Report on Ginko With Lysenko #30, Summer in the Park

Participants: Takanori Hayakawa, Anne M Carson, Rory Hudon, Carolyn Leach-Paholski, Myron Lysenko. Also present: Tony Smith, photographer.

The weather was hot and humid, the grass was blonde (which was how one of the poets described it) and the river was low. There were fewer people in the park than I’d thought there would be. But still, five poets and a photographer gathered at a café deep in the middle of the park to engage in haiku activities and discussions.

 

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Participants: Takanori Hayakawa, Anne M Carson, Rory Hudson, Carolyn Leach-Paholski, Myron Lysenko. Photographer: Tony Smith

The weather was hot and humid, the grass was blonde (which was how one of the poets described it) and the river was low. There were fewer people in the park than I’d thought there would be. But still, five poets and a photographer gathered at a café deep in the middle of the park to engage in haiku activities and discussions.

This is the plan for the ginko: — Gather at the café, just before noon for lunch and haiku guidelines for the day. –Participants read a couple of haiku each from haiku journals: Windfall 5, Akitsu Fall 2016, Prospect Five. Discuss techniques used in the various haiku, their multiple, interpretations, their use or lack of kigo; identify the cut in each haiku and note the juxtapositions between the sensory images presented.

–Warm up Exercise. In five minutes we write down five kigo of between one to three words only. In the next five minutes we write a sentence or phrase about an activity we could observe in the park. In the next five minutes we match our kigo to our active sentences to create five drafts of haiku. All in fifteen minutes! This is a good exercise to reinforce the fact that we do not have to sit and think about a haiku and wait for it to formulate in our minds before finding images to go with our ideas. A haiku doesn’t have to be written in one moment. –Wander about for an hour and write first drafts of ten haiku, then meet back outside the café sharing them, discussing them and offering suggestions for revisions.  This takes forty-five minutes. –At 3pm we walk around for half an hour looking for more haiku moments to write about. We return to the café to share them.

–Lastly we help each other select the best two haiku we had each written on the day.

 

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Photo: Takanori Hayakawa

Here are some of the haiku written during the ginko, the first two by Anne M Carson, followed by her thoughts on the ginko:

memorial seat…
the gum tree sheds
another leaf

background drone cars or insects

“I was interested in attending one of Myron’s Haiku (Ginko) workshops because I wanted clear tuition and support in learning about this form of poetry. I was also interested because he conducted his workshop in an outdoor setting. I was fully satisfied on both counts and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent considering haiku in Brimbank Park. The setting was perfect for summer haiku, even the heat! The other haiku writers were simpatico and added to the Japanese aesthetic by bringing iced green tea and Japanese snacks to share. Myron was an excellent, encouraging teacher. We were very lucky to have Taka in the class, a native speaker who writes haiku in Japanese.

Warm wishes,

Anne .”

 Anne M Carson 

 

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Photo: Tony Smith

And this from Rory Hudson, who attended his second ginko in a row.
“I enjoyed the ginko, with the lovely surroundings and friendly company.  It was good to have it at the cafe where food and drink were available, and Taka’s snacks were quite delicious!  Myron’s handouts and helpful advice enabled me to get a handle on better haiku writing, I think!

Cheers, Rory.”

a monarch
rests its wings—
sweat on my brow

eucalyptus leaves
caught in a spider’s web—
where is my home?

Rory Hudson

 This was Carolyn Leach-Paholski’s first ginko experience. Carolyn wrote this message to me and included two haiku written during the ginko:
“Ginko with Lysenko is a beautiful way to begin to write haiku. Field trip, picnic and writing experience in one – I can highly recommend it. Myron’s deep knowledge, encouragement and gentle humour had us writing straight away. I came home with fourteen haiku to tumble around in my head.  

Thanks, Carolyn.”

travelling dandelion seed
the jet plane
overtakes you

every stick a snake new sandals

 

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Photo: Takanori Hayakawa

We were very pleased to have the company of Takanori Hayakawa who attended his second ginko in a row discussed some of the different approaches to Japanese haiku and English language haiku.  Here is his report and a couple of his haiku, which he writes in Japanese and then translates into English:

“Myron explained haiku guidelines to begin with then told us to read and analyze some haiku written by famous poets.  They were really good warming up activities and we were brought into the haiku world very easily.  He then asked us to list five kigo we could see around us.  He followed this by asking us to write five activity phrases or sentences. Finally he asked us to pair them up and to our surprise we saw that we had written five haiku already.  It was like magic!!   Thank you again for organising this ginko for us.  I’d particularly like to thank you for drinking beer with me afterwards and discussing haiku.  I had so much fun. I have also attached some photographs I took.’

Taka

一日中聞いてもあきぬ滝の音

I can listen
all day –
water fall

窓の数ぶんの美景や夏木立

the best view
from every window –
summer bush

Takanori Hayakawa

And finally here are two of the haiku I wrote on the afternoon:

a hole
in my sneakers—
sunlight through trees

he lifts a beer to his lips the breeze picks up

Myron Lysenko

 

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Photo: Takanori Haykawa

Myron Lysenko
Victorian Regional Representative
Australian Haiku Society