jornales

for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

rose hips

rose hips–
my laughter among the bushes
once

There’s that “ache”, again!

“Yes, it seems to be a constant in my lines. I think in my poetry as in my being–because it’s from where our thoughts rise–pain, real or imagined, balances my leaps of joy. It keeps me aware of how flitting life is, beauty is, how un-changeless yet at the same time how much in constant flux this universe is; hence, how treasured each moment must be.”

That and what follows are from comments I’ve pulled out from my posts regarding the “sadness” and the “ache” in my haiku and other poems.

From Jenne Andrews at http://jenneandrews.wordpress.com re my lyric poem, The Birthing, “there is an ache here and in your other poems i’ve seen that is so potent…”

From Patrick Gillespie at http://poemshape.wordpress.com on my haiku winter beach, “One feels that there’s some sorrow in the relationship. One also wonders why, on a cold winter’s day, they are walking so close to the waves…”

From my reply to Patrick on winter beach, “Yes, Patrick (and Jenne), this sad feeling persists in my poetry. The Japanese aesthetics you couldn’t quite recall, when you wrote your comment on my ‘three tanka’ (qarrtsiluni), is not only “wabi”, as I replied but, “wabi-sabi”. I think it is its metaphysical sense that flows into my poems.

As described by Leonard Koren in his book, “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” (Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 that I recently found in a used bookstore, McLeod’s on Dunsmuir St here in Vancouver, a space so tight one could get caught in an avalanche of books, all gems, much like Strands in New York), the metaphysical basis, which he begins with the question, “what is the universe like?” is “Things are either devolving toward, or evolving from, nothingness…While the universe destructs it also constructs. New things emerge out of nothingness…In metaphysical terms wabi-sabi suggests that the universe is in constant motion toward or away from potential.”

It’s a state of mind I seem to have been aware of as long as I can recall. I have always felt rueful about beauty, and always cried, when absolutely uplifted by works of art especially music; I still do both. I have characters in my short stories and my novella, who sense that at the height of happiness there awaits an equal in the depth of sorrow: my female protagonist in my novella-in-progress (editing and rewriting), “Lovers of the Interior“, exemplifies this thought. But that’s another story–a swing away from haiku!”

I do wish that I could veer away from it more often and walk close to Basho who said that haiku should be light as in shallow water (do I recall this right?) Even Shiki who was writing close to his death could still write with a sense of humor as in this haiku (1901 from Kimiyo Tanaka, Shiki team at haikuworld)

full of spring
rotten oranges
how sweet!

Perhaps I should meet up with Mutusumi often, the Japanese friend who pushed away my “dark” haiku and helped me search for “the wing in my heart”, an experience I hope to post soon!

January 18, 2011 Posted by | haiku, poetry, reflection | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unabashed (a sparrow speaks in three tongues)

unabashed–
a sparrow speaks in three tongues
twirling on willow twigs

It’s the subject of my post yesterday but I can’t seem to let it go! “My soul speaks in three languages” as in the three tanka I wrote from English, which I translated roughly into Spanish (and had it edited by Sr. Javier Galvan y Guijo, director of Instituto Cervantes in Oran, Algeria formerly of Manila where we met) and in Iluko, is an awarness that has been consuming me–this composing of words from three different dimensions that I believe are of my soul but not finding the right stage to unleash it, let it leap, dance, sing, sigh.

Finally, last month I dared to submit three tanka in three tongues to qarrtsiluni–an online literary journal where I’ve been reading awesome poetry–with an introductory essay I had posted here about the “willow” not having an equivalent in Iluko, the tongue I was born with. The editors accepted it, an honor I’m still riding on an upwind.

Unabashed, I would like to share here what Alex Cigale, translation theme editor, said as well as Jean who posted her comment on the qarrtsiluni site, and Patrick who sent it to my inbox. I hope you, dear readers, bear with me in this moment of exhilaration!

Alex Cigale (editor, translation issue, qarrtsiluni) January 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm | #1

What a treasure you sent our way, Alegria! So perfect for us, this window onto a language constructed according to logical grammatic structures that are yet so different from those we otherwise take for granted, qualities such as number, possession, direction, tense, intensity. And what a perfect illustration of the notion that there can be no words that do not represent real objects, so that such culturally-specific idioms are nearly ICONS, your example: “saning-i … portrays … usually a woman in a dark corner, splayed on the floor….” And the recording, the Iluko sounded last and thus echoing so musically, its music so liquid I am tempted to imagine that it was formed among the various sounds of water surrounding the islands. A big thank you!

Jean (tastingrhubarb)
January 13, 2011 at 6:47 am | #3

Oh, these are exquisite and exquisitely satisfying! Listening to the podcast is essential. This is a richness of experience of poetry and language and translation that no publication with only printed words could provide. So beautiful.


Patrick Gillespie (poemshape)
January 13, 2011, 7:14 PM

Finally, I get to hear your beautiful language. Such is the beauty of the language that I could fool myself into thinking that anyone who spoke it would write poetry such as yours. I have always loved the sound of the Mongolian Language, but I think Iluko is just as alluring and beautiful. I would love to speak it.

It’s also beautiful to see how you bring the sensibility of haiku into your longer poems. It’s something I’ve wondered about trying myself, but haven’t yet. Again, how wonderful to hear Iluko. There’s a Japanese expression which I can’t think of right now. It expresses the aesthetic of beautiful sorrow or beautiful sadness. Your poetry is so often imbued with it.

January 14, 2011 Posted by | culturati news/views, haiku, language views, poetry, tanka | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments