Sort of. Hopefully.
Experimenting with the novel form as I am with Bite Marks – using poetry, specifically haiku, within the work – I need some serious learning in the ways of the Japanese form, and during my searching on the Internet I stumbled onto this lovely little book: The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield, one of my favourite modern poets.
It details the life, work and restless travels of Matsuo Basho, a 17th-century poet and one of Japan’s greatest and, in doing so, illuminates the heart of haiku, what the form seeks to express and how it does it. I inhaled it sitting in the garden, warmed through by the singing sunshine, and found myself scribbling, breathless: words and images, quotes by the master, thoughts on the Zen concept of wabi-sabi and the deep, feeling connection with the natural landscape central to the Shinto spiritual tradition. My gorgeous new notebook 1 didn’t know what had hit it.
More of all of that later when I’ve learned more. A lot more.
I’m fizzing with inspiration and excitement, though also slightly overwhelmed (can you be slightly overwhelmed? I’m thinking it’s an all or nothing type of thing…) at the amount of reading I’m going to have to do, the scope of the things I have yet to learn.
Which is why I should stop writing here and get on with some poetry.