« September 2019 »

Haiku from Québec: Gaze, Music and Silence

Update as of February 8, 2019

At the Festival Sakura Meguro International Haiku Circle in Tokyo (from 1st to 6th of April 2019), Janick delivers a presentation, on April 5th at 15 h 00.

A scoop: Janick's Foreword. Please, read below.

Haiku from Québec: Gaze, Music, and Silence
© Janick Belleau, 2018 – Greater Montreal Area, Canada

Translation from French to English, except for the poems: Jo-Anne Elder
Translation from French to Japanese: Keiko Tajima-Rossignol


My talk today is a tribute not only to the Gaze but also to Music and ultimately to Silence. My inspiration for these three themes comes from three Québec women poets – Anne-Marie Labelle for the gaze, Diane Descôteaux for music, and Luce Pelletier for silence. These three writers work mostly in haiku, although they also make forays into other Japanese forms.

Because haikus are a poetic form that lends itself particularly well to this exercise, I want to share my own interpretation of several of the haikus I’ve selected here. My reading of these poems may be out in left field; I take full ownership of my insights or mistakes. The writers retain full ownership of their work and their intentions.

Before I start, I should say that I used only one reference to develop my talk: Christine Dupouy’s La Question du lieu en poésie (Place in Poetry) focusing on her chapter entitled “Entre regard et chant” (Between the Gaze and the Song).

Let’s jump in to make the best use possible of the short time we have.

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Books that I have authored ou co-authored or those for which I have assumed the direction of the collective or been part of a collective of less than 10 authors.

The cost is very reasonnable and excludes postage.

Free reading but the reproduction...

All texts* on this Web site, signed by Janick Belleau, are available to Internauts... as long as, in all reproduction, written or verbal, the name of the author and the source are quoted.

* The word "texts" comprises feature articles, reviews, interviews, presentations, poems, prose, etc.

Note written on November 8, 2016 but applicable for all texts.

English media and comments

2015. Sasa - Tokyo Haiku Journal - May 2015

Dear Janick-san,
I am sending you two pages (88-89) of the May 2015 issue of Sasa, the monthly journal of the haiku kessha (organization) I belong to.

Mrs. Keiko Ito, founder and owner, is deeply grateful to you for your kindness.

I explained briefly how you got this haiku following the explanation you gave me. I added we exchanged some e-mails before we reached the final versions in French and English.

Please feel free to tell me if you need any further explanation of the article as it is written in Japanese (p. 89)

I would thank you again for your collaboration in this matter.

Kind regards, Kenichi Ikemoto
SASA Tokyo Haiku Magazine May 2015 Kenichi Belleau

2014. Sasa - Tokyo Haiku Journal, March 2014

Following my presentation to the Meguro International Haiku Festival in October 2013 in Tokyo, a member of the group, also a freelancer for Sasa Haiku Journal, Mr. Kenichi Ikemoto, wanted to know more about a haiku I had written while at the Festival.

Here is the PDF of this written encounter - published in March 2014 in the Sasa Haiku Journal.
Sasa Haiku Journal Tokyo Kenichi Belleau March 2014

2012. in Spanish «The Arrival of Haiku in Canada»

Published in the Spanish revue, Hojas en la acera (HELA), Gaceta trimestrial de haiku (year 4 vol. 14) the feature article by Leticia Sicilia Saavedra, La llegada del haiku a Canadá - segunda parte (June 2012 ; pp. 10-20).

I thank the poet and translator for having consulted my own article Canadian Haiku Women Pioneers - from sea to sea (1928-1985) ; by doing this, Simone Routier, Claire Pratt, Betty Drevniok and Joan Giroux are better known.

To read Ms Sicilia’s article, click Artículo de Leticia Sicilia, La llegada del haiku a Canadá ; then, go directly to pp. 10-20.

2010. D'âmes et d'ailes/of souls and wings

Note: Pour lire les recensions en français, prière de cliquer sur la section Dossier de presse.

Comments of the jury members for the Canada-Japan Literary Award 2010: «Following in the tradition of the poetesses of ancient Japan, the tanka by Janick Belleau wander through gardens and seasons, love and rebellion, echoing the age-old sadness conjured by death and its partner, oblivion. She is a talented author, making delicate use of language to offer readers a work of quality.»

Words of the Ambassador of Japan in Canada, his Excellency Kaoru Ishikawa: « By savouring Madam Belleau’s verses, we are plunged into deep emotions which erase the notion of national borders. I believe that this is the magical power of literature. » To read the whole news release, please clic on Embassy's news release

石川大使 : « 続けて、石川大使はフランス語で、ベロー女史の短歌を味わうことで、国境の概念を越え、我々は深い感情へと身を投じるとし、これは文学の持つ不思議な力である、と発言しました。» 日本語)

By the Japan Association for Language Teaching, in their journal The Language Teacher - Issue 35.3; May 2011. Author of review from Outreach: David McMurray (name not mentioned). Title of article: Returning to Japan to talk about tanka. The Language Teacher, May 2011, PDF

Jane Reichhold, USA; LYNX – A Journal for Linking Poets February 2011

Interview by Guy Simser for Simply Haiku, 'Features' section USA Web Magazine; Winter 2011. To read, please click Interview with JB by Guy Simser

Bilingual interview by Claudia Coutu Radmore for Magnapoets Canadian Magazine; January 2011. To read, please click Interview with JB by Claudia Coutu Radmore

Profile of Tanka Poet, a Canada-Japan Winner by A. Franz. To read the interview, PDF, November 2010

David McMurray, in Asahi Shimbun, Japan, Fall 2010

Joanne Morcom, Alberta; for Gusts 12 Tanka Canada, Fall 2010, PDF

Angela Leuck, Haiku Canada Review, October 2010. please, click to read

Patricia Prime, New-Zealand, August 2010: click here to read

Comments from English speaking poets, May 2010

Aurora Antonovic, Ontario, May 2010; Ascent Aspirations Magazine

2008. Regards de femmes – haikus francophones

Comment of a guest author, Ava Kar (Anna Vakar).

2006. L’Erotique poème court / haiku

Comments by Quebec poets, one being Rod Willmot, editor of the 1983 collection, Erotic Haiku.

Juliet Wilson, UK; New Hope International Review, December 2007

2003. Humeur… Sensibility… Alma… haiku / tanka

Interview given to Jarmila Dokladalova from To Be Magazine, Ontario, 2004

Media and comments by Canadian poets