Sunday, January 30, 2011

Photo Haiku فتو هایکو

black and white
is how the life passed through
these beautiful eyes

سیاه و سفید

کار روزگار ی است که گذشت

این چشم های قشنگ

red maple leaves
all around the temple bell
basho,s dreams

برگ های سرخ افرا

دورتادور ناقوس معبد

رویاهای باشو
...آنسوتر از صِنوبران

آفتاب صبح بر قله های برف پوش

بهارگل های وحشی

beyond the cedar trees

morn sun on the snow covered peak

wild flowers in spring

Hand in hand

Where daisies bloom

Two longing eyes

Saturday, January 15, 2011

متن مصاحبه با سایت Simply Haiku

متن مصاحبه با سایت
Simply Haiku
در مورد وضعیت هایکو در ایران
روی لینک زیر

An Interview with Massih Talebian
by Saša Važić

SV: Mr. Massih Talebian, both Robert and I, as your mutual facebook friends, were, so to say, surprised when you commented on Robert's tanka:

stepping outside
of myself into a teacup
filled with stars
a lighter me
stirring memories

"Dear Robert, you have written the above Tanka whose two verses (the first three lines=verse no.1 and the last two lines=verse no. 2) are perfectly linked through REFLECTION as Matsuo Basho advised. In the first verse, the 'stirring star' inside the teacup is reflected to the 'stirring memories' in the second verse."
"Dear Sasa Vazic, before Matsuo Basho, the technique of linkage (linking the two verses in Tanka, the 17 onji and the 14 onji verse) in tanka and renga was based on the Syntax between the two verses. It seems that the following tanka is using this technique:

dance with me,
for a moment,
amongst the stars,
breathing the emptiness
of eternity

But this technique will be more active if we do a small change in the order of the lines such as follows:

dance with me,
amongst the stars,
a moment
breathing the emptiness
of eternity

In this version the phrase (a moment) will act also as a pivot phrase between the two verses. It can be the third line of the first verse and at the same time it could be the first line of the next verse. It means that the overlap between the verses will happen and deepen the Tanka insight."

And Robert, who is hard on his own way, replied: "Dear Massih, excellent suggestion which I will adopt."

What's more, your feel for and understanding of the genre led me to explore your personality in more depth and, of course, your own poetry. However, all I could find was your blog with beautiful Persian letters I could not read, and some nice photographs.
So, the mystery continued... and what's more, you later told me: "A few years ago I stopped writing haiku and decided to study in depth Haiku poetics and its techniques, not only to help myself but to help the young haiku writers trying to write haiku in Iran today."
You shared with me some of your haiku and haiku penned by some of the Iranian poets you have translated. Among them is a famous modern poet, Seyed-Ali Salehi, who has recently published a book, The Condoling Ringdove in Autumn Dusk, in the Persian language with 1001 haiku.
However, you explained that "normally, Iranian haiku writers do not know enough regarding haiku internal and external construction, and Mr. Seyed Ali Salehi is also one of them. He is a very well-known poet who three years ago published his first haiku book, Thousand and One Haiku, containing about 1100 haiku. But, unfortunately, none of the poems in this book was arranged in the haiku style which is due to the fact that Salehi was not fully aware of the Haiku techniques.
I and three friends have been trying for the past six months to find at least 150 good poems for this book. After editing them in the Persian language, we have translated them into English. We sometimes had to drop a complete line from the original poem to convert it to Haiku. Here are four examples:

dew covered road,
fallen asleep under old oak
a flock of sheep

migrating birds,
everything’s changed, but the oak
up the hill

no one
but a woman by the grave,
a butterfly

by the road
ruby necklaced girls
grapes season”

These haiku seem good to me, but I don't know how they were written originally. Can you elaborate more about your work on, say, one of these poems?
MT: Let me address the third haiku (no one / but a woman by the grave / a butterfly). The word by word translation of the original version that Salehi wrote is as follows:

Everybody's gone
But a woman in the cemetery
Every Thursday, a butterfly and a grave

As you see, Salehi has talked too much in such a way that the haiku moment is somehow lost. In other words, there are two haiku hidden in this poem!

1. Everybody’s gone / but a woman / in the cemetery

2. Every Thursday / a butterfly / and a grave

I decided to put myself in the same location that Salehi visualized in his haiku, and chose the images that can best show a haiku moment:

no one
but a woman by the grave,
a butterfly

(Note: Iranian Muslims believe that the spirits /souls/ of their beloved dead are floating in the cemetery on Thursday nights, and, therefore, they're accustomed to visiting the graves on Thursday afternoons.)
SV: Why is it that "Iranian haiku writers do not know enough regarding the haiku internal and external construction?" Isn’t literature pertaining to haiku available in your country? Are there any haiku schools, clubs, gatherings where one can share his/her ideas, knowledge, experience, and poems?
MT: 45 years ago, an Iranian poet and painter, called Sohrab Sepehri, visited Japan for a painting course. He became familiar with haiku at that time and translated about ten Japanese haiku into the Persian language. He saw haiku as a short poem and, therefore, he was unable to ascertain the spirit of the haiku form.
On his return to Iran, and influenced by the Japanese haiku, he changed his poetry style and his best poems were written after this trip. Following this trip, he adopted imagery as his specific style in poetry, without emulating the Imagists in the West, but expressing his feelings by concrete images via long poems.
Then 28 years ago, another famous Iranian poet, Ahmad Shamloo, in cooperation with the Zen and Buddhist text translator, E.Pashayi, translated part of Volume-1, Haiku and Volume-1, History of Haiku (R.H. Blyth), which is the first Persian book to officially introduce Japanese haiku to the Iranians, featuring haiku composed by Basho, Buson, Issa, Shiki and the ten disciples of Basho.
While some of the haiku in this book are well translated into the Persian language by Shamloo, the haiku moment in most of these translations has been lost, seemingly because  Shamloo interpreted the haiku literally instead of conveying the haiku moment as it was.
Furthermore, there is no indication of the haiku form and its techniques in this book which, in turn, influenced Iranian haiku poets to emulate these translated poems without knowledge of the form and haiku techniques.
The next point regarding this book is the fact that Blyth understood haiku as a product of Zen Buddhism, thus, misleading most Iranian poets into thinking of haiku as Zen Poetry, which may explain why  haiku writing hasn't grown here as it should.
When the Internet infrastructure was developed in Iran, haiku poets here had access to other weblogs/websites and this poetic genre has been adopted extensively . . .  but still, the haiku form and its techniques aren't well known by young haiku poets. Currently, there are a lot of Persian weblogs that feature haiku, as well as the weblog, photohaiku, featuring what you call haiga:
In recent years, a lot of translations have been published, especially of Japanese haiku, but there is no official school or formal gatherings here except friends getting together who are interested in this genre.
SV: Can you tell us something about the history of haiku in your country?
MT: As I said, haiku was introduced to Iranians approximately 45 years ago, but during the past 10 years has haiku been considered as a serious genre. I think more than a hundred weblogs and personals are now writing haiku in Iran.
Between 224-651 A.D, the Persian Emperor Sasanian and a King called Khosrow-Parviz ruled Iran (formerly called Persia) during 590-628 A.D. At that time, the poet, musician, and singer, Barbad, was employed in the King's palace.
Barbad composed a type of poem in three lines called Khosravani. He used to write a poem for each day of the week, each week of the month, each month of the year and every season. Barbad would play the lute and sang his poetry for the king.
This genre of poetry, Khosravani, has no rhyme although it's metric in structure.
Unfortunately, when Arabs attacked Iran 1400 years ago, Islam replaced the ancient Iranian religion Zoroastrianism. The Arab conquerors burned down all the Persian libraries and all Iranian written literature was destroyed.
Omar, the Islam leader at that time, claimed that all science and acceptable literature were included in the Quran and, therefore, Muslims needed no other science and literature! With this mindset, he ordered the burning of Persian books to warm the water in public baths!
Because of the desecration of Iranian culture, we Iranians have no information how the Khosravani poems looked or were composed, except one poem that has remained in another Old Arabic Text and whose word by word translation is as follows:

Caesar as moon, Khan as sun (moon in the west, sun in the east)
My king (Khosrwo-Parviz) as a pluvial cloud (Rainy Cloud)
Covering both the west and east

(Note: Old Persian Imperial was located between Greece /Caesar/ in the west and Old China /Khan/ in the east.)
At the north and at the south-east of Iran, there is a type of folklore/pastoral short poem which is called Liku. The form of this poem sometimes appears like tanka and sometimes like haiku, depending on the emotional tone. Following are word by word translations of two Liku; one in short form, and one in longer form:
Sitting on a rock
With a palm leaf in hand
Telling my fortune

Approaching village
A flock of sheep
No shepherd along
Know it ah,
With dried breasts

Due to the above fact, short insightful poems are historically familiar to the Iranian poetic mindset, and this is the main reason that haiku has been welcomed by Iranians.
Among Iran's haiku writers is the famous Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami, who published two Persian haiku books, both in Persian and English:

By reviewing the Persian poems published in haiku form, I distinguished that they think of haiku in two ways:
a) Haiku as the suchness of the things in complete realistic view
b) Haiku as a riddle which can generate an outburst in the third line.

This understanding of haiku is due to the translations in which the translators failed to convey the haiku spirit in the original Japanese poems directly into the Persian language.
Furthermore, some of the Iranian poets do not fully differentiate between haiku and senryu and short poem poetry.
Altogether, I can say that the situation now in Iran is similar to the second decade of the 20th century in which Ezra Pound introduced Imagism, which affected the poetry in general in the West.

SV: It's not often that we come across haiku from Iran, either in English-language haiku journals or at competitions. Why is it so?

MT: This is true not only for haiku but it is also true for Iranian poetry in general. Most poets here aren't fluent in English in order to either write their poems directly in English or translate them into English. This shortcoming is mostly due to the fact that poets are not looking for international news on poetry so that they can share their poems.
The other major reason is the political isolation of the Iranian society after the Islamic revolution that caused a limited relationship with the West.
I am relying more on the young poets who are fluent in English, French, and sometimes the German language, and who are Internet literate.
The next reason for this shortcoming is the fact that there should be a bilingual website specifically for haiku, and in this way, the relation between Iranian and English-speaking haiku writers will become more accessible.
Due to this reason, my friends and I are now in the process to establish a bilingual (Persian-English) website to introduce Persian haiku to English-language readers and periodically send translated Persian haiku to websites such as yours.
SV: Now, to your own haiku. Were they so bad, in your opinion, that you decided to shift back to studying the genre in more depth before you started writing them again?
So, why do you think your haiku as are these:

as if staring
the swan
before the full moon

putting on, taking off
putting on, taking off
his new year shoes!

amid morning-glories
one is pink
the full moon

coming through the mist
neighing every now and then
fresh bread scent

are not good, when in Robert and my opinions, they epitomize good haiku?
MT: In my opinion, most of the haiku represent the “suchness” of things and phenomena. Matsuo Basho once told his disciples that haiku is something that is happening NOW and  HERE, at this moment, but somewhere else he talks about “poetic spirit” when he wrote about Saigayo’s songs, Sogi’s renga, Sessho’s paintings and Rikyu’s tea ceremony, claiming that these arts have one thing in common, and that common thing is “poetic spirit”.
I am looking for this “poetic spirit” to be infused in my haiku. Step by step, I understand that the “poetic spirit” is created in a poem by specific techniques, and that's the reason why Matsuo Basho was seeking new techniques during his long trips.
The above haiku are just in the NOW and HERE realities of the represented things and my haiku are still in the realm of concrete. By studying more, I gradually can infuse the poetic spirit through new techniques and also by applying the subjective realm along with the realism realm; the sort of thing that Masaoka Shiki once declared to his disciples as ”subjective realism” .
SV: What sources do you rely on in your study of Japanese short form poetry?
MT: There are a lot of sources that I am reading and relying on, but my priority is to refer to the sources written down by Japanese authors and non-Japanese authors who have studied these Japanese genres in detail.
Some of the books I'm reading currently include those written by Jane Reichhold, Kenneth Yasuda, Makoto Ueda, R.H. Blyth, and also texts addressing haiku theory.
SV: When and how were you introduced to haiku, and what attracted you to it?
MT: When I was six years old, a widow, called Dina, was living in our neighborhood. She'd get mad and lose mental control when autumn arrived, and this situation normally continued till the end of March each year.
While she was beating other children, she had a friendly relationship with me during her madness.
Seven years ago, I decided to write a Dina's story. And I decided, therefore, to attend a story writing workshop to help me write the Dina's story. Finally I distinguished that the Dina's story was better suited to poetic expression. I, therefore, attended a poetry workshop.
My poetry teacher, Seyed Ali Salehi, gave a short lecture on haiku and read some Japanese haiku. Suddenly, I thought the Dina's story could be expressed in haiku and, thereafter, studied this genre as a part of my life.
I don't know what exactly attracted me to haiku but I think I saw the behavior of Dina in haiku. She was, for example, shouting loudly at other people but unexpectedly, and, like a mother, embraced me in her arms.
This reason is the emotional part of my interest in haiku, but step by step, I distinguished that haiku is a small world inside another world like the bubbles flowing up in a hot spring.
Furthermore, I distinguished that haiku is a poem that imitates the mental cognition and perceptive process in human beings.
SV: Apart from haiku, do you compose tanka, haibun, haiga, renga; or are these forms of poetic expressions practiced in Iran?
MT: I sometimes create photo haiku, which is similar to haiga, but my interest is mostly in haiku and tanka. To my knowledge, nobody in Iran is writing tanka, haibun and renga. The favorite genres in Iran are haiku and photo haiku.
SV:  How would you relate haiku to other kinds of poetry?
MT: Poetry in general is a narrative passage that poets express based primarily on emotions while haiku is rooted in concrete, real phenomena as its first step; and its second step is to visualize what image exactly the poet had seen during the insight of the haiku moment. The first, concrete image, and the second, mental image, both constitute the haiku essence and substance.
Poetry in general often uses the second image mentioned above and, by the help of reflection, fragrance, reverberation, and status, expands the mentioned mental image.
SV: How do you understand haiku?
MT: In my opinion, haiku is a type of poetry that imitates and, at the same time, represents the cognition and perceptive process that occurs in the human mind.
SV: What do you think about the stress on Zen interpretation regarding haiku? Does the religion practiced in Iran, Islam, have any, and if so, what impact on your poetic expression and that of your haiku countrymen?
MT: In my opinion, haiku has no relation with Zen Buddhism in such a way that we consider haiku as the Poetry of Zen!
Zen is the means/a device to force a poet to enlightenment but still the goal and the destination in haiku is poetry. I think R.H. Blyth was the first Western person to interpret haiku from a Zen point of view. This is because he first studied Zen in Korea and when he went to Japan, he associated haiku with Zen Buddhist thought.
Due to this fact, Zen Buddhism is a means to force the poet to enlightenment but, as you know, this insight into the suchness of things and phenomena can be accessed by other means too. In brief, I can say that Zen is a way to help the poet gain enlightenment quickly.
As far as religion and Islam is concerned, I can say Islam has nothing to do with the enlightenment necessary for haiku, although the Iranian type of Islam has something to do with the aesthetics of haiku.
Iranian mysticism has its roots in Islam (the Iranian view regarding Islam is peaceful) and has aesthetics similar to the wabi & sabi aesthetics in Japan.
I must confess, however, that Iranian mysticism can interfere with haiku in the future just as it affected Rumi poems long ago in Iran.
SV: Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions and to introduce Simply Haiku readers to your work and the Iranian haiku scene.
We hope to see more haiku poets from Iran on the pages of Simply Haiku in the future, thanks to you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Death farewell

Death farewell in the candle light ,flower and evocative dreams

he doesn,t care

glazed coffin by the candle light,
farewell the dreams

praying the rain goddess

After the Flooding in Pakistan

After the flood in Pakistan children are looking for food in the flooding water

catches a fish

and prays the rain goddess
may be the god of hunger !


an ART work called Floor

May 28, 2010 file photo, a visitor stands on the artwork 'Floor' created by South Korean artist Do Ho-suh at the Hong Kong

 a visitor stands on the artwork 'Floor' created by South Korean artist Do Ho-suh at the Hong Kong International Art Fair

matters whose toes
or matters whose sandals?
no matter I think
let sit on the floor
for a while

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

رانا اسم نخستین نوهء من است که دیشب آمد

این هایگا را برای  نخستین نوه ام نوشتم که دیشب آمد

این هم خودش که چشم باز کرد برای نخستین بار به این دنیا

Saturday, November 27, 2010

هایگا چیست ؟HAIGA

هایگا در ژاپن یک هنر محسوب می شود در این نوع هنر معمولا بر روی یک عکس و یا یک نقاشی یک هایکو نوشته می شود


رنگ پِلک هایش
در روشنایِ آفتابِ صبح
شکوفهء گیلاس

گردشِ پاییزی
بر شاخهء درخت افرا
تک برگی

دوُر تا دوُرِ قاب تابلو
نَقل و قولِ شعر