« October 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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