Simply Haiku: A Quarterly Journal of Japanese Short Form Poetry
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Summer 2005, vol 3 no 2

Modern Haiga

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[ click on the image to see the larger version with haiku or tanka ]


John Grossman ~

digital haiga

"I have been asked what 'inspired' me to create these haiga. Although I have accumulated a great deal of practical knowledge and have learned a variety of creative techniques while thinking about what I believe art is, and why I do it, I have to admit that the work really comes out of a spontaneous, intuitive response, and I allow that energy to go where it must, let it discover what it can, let it reveal what it is. It’s interesting that art/poetry/music shows us the world by showing us what it is. So, each piece I do is a direct response to some concrete experience, a strain of artistic possibility, that pulls me out of my lethargy and motivates me to actually invest the time needed to create it—and as every artist knows, that can be a wonderful and tedious challenge."    —John Grossman

ron mossJohn Grossman is fifty-five years old and currently working as a project manager for Walsh Construction. He received his BS in philosophy at UCLA and Masters at the University of Illinois - Chicago in Creative Writing, Fiction.

He has been a poet for as long as he can remember and has written his whole life. Like many, he came across Henderson’s introduction and got hooked on haiku. He loved not only the form, but the paradigm that supported that form as transmitted through the work of Basho, Onitsura, Buson, etc. He has explored Chinese and Japanese art and philosophy, especially Confucius, Lao Tzu, Mencius, Chuang Tzu, Kuo Hsiang, and Ch’an Buddhism and the poetry of Wang Wei, Li Bai, Meng Chiao. More than the myth of the immediacy of haiku (this is the philosophical question of what is “immediate,” since even haiku are things of language and therefore semantically mediated in our experience and interpretation of them), it was the ethical aspect of writing haiku that fascinated him. They were more than simply “aesthetic objects,” but tools into understanding experience, a way to access certain experiences, a way to live.

He writes short stories, novels, poems and philosophical things. He also composes music. This year he actually finished a piece, a musical impression of Basho’s oku no hosomichi. And as apparent by his submission, he does art, also. He has had some of his stories published in literary magazines, such as Private Arts (now defunct) and Black Ice.

Copyright 2005: Simply Haiku