marlene mountain
reviews of mm


Beyond Our Borders: expanding the potential of haibun
jamie edgecombe
Sapporo City, Hokkaido, Japan


After saying all this though, I would like to say that I do not agree
with Dick Pettit's comments in Presence, #14 that "men are born
free, and therefore haibun should be too". For in the end, if we strain
our sense of freedom too much, we will find that what we are writing
is something other than the form we love (also see Alan Jarrett's
response in Presense, #15). An example of this, in my opinion,
would be Marlene Mountain's "haibun": "Shetrillogy: awam
maytreearchy womocreativa" (Kyoto Journal, #33). First of all,
there is nothing in this piece to inform the reader that they are
reading a haibun (if indeed that is what it is), other than the title. All
I can guess, is that the labeling of the piece as a "shevolutionary
haibun", means that its over-rebellious style illustrates a way to
overcome the so-called patriarchal nature of many acknowledged
forms of literature, for language itself is supposed to be infused with
patriarchal methods of differentiation. The key critique of this work
is that is doesn't contain any haiku, from what I can depict. Instead,
the piece works through a complete reordering of word-structure,
with emphasis placed on how "eman" and "eprick" can be phonically
emphasized in a number of different words. The reason why I have
chosen to highlight this poem is because I feel that haibun, and
indeed, haiku, can express a feminist view of life and experience
(and therefore expand its relevance), as illustrated in the poetry of
Hashimoto Takako (1899-1963). Yet, having said this, to call
Mountain's style, here, "haibun" would be an abuse of the freedom
that other haibun writers, including myself, are seeking.

world haiku review 2:2 2002

mm note
the title of the 'shevolutionary haibun' should read:
'shetrillogy: an owom maytreearchy womocreativa'
there are haiku and/or haiku sequences in the last section

re the above words 'eman' and 'eprick'
had i written such my spellings would have been heman and heprick
gosh i like that latter word a lot
there are 3 painting series that go with the piece. each one approaches words
in different ways.

marlene 12/1/02

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