enhaiklopedia’, and it contains 53 key words, from animal to work. The second editorial choice contains 77 key words used to arrange Meltdown into thematic sections: from zone to apology.

Since we are dealing with open concepts I will allow myself some casual observations: the editor, the Meltdown anthologist tends to designate 2-3 key words for each letter of the alphabet (something lost in translation), and that in English looks like this: ‘a’ (apology, amphibian, art), b (business…) etc, so that these key words represent poetical themes embodied in the anthology. Further, there is a possible connection between two groups of key words similar to that between kidai and kigo, meaning between theme and the subject, useful when thinking about the conceptualization of key words. My final observation has to do with the character of key words: they can be seasonal (kigo) or non-seasonal. Here I give the example of both from Meltdown – I have translated the poems into Serbo-Croatian consistently as 17-syllable haiku1.

Considering the editorial concepts of haiku published in the 21st century it is necessary to pay attention to both a variety and number of poets included in any anthology, as well as to the question of whether the themes are relegated to poets in advance or whether the themes are post-determined, once the haiku had already been written. In the three aforementioned anthologies the scope and number of poets differ from each other: the first collection encompasses poets from Japan, the second poets from the Kumamoto prefecture on the island of Kyushu, the third collection is international. Compared with the three collections, Meltdown haiku are unique: they are produced within the international poetic circle ‘Hailstone’, which is made up of 24 poets. The collection, bearing in mind its collective spirit, could be to a certain extent likened to the second anthology ‘Hihi’, the haiku group from Kumamoto. Anthologies which are formed interactively as a mutual cooperation between the poets and the group’s leader, are typical of Japanese culture. The making of a poem is monitored and the collective spirit is pervasive in each poem as well as in the anthology as a whole. It is precisely the dual nature of haiku, simultaneously an individual and a collective product, that is strikingly missing from Western haiku which, devoid of its social role and a sense of belonging, looks more like a discarded poetical fragment rather than a poem as a dialogue between an individual and a society, this being one of the major traits of Japanese poetry.

The quality of the collective endeavour very much graces haiku collected in Meltdown and precisely for that reason this anthology is head and shoulders above all haiku collections published in English language. Here I am in complete agreement with its editor, Stephen Gill, who considers this haiku anthology the best in English language so far. This is not only because of a remarkably high quality of poems, seldom found in a Western anthology. This is one concise collection in which haiku as well as its authors are so densely intertwined that the anthology reads rather like a novel and in that way gives answers to all those questions about what haiku should look like in the 21st century, about the role of Japanese culture in contemporary haiku and about the role of English language. It is on these kind of questions that contemporary haiku most often stumbles.

The international haiku Hailstone circle was formed in Kyoto in 2000. Its member from Yugoslavia is a Serbian poet Branko Manojlovic. As a show of collective spirit I have translated one of his haiku which he wrote in collaboration with a Japanese poet Mt. Ogura (!!!)… (‘hototogisu’ haiku follows)

1 (here follows a translation of Waterbird – kigo, and War – non-seasonal, poems from Meltdown).

Translated by Branko Manojlovic

Sunday, January 11, 2015

READING BAN'YA NATSUISHI (2)




Dimitar Anakiev
READING BAN'YA NATSUISHI (2)
(continuation)

3. What the Gendai haiku really means?

In previous chapters we were able to see that contemporary poets in general are individuals who are not to be trusted when speak about factual truth in an attempt to define own aesthetic. Contrary to expectations "masters of words", in defining aesthetics, use words according to their needs in very similar manner as contemporary politicians. In that way both tendencies we considered - classical (or neoclassical in America) and anti-classical (Gendai in Japan)- deem their aesthetic "modern" even they both are based in religious thinking about the word, so they are factually "pre-modern"; they call themselves "vanguard" when introduce their retrograde aesthetic concepts etc. Perhaps with "modern" they just wanted to say "contemporary"? Anyway classical tendency in haiku poetry seems to be explored in detail mostly thanks to the poetic myth and cult of Matsuo Basho and other classical masters (Buson, Issa, Shiki) while Gendai is relatively obscure, unknown and even disputed. So what is the essence of Gendai? Reading different description I found one of the most relevant by prominent Gendai author Hosinaga Fumio. Let's take a look what he says:

"The greatest power that haiku have is the gift of freedom," (5)

"...I have repellence, revulsion exactly against the formal rules and approach, kigo, and various formal necessities...
I do not believe the truth that the sea is blue. That I believe it is blue: an encompassing state of affairs that limits as blue, via the comprehension of my eyes: I believe only that. Though it is inconvenient, I wish to compose haiku with a free posture towards truth, that is, with reference to the encompassing situation. With this thought, I've been writing haiku freely, selfishly, for half a year. This is the result of my selfish six months. . . . As a matter of fact, there is a vast wilderness of lyricism beyond these haiku: the wilderness I failed to capture with a dull, sleepy-faced rebelliousness. This book reminds me afresh—I must start again with a clean slate and to this end, I cast out this book with good grace." (6)

The statement about freedom is taken from Basho so not specific for Gendai. But poet do not speak about real freedom, freedom in real world, he speaks about subjective sense of freedom or about temporary illusion of freedom. Word "freedom" is (typically) used imprecisely in poetic discussion similarly as British POP singer Jessie J sings: "I am sexy and free". Poets always want to give an absolute meaning to their relative, subjective truths. For poets of classical tendencies based in Buddhist ideology "freedom" usually means "freedom of ignorance" as a way of "harmony with world", way of recognizing higher "order" in the world. Gendai poets quite the opposite understand "freedom" as a liberation from concepts and orders. For them "freedom" is not harmony but chaos, not mind but emotions, not rational but irrational, blind force. When German poet Bertolt Brecht sings about "freedom" he, as a Marxist, understand "freedom" as social emancipation and not only as a subjective feeling. These are different concepts of freedom. So we must be very careful and deep readers to understand poetry! But this is not only a general remark! To understand better Gendai it is very interesting to point Hoshinaga's non-acceptance of "blue color of the sea"! That generally means "I do not believe my eyes" and "I do not trust my senses". The final consequence of this posture is "rejection of the world as such".

That, rejection of the world as such, is the most important point for understanding Gendai. The rejection of the world is recognized as a collective trauma for generations of poets that went through hard historical and personal experiences as a form of aesthetic escapism. European poetic and artistic movements of Dadaism, Surrealism, Expressionism and many others are a result of such intention. They are result of historic trauma with World Wars. Gendai is such tendency too. It is aesthetic movement historically determined by defeat of Japan in World War. Even Gendai poets built their argumentation in retrograde religiousness of Shinto their escapism from the world speak of affected and insufficient religious argumentation. They are wounded people without stable ground in the world. They are contemporary people using Shinto more or less as an excuse in particular social circumstances. Especially Ban'ya Natsuishi, who directly experienced French surrealism during his study in Paris writes haiku which can hardly be narrowed only to religious response to the world. The broader image of surrealism needs to be considered like next examples:

The mute girl talks:
It is art's imperfection.
This impenetrable speech.
* * *
A feather gives to a hat
A touch of lightness:
The chimney smokes.
* * *
The wind
Undecided
Rolls a cigarette of air

Paul Éluard (1895-1952)


We already understood the differences between two main tendencies in haiku; speaking conditionally classical expression is linear, anti-classical (gendai) is exponential; classical haiku points mind, gendai haiku points heart (emotions); classical is about harmony, gendai about chaos; classical haiku is usually used in creating linked forms like haibun but you rarely see Gendai poets writing haibun. At this point I want to mention question of so called "haiku moment", a phrase that defines contents of classical Western haiku but in Japan it is practically unknown in theory of haiku. I discussed this question with Ban'ya in 2001 in Slovenia during Vilenica poetry festival- our discussion is later published in "Literary Journal" of main Slovenian newspaper "Delo"(7) Ban'ya answered: "Haiku moment is not simply a moment". By other words: "haiku moment" yes, if you want but the volume of "haiku moment" can be different, from very short moments to eternity, containing past and future. Open concept of time is why Gendai poets do not write haibun often: their haiku are already developed, enlarged, complex stories.

4. Methodology of writing haiku by Ban'ya Natsuishi

Ban'ya Natsuishi haiku shows many different faces but if we try to find some typical point we can say: his haiku are very often expressive emotional phrase developed to allegory. For didactical reason we can speak about triple process in composing of his haiku:

1-metaphorical guess (the idea)
2-playful, imaginative development of the story
3-combination with realistic, documentary detail(s)

Examples:

Dropped a mummy
into the bog
my thumb broken

Wrapped in sound of water
he gets old
to soil something by handing

Winds, human beings
and memories have vanished
sound of stars

Ban'ya Natsuishi ("Black Card")

I can hardly see in poetry as above any kind of religious dogmatism nor Shinto neither Buddhism or any other. It is contemporary poetry which I already judged in a post of HaikuMasterClass "Introducing poet Ban'ya Natsuishi" as postmodernism:

Ban'ya Natsuishi is a pioneer of POSTMODERN style in haiku, which appears enigmatic for many Western lovers of Japanese culture and poetry. So, what "postmodern style" in haiku actually means? Postmodernism by definition means eclecticism. It prefers mosaic of influences to one particular standing point. Here, I will shortly introduce richness of different aesthetic influences that can be found in Ban'ya work:

1.NATURALISM (here, very brutal):

My father, mouth
and anus wide open–
a shining cloud

2.MAGIC REALISM:

Invited by cats
my father is flying
from one cloud to another

3.SYMBOLISM:

The wind is heavy
smoke separates
man from man

4.REALISM:

A broken robot
does nothing but shout
"It's your fault!"

5.EXPRESSIONISM:

At the end of the dusty road
long silver hair
hanging down from a branch

6.SURREALISM:

Searching for a cradle
time stagnates
in the ear

7. SOCIAL REALISM:

A women escaping from
a man who ran back
to the moldy home

etc. just to get a sense of Ban'ya's work and postmodernism, which is a leading literary direction nowadays.

(To be continued by analyze of individual collections by Ban'ya Natsuishi)

(5) http://www.gendaihaiku.com/hoshinaga/poems2004.html
(6) http://www.gendaihaiku.com/hoshinaga/interview2004.html
(7) http://kamesanhaikublog.blogspot.com/2009/02/iscitavenje-proslosti.html


Thursday, January 8, 2015

MILIJAN DESPOTOVIĆ, 5 haiku




Milijan Despotovic (Požega, Srbija)



Mesec je ne ostavlja
samu. Starica prelazi
zaledjeno brvno.

Moon does not leave her
alone. The old women crosses
frozen beam


*

Zimska mesečina:
pantalone dečaka mokre
a senka suva.

Winter moonlight:
pants of a boy are wet
but their shadow dry


*
Naklon strašila:
Slameni šešir se opire
Jesenjem vetru.

A bow of a scarecrow:
Straw hat is resisting
Autumn wind



*
Otiska konjskog
Kopita na tren nesta.
Letnji pljusak.

Imprint of horse
Hooves disapeared momentary.
Summer shower



*
Sad ne hodma sam!
Na mom ramenu se zadržao
Šareni leptir.

I do not walk alone!
On my shoulder
a butterfly tarries



MILIJAN DESPOTOVIĆ (1952) poet, writer, essaist, editor. Founder of first Serbian haiku magazine (Paun, 1988). Actually edits literary magazine Svitak, haiku magazin Paun and children literary magazine Momčilo. Canadian magazine „Levres urbaines“, financed by government, dedicated in 1997 a issue to Milijan Despotović. He is autor of 15 collections of poetry and 6 books of essays. Lives in Požega, Western Serbia.

Translated by Dimitar Anakiev