Very short poems you like

Benny B

Well-known member
In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Which is the best version of Basho's frog haiku? I read one that had the word 'plop' but can't find it now
 

version

Warehouse Operative
In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
Kenner talks about this one in the 'Imagism' chapter of The Pound Era. It's too long a section to type out, but he talks about the importance of the title in contrasting the vegetal with the world of machines and links the Metro and use of the word "apparitions" with Ancient Greek depictions of the underworld.

Amazing how much is compressed into two lines and a title.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Kenner talks about this one in the 'Imagism' chapter of The Pound Era. It's too long a section to type out, but he talks about the importance of the title in contrasting the vegetal with the world of machines and links the Metro and use of the word "apparitions" with Ancient Greek depictions of the underworld.

Amazing how much is compressed into two lines and a title.
The title's really important and has to be considered as part of the poem really doesn't it? Especially when they're so short.
 

version

Warehouse Operative
That Kenner book is definitely in my want list
Well worth reading.

With something like the above, there is a part of me that thinks "Is all that stuff really in there, or is Kenner reading too much into it?" but the picture he paints of Pound and how studied and rigorous he was and the way he lays things out in the book and traces various lines is convincing enough for me to take him seriously.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
Didn't it start out as a much longer poem that he managed to boil down to just the two images? So the poem is a result of this technical process of refinement and economy.
Haven't read the book obviously, but I don't think it's far fetched to read all that stuff into it.
 

version

Warehouse Operative
Yeah,

"He tells us that he first satisfied his mind when he hit on a wholly abstract vision of colors, splotches on darkness like some canvas of Kandinsky's (whose work he had not then seen). This is a most important fact. Satisfaction lay not in preserving the vision, but in devising with mental effort an abstract equivalent for it, reduced, intensified. He next wrote a 30-line poem and destroyed it; after six months he wrote a shorter poem, also destroyed; and after another year, with, as he tells us, the Japanese hokku in mind, he arrived at a poem which needs every one of its 20 words, including the six words of its title... "
 

Benny B

Well-known member
I don't really know anything about it it, but I am quite interested in learning how to read these sort of very short poems like haiku etc properly, I think it must be just like learning how to meditate properly. I've sort of been getting there with reading Larry Eigner's stuff.
 

version

Warehouse Operative
Calligraphy comes to mind too. Those people who get to a point where they can perform the action in as few movements as possible, perhaps even a single motion.
 

linebaugh

Well-known member
The red wheelbarrow by william carlos williams is one often paired with in the station of metro but I think it reads like a parody of the latter.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

That 'so much depends upon' opening feels unconfident/self concious and that the title makes one of the lines redundant seems like a bad call when the poem is12 words long
 

luka

Well-known member
All of this stuff is bound up a) with the haiku and the various inept attempts to make an English version and b) with the wider Chinese tradition and the various unsatisfactory attempts to render Chinese poetry in English. You could imagine a 'literal' translation of a Chinese poem looking a little like

Red wheelbarrow white chickens after rain
 

luka

Well-known member
To quote a writer I'm very fond of

e thing you will have noticed while doing this exercise is that it is predicated on a highly truncated instant. And now and now and now and now, but if we stretch out that instant we switch from a fixed view, a snapshot, to moving footage. Another way of figuring is to say we move from substance to process, or from noun to verb. We start to gain awareness of sequence and sequence as cause and effect chains.

So let’s say, for example, blackbird alights on branch, water droplets cascade from oscillating branch.

Or the noise of a helicopter might scare the pigeons from their perches. Or, if we switch the focus to our own selves, a we will a little later, we might catch a glance of what we take to be disapproval on another person’s face, and feel ourselves shrink in response and become inhibited or defensive.



How we are tweaked and pinched and pulled and shaped by the responses we receive and by the responses we anticipate receiving. Locked into these teaching machines, something within us very, very alert to praise and scolding. The basic compass of pleasure and pain.

At one end of the spectrum you have time as a discontinuous, fractured series of isolated sherds, in which effect is severed from cause, at the other you have an unbroken, breathing continuum, connected, part to part.



It’s worth thinking about how this distinction operates in writing and in the ways we model our reality, to think of ruptures and continuities, peaks and plateaus, flows and blockages. To think of the time-spans we are describing and to consider the time-spans our poems take place in.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
The red wheelbarrow by william carlos williams is one often paired with in the station of metro but I think it reads like a parody of the latter.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

That 'so much depends upon' opening feels unconfident/self concious and that the title makes one of the lines redundant seems like a bad call when the poem is12 words long

I don't really know much about WCW, but is it not meant to be, partly, kind of humourous that one? I mean you could take it seriously and read it in other ways, but also why would 'so much depend' upon something so arbitrary as a wheelbarrow? And if it really does have some sort of deep significance for the poet, how would anyone else understand it from how it's presented here?
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I think my little brother will grow up a crook. He
puts on rubber gloves when stealing a cookie.
 
Top