Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Important Update to A DREAMKU PRIMER: Writing Haiku-Like Poems About Your Night Dreams -- Part I, II, & III, by Patricia Kelly

[photo by Roswila (a/k/a Patricia Kelly]

It’s been almost five full years since I wrote my three part Dreamku Primer. There have been some changes in that time, gradually but surely, in how I use haiku-like dreamku, tanka, and monoku as templates for writing about my night dreams. Enough changes that I feel a need to address them. (If you have not read the primer, here's a link to the first part, which has a link at the end to the second, and the second has a link to the third at the end.)

1) Most of the time now I write about the entire dream, not just one important aspect of it. This is probably the single biggest change. I do this using various combinations of dreamku, tanka, and/or monoku as stanzas to one complete dream poem. This has encouraged no longer worrying about making each dreamku, tanka, or monoku in a series capable of standing alone (something for which I used to aim). My dream poems have also been getting longer in recent months. This extra length tends to require a little more punctuation for clarity's sake and often affords room for simile/metaphor (something I rarely used in earlier years) without over-loading the poem.

2) This next is fairly recent: more and more I allow my conscious reaction to the dream to come in at the very end of a dreamku series. Prior to this I felt conscious response at the end of the dream poem did a disservice to the dream itself. Now I'm finding it not only often provides a more interesting ending which helps the dreamku-as-poem, but that it actually respects the dream-as-source. I do not understand dreaming as something separate from consciousness, but rather as a different point along a spectrum, and that spectrum is continuous with waking awareness. Just as an evening of dreams can often be seen to progress or answer each other or even sometimes argue along the way, so too can waking consciousness offer answers to or arguments with or comments on the night's dreams. I’ve always understood metaphor/simile as a way of connecting dissimilar things, even revealing a similarity or clarifying juxtaposition that is already there. So too, hopefully, does the connection of a dreamku series to waking consciousness point to a similarity or sometimes to a revealing contrast.

3) I have started occasionally using the two-line version of haiku. It’s like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” Occasionally the five line tanka and three line dreamku are too big, the one line monoku too small, and the two-liner “just right.”

4) And in the vein of which length form to use at any given point, someone asked me a while back how I choose which form to use. It’s an intuitive process. I follow what might be called a “breath.” How long a particular image or action will take before a new “breath” (stanza) is needed. However, I don’t decide this ahead of time; it comes as I’m drafting. Literally, I write or type that first line, then, well, metaphorically speaking, I follow my nose.

If you have any comments or questions, or dreamku you've written to share, I'd love to hear from you.

Delicious dreaming!

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PLEASE NOTE that I never have nor do I now lay claim to having been the first to suggest writing about our dreams in the haiku form. In fact, the haijin (Haiku Masters of centuries ago) sometimes wrote haiku on dreams. But even more importantly, what I have been developing for several years now on this blog is not even truly haiku or tanka or monoku. The ways in which I have been using and experimenting with these forms makes the results more akin to kissing cousins of these small Eastern poetry forms. Therefore, I mostly use the term "dreamku" to distinguish what I do from those traditional forms. Click here for a more in-depth INTRODUCTION than follows below, including links to my THREE PART PRIMER on the basic (most haiku-like) dreamku form.

Also, the photo accompanying a daily dream poem or non-dream based poem is not necessarily meant to illustrate it, but to reflect some small, even slant aspect of the verse -- similar to Japanese haiga (illustrated haiku). I've also recently realized that although the dreamku (i.e. dream based poems) posted here tend not to have metaphor or simile, the accompanying photos almost always act as such.

To write a metaphor or simile into a dream scenario is something I rarely do. It can be confusing: did it really look like a hand, say, in the dream, or am I just being poetic to make my conscious point? As these dreamku act as a dream journal, my over-riding tendency is to try to stay close to the actual dream scenario itself. Admittedly making for a tendency to less "poetic" dreamku. Then why pay attention to any haiku, tanka, or monoku parameters at all when writing about my dreams? Because I find in even attempting to adhere to them I'm making choices that relieve my dream recall of a great deal of chatter so that I can get down to some important dream aspects. Here's a link to THE AREN'TS OF DREAMKU & ACCOMPANYING PHOTOS in which I go into some of the basic parameters for dreamku and the photos chosen to go with them (and with any non-dream based poems I post here, as well).

The archives in the sidebar hold years of the daily dreamku, tanka, monoku and photo posts I've made, grouped in one post by month. As I no longer post dreamku (or non-dream based poems) strictly daily, each post will appear below and then in the archives by the day on which it was posted.

There are many other sorts of posts here, not all dream-based. I indicate which are about or influenced by dreams. Some non-dream focused posts are book reviews, "regular" poems (some by other writers than myself), scifaiku, writing exercises, Tarot haiku, photos, haiga, and so on. However, most of those are in much older posts. There's a listing by month going back to early 2006 in the sidebar.

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‘til next time, keep dreaming,

[aka: Patricia Kelly]

**** If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”) **** My other blogs: ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL; ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT; and OPENING TO THE LIGHT ****


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