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Scritto da Tartamella   
Martedì 03 Novembre 2009 17:25

 

 

ATTI E RESOCONTO
SECONDA CONFERENZA ITALIANA HAIKU CASCINA MACONDO

 
HAIKU POESIA DEL FUTURO
UNA VIA ITALIANA ALLA POETICA HAIKU

Circolo dei Lettori, domenica 28 GIUGNO 2009- Torino

resoconto di        Pietro Tartamella - Max Verhart - Antonella Filippi
foto di                Domenico Benedetto- Max Verhart

 

GLI INTERVENTI

 

Anna Maria Verrastro         un Haiga speciale: il Rakuhaiku

Antonella Filippi                 fisica-fisiologia-haiku-l’esperienza del vuoto nell’haiku

Çlirim Muça                        nell'era dei messaggini la poesia haiku

Fabia Binci                           sensibili alle stagioni

Giorgio Gazzolo                 ogni haiku fa parte di un mosaico?

Jim Kacian                         saluti dall'estate della Virginia (italiano-inglese)

Junko Saeki                       l’haiku nella vita quotidiana dei giapponesi

Keiko Iguchi                      haiku moderni giapponesi (italiano)
Keiko Iguchi                      japanese modern haiku    (inglese)

Loredana Garnero             poesia del futuro per gli allievi di oggi e domani

Marlène Buitelaar              la musica negli haiku (italiano)
Marlène Buitelaar              music and haiku      (inglese)

Max Verhart                      l’esperienza del Tat Twam Asi (italiano)
Max Verhart                      the Tat Twam Asi experience (inglese)

Nico Orengo                      ricordo di Nico Orengo

Pietro Tartamella               Shashaijin (italiano-inglese)
Pietro Tartamella             la raccolta Tawani e altre raccolte haiku - lettura Zikan (italiano)
Pietro Tartamella             la raccolta Tawani e altre raccolte haiku - lettura Zikan (inglese)
Pietro Tartamella             l’haiku e i giovani - esplorazione di una didattica dell’ haiku -
                                        62 buoni motivi per insegnare l'haiku nelle scuole


Riccardo Zerbetto e
Silvia Lo Re                       haiga arte natura

Zinovy Vayman                 immagini simil-haiku nella poesia tradizionale (italiano)
Zinovy Vayman                 haiku like images in the mainstream poetry (inglese)

poesia collettiva                Renku a Cascina Macondo (italiano-inglese)          

 

 

RESOCONTO
di Pietro Tartamella

 
Si è svolta domenica 28 giugno 2009, presso il Circolo dei Lettori, in Torino, la Seconda Conferenza Italiana Haiku e la 3° Conferenza Europea Haiku organizzata da Cascina Macondo. Settanta le persone intervenute da ogni parte d’Italia e dall’estero. Interessantissimi gli interventi dei relatori . Dopo i saluti della Sig.ra Chiara Gorzegno in rappresentanza del Comune di Torino-Motore di Ricerca Città Attiva; dopo gli auguri di buon lavoro di Anna Maria Verrastro, presidente di Cascina Macondo; dopo un minuto di silenzio per ricordare l’amico scrittore Nico Orengo, la Conferenza è entrata nel vivo con l’intervento di Pietro Tartamella che ha illustrato la concezione etico-filosofica della Raccolta Tawani.
Quindi una lettura di Haiku con musiche e voci armoniche di alcuni dei Narratori di Macondo (Annette Seimer, Luana Varagnolo, Bruno Burdizzo).
La professoressa Fabia Binci di Genova, con il suo sensibili alle stagioni”, ha tratteggiato un profilo della cultura giapponese che meglio ci aiuta a comprendere l’haiku.
 
 
max-tenda
sosta del poeta Max Verhart
in viaggio
dall'Olanda verso la 2° Conferenza Italiana Haiku
 
 
 
 
max fotografo
Max Verhart a caccia di dettagli erbosi ed arborei durante il viaggio
 
 
 
Zinovy Vayman, poeta Russo che vive tra Boston, Mosca, Israele, ci ha intrattenuto con un saggio sui poeti classici italiani che hanno usato immagini simil-haiku nelle loro opere. Marlène Buitelaar poetessa e ricercatrice olandese ha illustrato il rapporto tra musica e haiku con riferimenti statistici alle occorrenze del concetto “musica” in alcune migliaia di haiku olandesi e di lingua inglese.  Anna Maria Verrastro ha illustrato, con foto e alcuni manufatti, la ricerca artistica sperimentale del Rakuhaiku condotta da alcuni anni a Cascina Macondo con la collaborazione di Clelia Vaudano.
Silvia Lo Re
, in rappresentanza del Prof. Riccardo Zerbetto medico psichiatra e fotografo di Siena, ha illustrato il lavoro del suo maestro sulla concezione dell’ArteNatura con una esposizione di foto haiga.
Dopo il pranzo è stata la volta del gioco creativo “Shashaijin” proposto da Tartamella che ha  impegnato il pubblico con forbici, bicchieri, cartoncini, nella ricerca di  Haiku Bifronte.
 
 
 
anna
 Anna Maria Verrastro presidente di Cascina Macondo dà il benvenuto
 
 
 
 
pietro dà il benvenuto
Pietro Tartamella dà il benvenuto, illustra il programma,
invita i partecipanti a un minuto di silenzio
per ricordare l'amico scrittore e giornalista Nico Orengo

 
 
 
 
lampadario
 la luce del lampadario del Circolo dei Lettori
illumina il pubblico e le parole dei relatori

 
 
 
 
tre lettori
Narratori di Macondo leggono alcuni haiku della Raccolta Tawani
(da sinistra: Annette Seimer, Bruno Burdizzo, Luana Varagnolo -
Pietro Tartamella all'accompagnamento musicale)
 
 
 
 
pubblico tutto
 Circolo dei Lettori - Sala Grande - pubblico attento e interessato
 
 
 
 
zinovy-pietro
 Zinovy Vayman, poeta russo, e Pietro Tartamella,
confronto sulla poetica Haiku

 
 
 
 
Giorgio Gazzolo, haijin genovese, ha lanciato semi di riflessione sull’idea che ogni haiku può essere considerato come  piccola tessera di un grande mosaico. Max Verhart, poeta ed editore olandese, ha illustrato la concezione filosofica del tat twam asi.
Tartamella ha esplorato la didattica haiku, individuando un elenco di 62 buoni motivi che potrebbero convincere un insegnante a trasmettere la pratica della poetica haiku ai suoi allievi. Concetto ripreso da Loredana Garnero, professoressa nelle scuole medie di Torino che, con il suo intervento la poesia del futuro per gli allievi di oggi e domani-cantare l'essenza, ha esplorato l’haiku in relazione alle nuove dinamiche di apprendimento dei ragazzi di oggi. Çlirim Muça, albanese, poeta ed editore di AlbaLibri, è intervenuto con una panoramica sull’editoria Haiku oggi in Italia.
Antonella Filippi ci ha condotti nell’affascinante concetto del “vuoto”, nelle relazioni tra fisica, fisiologia, haiku.
La poetessa e traduttrice giapponese Junko Saeki, impossibilitata per motivi familiari a lasciare il Giappone, ha dovuto disdire all’ultimo momento la sua partecipazione. Ma avevamo già il suo intervento scritto nel quale illustra alcuni aspetti della vita contemporanea giapponese e ci parla dei “kessha” i circoli culturali dove gli haijin si incontrano per confrontarsi e praticare l’haiku.
 
 
 
preparazione shashaijin
 preparazione del gioco creativo Shashaijin
 
 
 
 
antonella
Antonella Filippi con i bigliettini di Shashaijin in una ciotola Raku
 
 
 
 
pietro gioco
Pietro Tartamella alle prese con le lettere alfabetiche del gioco Shashaijin
nel tentativo di comporre un Gianuhaiku

 
 
 
 
fabia binci
 intervento di Fabia Binci
 
 
 
 
giorgio gazzolo
 intervento di Giorgio Gazzolo
 
 
 
Un’altra poetessa giapponese, Keiko Iguchi, compagna di Zinovy Vayman, non ha potuto presenziare. Ma abbiamo il suo intervento scritto.
Assenti giustificati che hanno fatto di tutto per partecipare: in primo luogo Nico Orengo, scrittore e giornalista che ci ha lasciato per sempre sabato 30 maggio, Jim Kacian-USA, Ban’ya Natsuishi-Giappone, David Cobb-Inghilterra, Visnja McMaster-Croazia, Enzo Bartolone delle Edizioni Angolo Manzoni-Torino, Fabrizio Virgili-Roma.
 
 
anna intervento
Anna Maria Verrastro illustra la ricerca sulla ceramica Rakuhaiku
 
 
 
 
esposizione raku
esposizione di manufatti Raku
del Laboratorio di Ceramica Cascina Macondo
 
 
 
 
nera pirulo
 Ceramica Rakuhaiku Cascina Macondo
manufattore Anna Maria Verrastro

 

 

rosso-fronte
Ceramica Rakuhaiku Cascina Macondo
manufattore Anna Maria Verrastro
 
 
 
 
raku-gente
Anna Maria Verrastro e Clelia Vaudano
in una performance di cottura Rakuhaiku a Cascina Macondo

 
 
 
 
anna-ciotola
Anna Maria Verrastro felice e commossa
per la riuscita di uno splendido pezzo Rakuhaiku
 
 
 
 
ragazza
 intervento di Silvia Lo Re a nome di Riccardo Zerbetto
 
 
 
 
 
tepee
legni incrociati
ti fecesti a dimora
come gli uccelli
 
Riccardo Zerbetto- haiga artenatura
 
 
 
 
 
 pietro djembè
intervento di Pietro Tartamella sulla didattica haiku
 
 
 
 
clirim
intervento di Çlirim Muça poeta e fondatore della Casa Editrice AlbaLibri
 
 
 
 
libri
 esposizione libri degli autori intervenuti
 
 
 
Una bella ed intensa giornata domenica 28 giugno, ricca di spunti, riflessioni, approfondimenti.
Con alcuni ospiti, presenti ancora lunedì a Cascina Macondo, la Seconda Conferenza Italiana Haiku sì è conclusa con un Renka.
Si ringrazia  lo staff di Cascina Macondo per il contributo e il tempo dedicato all’organizzazione dell’evento: Anna Maria Verrastro, Annette Seimer, Antonella Filippi, Bruno Burdizzo, Clelia Vaudano, Cristina Baggio, Domenico Benedetto, Loredana Garnero, Luana Varagnolo, Pietro Tartamella.
 
 
 
 
pietro-anto-colazione
 mattino presto, colazione a Cascina Macondo
 
 
 
 
danze
 la sera danze popolari a Cascina Macondo con gli haijin
 
 
 
 
renku
Renku sotto il salice di Cascina Macondo
(da destra in senso antiorario: Zinovy Vayman,
Anna Maria Verrastro, Josef Kiss, Pietro Tartamella)
 
 
 
 
ALCUNI HAIKU BIFRONTE DEL GIOCO SHASHAIJIN
 
 
 1
 
 haiku principale
 
amici intorno
tracce di storia ai muri
- dimenticata
 
Filippo Lo nigro
 
 
 
haiku frontale
 
Torino mura
radici di te resta
antica cima
 
Mario Menin
 
 
 
 
2
 
 haiku principale
 
distilla gocce
di colore e gioia
muta farfalla

 
Silvia Lorè
 
 
 
haiku frontale
 
alla mia festa dici
gocce di fragola
e collirio
 
Elena Bonassi
 
 
 
 
 3
 
 haiku principale
 
the first snow -
women picking turnips
out of ditches

 
Antonella Filippi
 
 
 
haiku frontale
 
winter nights
witches stop to punch
in mud of Frisko
 
Max Verhart
 
 
 
 
REPORT
The Second Italian Haiku Conference
by Antonella Filippi & Max Verhart



The Italian word cascina means farmstead. Macondo is the name of a fictional town in Gabriel García Márquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. The combination Cascina Macondo is the name of the place in rural northern Italy, south  of Torino, where poet Pietro Tartamella en his partner ceramist Anna Verrastro live and work. They made Cascina Macondo a creative center, focusing on poetry, haiku in particular, and ceramics. It’s the place where haiku poets from the region, including Torino and Genova, regularly meet, while other ceramists too are linked to the place. Another initiative is the annual international contest for haiku written in (or translated into) Italian.
Cascina Macondo also strives to make children and mentally handicapped people develop their own creative potential by working with language – haiku in particular - and clay. Schools and other localities are being visited for that purpose, but even more often whole classes and groups come to Cascina Macondo to spend some creative and joyful hours there. If the weather permits, the yard of the former farmstead is a perfect location, but there also is an indoor room big enough to house such groups.
Not surprisingly the location also was the scene of the First Italian Haiku Conference in November 2007. It was quite successful, though it did not attract any attention from beyond the regional haiku circles. Yet promoting acquaintance with and appreciation of haiku in broader circles certainly is something Cascina Macondo strives for too. So when a Second Italian Haiku Conference was planned, the idea was to have it in a more prestigious place that would give the event more publicity and would attract not just people already involved in haiku. Hence the Palazzo Graneri della Roccia in Torino was chosen, a late seventeenth century city palace, now housing the Circolo dei Lettori (Readers’ Circle). It’s a huge building containing lots of big rooms with high ceilings, the walls decorated with paintings, tapestries and reliefs. The room the conference was held in for instance was on two opposite walls decorated with enormous relief sculptures, showing among other images both male and female faunlike figures. “I love them!” Russian/American haiku poet Zinovy Vayman remarked. “I always was crazy about women with hairy legs!” The conference was announced in the Circolo’s widely distributed June program brochure.
So this was where on Sunday June 28th 2009 some fifty people gathered for the conference, whose theme was formulated as Haiku, poetry of the future. Among those present however was nobody from the press and exactly as many represented the literary scene. So as far as external promotion was concerned, the conference was a failure. But speaking for ourselves -and for all other participants, we are sure- it was a fine conference and a great day.
After being welcomed by Pietro, Chiara Gorzegno (on behalf of the municipality) and Anna, the conference started with Pietro explaining the idea behind his bilingual book Ciao Maestro/Hi Teacher , composed on his own invention of raccolta tawani (tawani collection). The word tawani is synthesized of the Dakota words zapetan (five) and waniyetu (year)  . A raccolta tawani is a collection of 160 haiku, 10 senryu and one tanka in a five year sequence. There is more to it we will not mention here -read the book!- except that poems from a raccolta tawani should not be read aloud by the author himself, but by friends.
And so it happened, for this introduction was followed by a haiku reading, or rather haiku recitation, from the book. The ‘Narratori di Macondo’ (Macondo’s Narrators) doing this were Annette Seimer, Bruno Burdizzo and Luana Varagnolo, assisted by Pietro with sound and visual interventions. All haiku but two were recited in Italian, the two exceptions being in English, yet this was a fascinating performance even for the non Italian speaking author of this report. Though the readers remained standing on their spot, there was a lot of variety. Every poem was recited twice, sometimes by the same narrator, sometimes read by one and repeated by another, or each one read one line in turn after which one of them repeated the whole poem. The reading obviously was well rehearsed and quite expressive. In between Pietro supplied sound effects by, among others, a singing bowl, a “rain stick” (a hollow stick filled with something rustling), beating a vessel on a hole in its the body (joined by the narrators doing the same) or a visual effect by going through the room, blowing bubbles with a bubble machine over the audience’s heads.
Presenting haiku in that fashion, by the way, is done more often, in schools and elsewhere, and at times with even more than three narrators. It seems a very convincing way to demonstrate the intrinsic poetic quality of good haiku.
 
 
chiara gorzegno
Chiara Gorzegno responsabile del Motore di Ricerca
porta i saluti e gli auguri della Città di Torino
 
 
 
 
strumenti
alcuni strumenti usati nella lettura della raccolta Tawani
 
 
 
 
The program continued with four lectures until the lunch break and then in the afternoon some more. Some were in English, but most were in Italian. And this is where Antonella Filippi enters as one co-author of this report, for without her assistance the other one would have been at a loss as to what all Italian talks were about.
For instance, the first intervention was by Fabia Binci, speaking about Japanese sensitivity for nature and seasons. The only thing the non Italian speaking author of this report could make out was Fabia referring to the Japanese rather detailed division of the seasons into seventy two seasonal spells.  But this was only a detail, for Binci elaborated in a much broader way on the connection with nature that is at the basis of the Japanese cultural and artistic tradition. Every natural manifestation is animated by a Kami, an immanent divinity, she explained.  The Japanese vision of the world at the basis of Japanese aesthetics in each of its expressions is born from the interpenetration of Shinto and Zen Buddhism: reality can be caught without intellectual mediations, it is the experience of “here and now”, and to live it man has to empty himself of preconceptions and ideological overtones. Thus it is possible to catch in every natural aspect the uniqueness of the divine and, according with the Buddhist spirit, to perceive reality. In nature is the immortality of the moment. Nothing exists but the moment. These concepts reflect in many ways in Japanese art and culture. She then spoke of the importance of the seasons and of kigo in haiku and of that detailed division of the seasons in five day periods mentioned before.
For many haiku devotees in English language areas this probably sounds familiar, but by now haiku has a longer tradition there than it has in Italy, which explains the special interest in these aspects.
The next two lectures were in English with immediate translation in Italian. Zinovy Vayman, assisted by Antonella Filippi, spoke about haiku-like images in mainstream poetry. In his talk he restricted his observations to Italian classical poetry, but in the actual paper one also finds similar examples from English language poetry. Years ago, he said, he enjoyed whisking out haiku from the lines of his favorite Russian writers. Later  he observed that, in other languages too, in the work of the better poets one may regularly find lines that make good haiku. He also had somehow noticed a relation between the presence of such images and passing time. Before the nineteenth century haiku-like lines were rare, but in the next two centuries poets produced more and more of them until the late twentieth century, when the ‘haikuishness’ of mainstream poetry started to decline – more or less synchronically with the rise of haiku poetry. A sort of branching off of haiku, it seems, though in total the balance seems to persevere.
Annette Seimer assisted Marlène Buitelaar (Netherlands), who talked about haiku and music. She has for a few years been collecting haiku that in some way refer to music. She started with Dutch haiku, but later also went for such haiku in English and other languages. The collection of published and unpublished haiku now amounts to thousands and still grows. In 2008 a Dutch selection was published  and some articles on the subject appeared in the Dutch/Flemish haiku journal Vuursteen (Flint). She first analyzed both collections by categorizing the haiku on content: type of music, composers, instruments, singing, etcetera. Several of these categories were subdivided, like type of music and instruments. Though there were difference between the Dutch and the English collections, some similarities were striking. In both for instance ‘instruments’  constituted the largest category with 27% in each case. And ‘singing’ or ‘song’ came second with 18% and 13% respectively.
Not really satisfied with this classification, she decided on another in three categories: music as décor, music as metaphor and music as subject. In both collections music as décor (part of the scene but not the real subject) came in first with 78,8% and 75,5% respectively. Second largest category was music as metaphor with 22,2% and 23,1%. Which leaves only 1% and 1,4% for music as the real focus of music haiku!
Buitelaar also had asked haiku poets about the importance of music in their lives. For about all of them music is a daily source of happiness, stimulus, etcetera. But -surprising most of her correspondents themselves- it is just an indirect inspiration to write haiku for half of them, no inspiration for a quarter and a direct inspiration only for the remaining 25%.
 
 
pubblico
intervento della poetessa olandese Marlène Buitelaar (a sinistra)
tradotta da Annette Seimer
 
 
 
The title of Anna Verrastro’s lecture, A Particular Haiga: The Rakuhaiku, quite adequately summarizes its content.
Raku is a type of pottery created with a specific ceramic firing process that uses both fire and smoke to create unique patterns and designs. The ceramist works on a rakuware looking for shapes and colors, interacting with nature. The objective is to obtain a unique product, very near to perfection, but without ever reaching it because perfection belongs only to God. If a work is too perfect, humility requires the stroke of a spatula or a little crack, just not to come too close to God.
Haiku is a short poem composed of 5-7-5 syllables. The poet observes the world without interpreting it and without judgment. he simply tells,  fixing on paper the instant extracted from that unending flow of time and life.
Both raku and haiku, Verrastro explained, are of Japanese origin, were born more or less in the same period and are linked to Zen philosophy and meditation. Common factors are essentiality, simplicity, a strong link with nature, seasons and the four elements. Two paths to near perfection.
The rakuhaiku, she then told, was born as a typical product of Cascina Macondo in 2003 in relation to that year’s international haiku contest. The prizes were rakuwares that, through the shapes, the colors, the oxygen reduction during clay firing, interpreted the haiku chosen in the contest, the haiku itself being engraved on the plate under the rakuware. The rakuhaiku therefore is a real haiga, exclusively handmade, unique and unrepeatable.
 
 
macchie
Ceramica Rakuhaiku Cascina Macondo
manufattore Anna Maria Verrastro
 
 
 
 
clelia-punte
Ceramica Rakuhaiku Cascina Macondo
manufattore Clelia Vaudano
 
 
 
Natural Art: Outlines was photographer and haiku poet Riccardo Zerbetto’s subject, in his absence presented by Silvia Lo Re. Natural Art, she stated, is a form of art that is born from nature and goes back to nature. It can leave a virtual sign, as a photographic image, but it is not possible to own it or to take it away from the place where it was created and of which it is part. The function of the artist, in this form of expression, is a moderate insertion on the natural context and the elements forming it. Acting with the elements found in the place, combining and recombining them, the artist will be able to introduce a new configuration, a “gestaltung”, able to evoke new meanings, to produce echoes in space that also a less prepared audience will be able to catch. In this sense Natural Art has its ancestors in the Zen spirit, with its attention for the real, for essentiality, for the sobriety of intuition, Lo Re concluded. Lo Re’s discourse was illustrated by both on screen projection and a small exhibition of Zerbetto’s land art photo’s in the conference room.  
 
 
 
 ombra verticale
                             ti ritrovasti
                    - al fine - un tutt'uno
                        con la tua ombra

 
          Riccardo Zerbetto- haiga artenatura
 
 
 
 
onda
                                      che sia dolore
                               - o forse gioia - non è
                                        facile dire

 
                     Riccardo Zerbetto- haiga artenatura
 
 
 

 
rami cielo
                       sembri più azzurro
                       imprigionato così
                        tra questi legni

 
          Riccardo Zerbetto- haiga artenatura
 
 
 
After the lunch break – as usual one of the highlights of such meetings because of the personal contacts with old and new haiku friends- the conference was resumed with another of Cascina Macondo’s playful inventions: the shashaijin or Janus  haiku. The idea is to use as many letters as possible of a given haiku to make another haiku, –the principal and frontal haiku respectively– that ideally should in one way or another relate to one another. Everybody received a form to write a haiku on and also print its every letter separately in the given boxes, then to cut all letters out and give them to someone else, who should rearrange them into a new haiku. As it happened one of the authors of this report -Max- got the other one’s - Antonella’s- cut up haiku, which read: the first snow - / women picking turnips / out of ditches. And this is what he made of it: winter nights / witches stop to punch / in mud of Frisko. All letters were used and quite accidently both first lines refer to winter, both second lines mention women and both third lines are quite earthy. Actually, this haiku scrabble was fun! One can imagine school classes being really engaged this way in learning about haiku – which surely was what Pietro Tartamella had in mind when designing this literary game.
Is Every Haiku Part Of A Mosaic? was the question that Giorgio Gazzolo then raised in his paper. He started on the hypothesis that all haiku can form, in some way, a mosaic. From its origin until today, haiku writing spread all over the world, so there must be a gigantic number of haiku ever written. If we take these as a  mosaic, he then asked, what does it represent? When we read a haiku collection, we try to identify a single haiku telling us something, a ‘nice’ haiku. Some images or ‘themes’ resound wonderfully, like the sound of a little bell. That, Gazzolo stated, is the effect of the analytic vision, looking at the single tile in the mosaic. But what about the synthetic vision of the whole mosaic? The fragile and yet exact nature of haiku, in his view, indicates a vast shelter in which we can abandon our mind at rest, where we find special values regarding time, the ephemeral, the impermanent. Or that value that Japanese call ‘yugen’, referring to the deep charm of everyday reality, with all its moments only apparently trifling. While the analytic vision would require many precise references, Gazzolo concluded, this attempt of synthetic vision is obviously not precise, but leads us to the ‘quid’, the mystery: “It brings us near the magic perception, and we really are in the inexplicable ground of the true poetry.”
The next lecture was about the relationship between haiku and philosophy of life, “and mainly my own philosophy of life at that.,” speaker Max Verhart specified. When he learned about haiku about 1980, it generally was associated with zen philosophy, he remembered. But then he read a haiku by the Dutch poet Inge Lievaart, reading A boat as a base / between sky and depth / firmness that moves. This, Lievaart later explained, mirrored her Christian belief. And yes, that’s how you can read it metaphorically: a wobbly, yet solid boat – religion as the stable basis carrying one through the tempests of life! So haiku could reflect other philosophies of life! Verhart related this to his experience that an intensified awareness can make us observe seemingly trifling scenes as highly significant, even to the extent that what’s being observed on the one hand and the observer on the other seem create one another in that moment. This way of experiencing reality he then linked to the Brahmanistic view of advaita, a word he translates as not-two-ness, expressed in the idea of the deepest self (atman) and the ‘world soul’ (Brahman, a sort of primordial condition), being identical: tat twam asi (thou art it, it is you!). “And haiku,” Verhart concluded, “can be, and in my case sometimes are, reports of one or another such a tat twam asi experience.” Which explains the title he gave his story: The twam asi experience.
 
 
max
intervento di Max Verhart - Olanda
 
 
 
After that the audience was treated to Pietro Tartamella’s experiences as a haiku teacher in schools. That to teach haiku to children is a good thing will probably meet everybody’s approval, he surmised. But many teachers nourish one or more of a number of objections against haiku: not literature but a passtime, too short and fleeting, too difficult for kids, too much rules, etcetera. What they fail to see, Tartamella knew, is the pleasure pupils can have from working on haiku and expressing themselves that way. He then sketched a haiku didactics ideal route, consisting of twelve two-hours meetings, including exercises with voice and singing, harmonic sounds, blues, playing and dancing. Tartamella demonstrated how he uses the drum to explain syllabic rhythms - one more example of his playful way of communicating and instructing. Of course the pupils learn to write their own haiku and the course ends with them reading them aloud for an audience of parents and relatives.
It should be added here that in the annual haiku contest Cascina Macondo organises the haiku by youngsters make out a large part of the submissions as well as in the anthologies compiled from these submissions.  
“As a teacher,” Loredana Garnero stated in her talk, “I can assure that haiku enjoys an ever growing success among our students, men and women of tomorrow,” thus supporting one of Tartamella’s points. Garnero also is director of Capanno Indaco, an association that organises holiday events for elementary school pupils with some learning handicap like dyslexia, concentration or communication problems. The appeal of haiku for youngsters, she argued in her talk (titled The Poetry Of The Future For Today And Tomorrow’s Students: To Sing The Essence) largely depends on the generational change we are witnessing. Today’s children progressively lose the basic automatisms of learning, in calculus, in spelling, and also in the spoken language. Modern young people, she observed, use written and spoken language more and more in a reduced and concise manner, even if they need more and more to express their emotions and feelings. And though they may be more and more anarchic and refractory to rules in general, yet they long for guidance and containment, giving them the confidence and safety they do not easily find in society, neither at home nor at school. Haiku composition contains all ‘ingredients’ to satisfy these needs: it is short, but strictly contained in rules and of well defined dimensions; it is concrete and accessible; it is circumscribed in time and space, therefore reassuring; but, above all, it is essential. And that, she surmised, would be the reason for the success this form of expression usually meets, a verbal form of expression, but synthetic and effective among younger people, above all the ones having problems with language at school.
 
 
loredana garnero
intervento di Loredana Garnero
 
 
 
The floor was then taken by Çlirim Muça, an Albanian poet, living in Italy, where he also runs his publishing house albalibri (white books), dedicated to poetry, haiku being among his main interests. He also runs a hotel with an outdoor haiku trail for his guests! One of his goals as a publisher is to introduce to Italian readers haiku poets from abroad, presenting their haiku in at least the original language as well as Italian and English.  One reason for doing this himself was that the established and bigger publishing houses in Italy have no interest whatsoever in haiku. Now does that not sound familiar for other countries too?
Referring to the conference’s theme, Haiku poetry of the future, Muça titled his lecture In The sms Age, Haiku Is The Poetry Of The Present. A western poet, he argued, can either start to write haiku because he is struck by its possibilities or because it is fashionable. Either way, astonishment for nature and simplicity of expression are two essential requirements needed by haiku poets, Muça remarked. Another requirement is the poetic rhythm. Essential key point in his view are the seventeen syllables, the detachment -or cutting- after the first or second line and a reference to nature.
This, again, may sound a bit strict and outmoded to many readers in English language areas, but as stated earlier, this is not an unusual stage for haiku establishing itself in a new language and culture. And of course the speaker himself was not a dogmatist on these issues, or would he have published authors like Kacian and Natsuishi? “No corporations or associations can distribute a ‘ haiku licence’, he formulated. “This can only be earned by writing haikus, always and everywhere.” Another question though is: can we western people write good haikus? Who will decide on the value of these works? He gave his answer not explicitly, but implicitly by reminding the audience that Roman poetry had started by worshipping, copying and imitating the older Greek poetry, yet culminating in peaks like Dante’s poetry without eclipsing Homer and the other great Greek poets.
As the afternoon neared its end, it was Antonella Filippi’s turn to share her thoughts on Physics, Physiology And Haiku with the audience.  Her considerations had started many years ago with the question what made haiku so recognizable, enjoyable at all levels and generally appreciated? Many western people write poems in different techniques, but one who begins to write haiku instinctively feels that this poetry differs a lot from ‘mainstream’ or ‘classic’ poetry. This perception of haiku, she considered, founds it basis in physics, with the concept of emptiness, and in physiology, with the concept of rhythm.
Emptiness as a concept was probed at first in philosophy and later in physics. In Greek philosophy matter and emptiness are the constitutive principles of all things. Modern physics, with the quantum field theory, annuls the distinction between substance and emptiness, the latter losing its ‘non-being’ to become the vehicle of every material phenomenon. In Filippi’s view haiku is one of the privileged sons of emptiness, meant in the sense of ?uny?t? (Japanese: k?), a Sanskrit word meaning ‘vacuity’, a void containing the plenty of reality. From this emptiness some aspects of haiku are born: sabi, wabi, aware, yugen. Haiku is the maximum possible linguistic condensation of a ‘here-and-now’ and the emptiness vibrating in haiku is a space of plenty, the plenty of existence.
The word rhythm comes from the Greek ‘rheon’, to flow. Forms follow one another in time. All our life is plunged in rhythm, even if we are not always aware of it. All poetry is/has rhythm, but in haiku, because of its conciseness, we become aware of it. ‘Classic’ poetry tells a story and we follow it using rational functions (verbal comprehension, logical sequence), but haiku uses other ways and it makes us use perception, creativity, imagination, before translating into rationality.
Filippi presented a pun: Which is the name of the best Zen teacher? The answer is: M.T.Ness. And one more. In Japanese, ‘hai’ means ‘yes’ and ‘k?’ means ‘void’, she said. “So here is another pun: Do you know the name of the best poetry master? Answer of course: Hai, ku!.”

Two papers not having been read by absence of the authors, this was the end of the conference – as far as the official part was concerned, that is. For about twenty of the participants gathered at Cascina Macondo in the early evening to enjoy a delicious meal served on a long table in the yard, to reflect on the day’s proceedings, to chat away and to even happily sweat out some more energy by folk dancing, all while the sun went down and the Milky Way started to glow way over our heads. And the conference day had already passed into yesterday when goodbyes were said and beds were finally found.
 
Max Verhart and Antonella Filippi

 

 

(1)  Pietro Tartamella: Ciao Maestro – raccolta tawani. DeArt, Torino 2007.
(1)  Pietro Tartamella obviously is fascinated and inspired by North American native peoples, their languages and culture. In one of Cascina Macondo’s     former high stables for instance sits an enormous tepee.
(1)  The subject Shokan Tadashi Kondo covered in June 2007 in Sweden at the second European Haiku Conference.
(1)  Marlène Buitelaar, Karel Hellemans, Max Verhart: Eerste recital – haiku waar muziek in zit. ’t schrijverke, Den Bosch 2008.
(1)  Photos as well as some of Zerbetto’s haiku (in Italian) can also be found on the website www.artenatura.net.
(1)  A reference to the two faced god Janus.
(1)  Among the volumes published in the series L'Universo degli Haiku (The Haiku Universe) are: Ban’ya Natsuishi: Earth Pilgrimage (2007)
Jim Kacian: long after (2008), Çlirim Muça: Street mud (2009)

 
 

CASCINA MACONDO
Centro Nazionale per la Promozione della Lettura Creativa ad Alta Voce e POETICA HAIKU
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Ultimo aggiornamento ( Sabato 26 Dicembre 2009 07:58 )
 

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