I’m enjoying rereading Michael Dylan Welch’s essay, ‘Harold Henderson’s Grammar Haiku’ in last November’s edition of Blithe Spirit, especially the idea copied above. Basically, Henderson draws our attention to the gaps in the language (Japanese that is) and Michael Dylan Welsh pushes this further, suggesting that this is precisely why haiku have what can be described as an ‘unfinished’ quality. I like this because it gives a sound basis to what might seem, to use his phrase, ‘elliptical’. Food for thought!
Yep. Also, there’s a mild horror of strong declarative sentences in Japan – in casual conversation, it’s rude to spell everything out or even to state one’s opinion about something in a non-elliptical fashion.
That’s so interesting. I can see how a knowledge of the Japanese language could really enhance the reading of haiku. I don’t have time ( nor the talent) to do that, at least not at the moment, but it’s an area I’d love to know more about all the same.
As always, thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.