Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Winter 2005, vol 3 no 4


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Editor's note: I'm pleased to share with you the innovative work of Joel Weishaus. His "poetry in motion" haiga demonstrates how far and how creatively modern haiga can go in seeking new ways of blending contemporary art with the sensibilities of oriental thought.

In order to fully appreciate this haiga you must view it with a full screen and wait for the text to gather itself into a haiku "moment" for a truly modern haiga experience.


Joel Weishaus ~

haiga in motion


Joel Weishaus

Browsing a bookstore in Tokyo,
I happened upon R.H. Blyth's haiku translations.
The haiku captured something I had sensed while living
in the mountains; but even in midst of the busy capitol city:
an inconspicuous shrine, a smooth-scalped monk, a bow, a feeling
of deep connectiveness between humans and nonhuman why
I continued to study this tradition and write in its form.
Now, a digital literary artist
experimenting with word/image relationships, haiga is a natural place for me to set forth.


"Moving Toward Haiga" shares a strategy that preserves the spirit of wabi, elegant simplicity,
programming words to randomly appear and disappear around an image on a background
that reminds us of the Void from which all creation appears. As with time (life), space
(death) also becomes a factor, as does ma, a concept that moves toward
"a boundary situation at the edge of thinking and the edge of all
processes of locating things by naming and distinguishing."
Most important of all, these haiga are a beginning
that foretells the illusion of an end.

*R.B. Pilgrim.
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Joel Weishaus was born in Brooklyn, New York. He is currently Visiting Faculty in the Department of English, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. Weishaus is a poet, book critic, and digital literary artist. His most recent book is The Healing Spirit of Haiku (North Atlantic Books, 2004), co-authored with David Rosen, illustrated by Arthur Okamura.

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