The art of knowing when to stop

There are loads of recordings of Alan Watts on the internet, so I’m not quite sure where I got this from, except he’s talking about haiku, and how good haiku exhibit ‘the virtue of knowing when to stop’. Having looked at some notes I’d hoped would become a haiku, I realise that I don’t need to keep reworking them, trying to substitute ‘abreuvoir’ for trough for example, or adding the description ‘galvanized’. What I actually need to do is leave the poem alone!

The problem is, even as I write this, there’s still something seductive about the word abreuvoir!

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3 thoughts on “The art of knowing when to stop

  1. Yes, sometimes Ginsberg’s ‘first thought, best thought’ seems right, doesn’t it, whereas some poems of all kinds are just more hard-won than others, and there’s no real rhyme or reason why. I’ve never come across the word ‘abreuvoir’ before, but it’s always good to learn!

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