marlene mountain
as is
march 2001




never gripped me

poets who write non-5-7-5 are not necessarily writing 'freeform.' i don't think of being freed from 5-7-5 as it's never gripped me. nor do i believe that we experiment 'in the manner of haiku.' we write haiku . we don't try to write in the manner of the various japanese haiku poets, philosophies and such. now that's an experiment. in all practicability an impossible experiment/experience.

one of the big experiments in the west has been haiku in 3 lines. although the japanese do write haiku in one line it has more to do with their system of writing and such. i and others have written haiku in a variety of configurations and shapes but i've chosen one line for many reasons. it's not easy; it has an unity/integrity that's appealing; it does not instruct the reader; other things too. i'm no longer comfortable with thoughts stopped on one line and continued on the next. i recently told a friend that 3 lines look like a chopped-up snake. well maybe a chopped-up rope would have been a better term. but that comes from many years of thinking in one line. when i thought in 3 lines i didn't see 3 lines as chopped-up.

the sports analogy has never made sense in all these years of hearing it. with the exception that many sports developed over the years. tennis eg is not the same now as when it first began. it evolved. as we've seen in recent years court/field 'attitudes' in many sports have changed. height, strength, even drugs have changed the kind of game that's played.

a haiku [maybe a 'high coup hai ku'] from some time back:
i can take haiku out of japan and japan out of haiku.

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