continuing from AG’s 1980 Naropa class – see here
AG It’s [Trungpa Rinopoche’s tri-partite philosophy of the haiku] real interesting. It got me onto noticing what was wrong with a lot of my haiku(s), and so I found that most of my haiku(s) just had, you know, a flash, and then some location or picture. or comment, or flash and recognition, but no zappy comment, that zapped the whole thing out, that made it, So, in other words, haiku, three short parts. Does that make sense?
Student: Yeah, It’s interesting to think of a poem physically beforehand, to compare it to something, like a flower-arrangement, where you’ve got something that you can really see physically…
Student: …and they’re often either diamond-shaped like a corsage, donut-shaped like a wreath or spray, or an arrangement that’s set in a basket and is generally triangular-shaped..all the time.. but if you think of ordinary sculpture set-(up) as form, like, you set-up…
AG: Well, of course you set up, sure, you arrange… because, of course, however, in doing that, you try to copy nature. It isn’t that you calculate, it’s that you remember the order that the thoughts came to you, see? In writing a poem, it’d be like…
Student: But it seems real consciously that you’re trying to set a poem up?
AG: Well, yeah, except that what it is, is not so much that you will try and set the poem up (as it) is that you kind of recollect how it came to you,, how the thought came to your mind. And so you might divide the recollection of it – what was the first thing I saw? ,.or thought? , what was the second thing I saw or thought? And then, what did I make out of that? – It’s like – “This morning I had a dream and it was about 1938 and the dentist that.. (the next-door-dentist at the screen-door at the back, and I remember the horror of that I remember him always complaining that I’d stolen tiles from his garage!.) And then, the third phase was “Jeez, after all these years, he’s still at it?”, that I’m at it still?, that I still… So, I mean, the whole sequence divided itself up into that general.. you know, a lot of detailed recollection of what he looked like, and “oh, my god, that’s what he’s complaining about”, and then, “Jesus, after all these (years)..?.” So, like, a five-minutes thought fell into that order. Does that sound familiar for those thought-forms?. If you inspect your thoughts, I think, you see, they go in. that kind of sequence. I mean thought does have some “deep form”, as (Jack) Kerouac says (“deep”, what Kerouac means by “deep form”, that the mind is shapely, that the mind has a shape, that things have a logical order within them, or not maybe a … they have.. .it may not be a rationalistic order, but it’s a logical order.
AG; Well, primitive, yeah, but that sounds, you know, like gorillas beating on drums or something!
Student: A natural order
AG: A natural order . Yeah . The natural order. The natural order of thought seems to be. The actual thoughts, when you look at them, (this is my conclusion from sitting many years, ten years now, sitting, not least.. well, maybe an hour a day, with all my thoughts), the natural order of thought does seem to be – the mind is empty, then something happens (an old pond, the mind is empty, an old pond) . And then something happens (frog jumps, thought rises – [Allen claps his hands].- and then you recognize it – as kerplunk!) – “Old pond/frog jumps/kerplunk!” – That’s why that’s supposed to be greatest haiku because it’s sort of description of a thought – ” “Old pond/frog jumps/kerplunk!” – That’s the famous Basho You know that haiku?
Student: I …
AG: You’ve heard of it.
Student; Yeah, I’ve heard of it in..
AG: There’s many.. That was my reduced version, like my condensed version , “Old pond/frog jumps/kerplunk!”, but it’s an old, actually an antique, unattended pond sort of run-down pond, behind somebody’s house, picnic-house? – “decaying pond” – “frog jumps” “the sound of water splashing”. “(the sound of a frog splashing into water)”.
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately thirty-nine minutes in and concluding at approximately forty-three-and-a-half minutes in]