Sunday, April 3, 2016

Thoughts on Haiku in Romania

“My interest in haiku was also favoured, perhaps, by the culture of the people to which I belong - a people with a culture which is very sensitive to influences, and able to synthesize and interpret in an original way the artistic models that came from the West or East.
Even the harsh and cold wind coming from the north is tempered on the Romanian soil by the mouth of the Danube and the Black Sea shore. In our folklore, it is nature that represents the frame of spiritual communion, in which man shares his sorrows and joys with the sun and moon, with the trees and flowers, with the rivers and mountains.
The doina was one of the Romanian lyrical genres that have cultivated man's relationship with nature, of course, on a different scale in poetic forms other than haiku.
There is this tradition of the dialogue between man and nature in our poetry; thus, the Romanians could not remain indifferent to the spirit to haiku, that cultivates a similar theme.
Someone might ask me whether the European aesthetic principles of mimesis, poesis, and catharsis do not come into conflict with the aesthetics of haiku or whether they do not oppose the reception of the haiku moment.
My personal artistic experience leads me to claim that these principles are not only far from having prevented me from getting close to haiku, but, on the contrary, they have helped me to open my horizons towards any form of poetry coming from another cultural space.
The taking over of haiku by non-Japanese poets in the twentieth century demonstrates that the spirit of this poem has transcended time, geographic spaces, as well as the boundaries and limits of the languages in which it is translated or created.
The Romanian language - although it has lexical features other than Japanese – offers me, however, plenty of possibilities of expression through its musicality, through the richness of the meaning of some words, to cultivate this poem and make it known in my country.

ION CODRESCU, “A Way towards Haiku”
from the volume “Making the Tour of the Lake” – an Anthology by Ion Codrescu”, 1994, Constanţa

No comments: