So-called credentials: We can’t all have as many degrees as Elder Sibling
(RiskProf) Martin F. Grace. Or, can we? I just got a piece of spam that offers BAs,
MBAs, PhDs and more “Within two weeks! No study required! 100% Verifiable!”
It also warns that this legal loop-hole may be closed soon, due to all the public attention
it has lately received. Just call “Issac Copeland” at 1-206-984-0021.
Alas, since I had read the Federal Trade Commission’s
Consumer Alert, Diploma Mills: Degrees of Deception,
in early February, I was not fooled. But, I do want to
remind you that you can find the FTC consumer complaint
form here, and that you should put the Government’s spam
email collection address in your Address Book, so that
you can simply forward spam directly to the folks who
are trying to police against it: SPAM@UCE.GOV
So-called justice: Euguene Volokh ignited a firestorm two days ago,
when he wrote that vengeance using cold-blooded brutality was
appropriate punishment for some crimes. I’m with Walter Olson (see
his post and links) on this one: Being human surely includes having the
emotional urge for vengeance against vile crimes, but it also means
having the wisdom and aspiration to overcome that urge in the name
of a better humanity and a better world.
So-Called Haiku: If you want to see excellent proof that merely writing words
in three lines of 5 – 7 – 5 sylllables is not haiku, click on Em & Lo‘s winning “haikus”
in their Sex Ed for Grownups space at ProChoice American.org. The contest
judges might want to check some of our resources to learn more about haiku, before
further sullying the name of the poetic genre. For example, jim kacian’s haiku primer
offers an in-depth analysis on how to write haiku. dagosan’s haiku primer is a lot
shorter, and offers some quick tips in outline form from George Swede and Michael
D. Welch, at the bottom of the page.
Almost by definition, haiku does not lend itself to declaring a political
philosophy. Perhaps a form of senryu might embrace the writer’s
prochoice sentiments, but 17-syllable bumper stickers and sound bites
are not haiku or senryu. I’m sure Prof. Bainbridge would be glad to
note that the last thing pro-choicers actually want to do is speak in
graphic “sense images” about their subject. (restrained thanks to
George M. Wallace for the e-mail pointer.)
Most English-language haiku poets believe that the old
17-syllable rule resulted from a misunderstanding of the
Japanese language, and creates haiku that are very often
padded, unnatural and stilted. The only possible reason to
insist on the 5 – 7 – 5-syllable rule in haiku contests like
that held by Em & Lo is that, without such a structural
artifice, there would be absolutely no way to distinguish
the so-call haiku from aphorisms, doggerel, bumper-stickers
and t-shirt philosophy.
So-called Publicity Stunt: Speaking of Prof. B, I’m not quite as sure
as he about just which congressional action this week is purely a
rightly mocked the coming ban on wild mushrooms at California farmers’
markets and grocers. (2) Lawyer Thomas Daly, former partner in
the “Law Centers for Consumer Protection,” testified yesterday
in the federal fraud trial against his old boss, Andrew Capoccia,
(Bennington Banner article, March 18, 2005). Daly testified that
“The law firm could not win a single lawsuit anywhere at any time.”
They moved to Vermont, when the law and ethics complaints made
New York too hot. .On Tuesday, another former employee testified
that she constantly used client escrow accounts to run the law firm.
I hesitate –
savoring the winter view
St. Patrick’s Day –
[March 18, 2005]
March 18, 2005
Trust me (and verify below*), nobody has better haiku credentials than John Stevenson. But, his real vita is the body of haiku I will begin sharing with you today. Cor van den Heuvel sees sadness, cynicism, darkness in John’s work; like myself, Peggy Lyles sees fragile hope “in the sharing and the linking, in the listening and in words that are just enough” (Forward to Quiet Enough, Red Moon Press, 2004) His haiku will surely resonate in a personal way with you, touching the universal and the personal.
John’s haiku are filled with reality and insight that belie their brevity. My hope is that you’ll enjoy and appreciate them as much as I do — and that dagosan learns quickly by osmosis how to see the material of haiku moments everywhere, and how to describe them in just a few telling words. You can find a representative collection of John’s work at Terebess Asia Online.
Here are three haiku from John Stevenson‘s first full-length collection, Some of the Silence (Red Moon Press,1999):
morning sun enters
his orchard bursting
a deep gorge . . .
some of the silence
sometimes you can’t be
We’ll be sharing many more of John’s haiku in the weeks and years to come.
* John Stevenson is a former president of the Haiku Society of America and currently serves as editor of HSA’s journal Frogpond, one of the oldest and most widely circulated journals of English-language haiku. His poems have won awards in innumerable haiku competitions. He is co-founder of the Rt. 9 Haiku Group, which has created the Upstate Dim Sum journal and website. Born and raised in Ithaca, NY, he now lives in Nassau, NY.