On Sunday August 30 we met again on Zoom. Six of us attended: Julia Wakefield, Steve Wigg, Maeve Archibald, Stella Damarjati and Lynette Arden, as well as our esteemed interstate guest, Beverley George.
We had arranged at the previous meeting to put together another sequence, using the theme of ‘colour and light’. Each member was required to bring along between three and five haiku that they had written on this theme. This time we were much faster with our responses, and as we had two more people we had many more haiku to choose from. We endeavoured to take turns with each stanza in the sequence, but we found ourselves beginning to pick out the haiku that seemed to fit best, regardless of the order of contributors.
We ended up with not just one but three sequences, as we realised that the haiku were beginning to fall into three separate sub themes. The third sequence seemed to fall into place more easily than the others, and reflected a more significant depth of emotion. The last stanza, though evocative on its own, was given new meaning by the preceding stanzas.
As with the previous sequence, we have agreed to wait until we have submitted our individual haiku to publications before we consider publishing the sequence as a group creation.
There was some discussion about the fact that many haiku may appear insignificant on their own, but when added to a sequence they supply inner depth to the whole. That is a good argument for never completely discarding a haiku, if it has a personal resonance. Lynn also brought our attention to the way haiku have been sometimes pared down to almost banal simplicity, for the sake of zen-like brevity. She reminded us that brevity is but one of many schools of thought in the evolution of the haiku in Japan, and we should be careful not to exclude considerations of rhythm, contrast in line length and devices such as alliteration.
We will hold the next meeting on Sunday October 25 at 4pm. We will attempt another sequence, this time on the theme of seclusion, as suggested by Beverley George.