Haiku in Asian poetry: Matsuo Basho versus lira Usonakun kyzy

Features of the creation of haiku in Kyrgyz literature on the example of Lyra Usonakun Kyzy's poems. Methods for determining the essence of the poetic genre in the literature based on a comparative analysis of the haiku of Basho and Lyra Usonakun Kyzy.

Рубрика Литература
Вид статья
Язык английский
Дата добавления 23.01.2019
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Haiku in Asian poetry: Matsuo Basho versus lira Usonakun kyzy

There is an issue of impression in literature. Though poets and writes do not live in the same epoch and country, their works might have the same form, genre, content and aims. So, the Comparative literature aims at analyzing the literary works of different poets and writers who live in various epochs and countries. This paper deals with the analysis of haiku genre in the Japanese poetry while comparing the literary heritage of two poets.

Haiku (then called hokku)- is a Japanese traditional short three-line poem. It is one of the most developed genre in the traditions of East Asian poetry art. Its origin dates back to the 17th century and consists of 17 syllables ( also known as morae though often loosely translated as “syllables”) and haiku does usually not represent rhyme. Matsuo Basho is recognized as the greatest master of haiku and his poems have been translated into Kyrgyz by Akylbek Jumanaliev. He claims that haiku is a miniature picture. Rendering haiku into another language is not an easy task: Often focusing on images from aesthetics, haiku emphasizes traditions, identity, world view, concepts. The translator must be aware of them. The Japanese poetry is famous for the haiku masters as Matsuo Basho, Yuuzke Kuray and Yosa Buson. Their three-lined masterpieces became the heritage of the world literature. This research analyzes the haiku of Matsuo Chыemon Munefusa. which date back to the 17th century. The following haiku belong to his pen:

poetic comparative literature

The first haiku interprets that according to the old Japanese tradition a precious gift was carried in the blower and metaphorically Basho wanted to present wisdom and wit as a gift to the human society of his Edo period. Therefore, via the plot of the haiku, one can imagine the period that the poet lived in.

Fuji Mount (Fujisan) is the name of the highest mountain that is located on Honshu Island in Japan. In the Arts it is called as Fujiyama and the mountain is an attractive volcanic cone and a frequent subject of world art. Kyrgyz writer Chyngyz Aitmatov and Kazakh playwright wrote the play “The Climbing to Mount Fuji”. I claim that reflection of the mountain in literature represents humanism, goodness, wisdom and mercy of the human beings and the image of the mountain has some sacred strength to purify the inner world of the heroes in the play. Therefore, the Fuji mountain has some universal function in the human life despite the periods change.

So, Basho wants to present the gentle breeze blowing from the Mount Fuji to the city people as a gift “to purify the people's heart” metaphorically in his haiku.

The second haiku renders yearning for parents via the song of pheasant. In Japanese culture, a pheasant is the symbol of parents. According to beliefs, pheasants never leave their children. Basho expresses his melancholy feelings towards hid deceased parents via folk conviction. Reading the second haiku impresses the heart of everyone.

I argue that haiku has some specific features. One of the most distinguishable characteristics of haiku is the laconism of the poem. It consists of only three lines, but discusses the universal phenomena.

All goodness, evil, troubles and prosperity will be gone in this world. It is not good to obey the misery of the life; one must be strong enough to overcome all sufferings. Sometimes people become too happy and too high-and-mighty, and all welfare will go. Basho felt the essence of human life. The three-lined poetry could reflect all quality of being alive in this world.

The second specific feature of haiku is the simplicity, i.e. it does not require rhyme. Haiku is created spontaneously and there is no need to be elated and excited to create the poetry. The intuitive nature of the haiku leaves unforgettable impression on the reader.

The Moon makes deep senses in the human soul and the moonlight tenders the heart, produces joy and elation, gives rays of hope. While reading haiku one may enjoy different feelings. Haiku has special role in literature and it fulfills special functions in it.

Let's analyze the following haiku:

Who is the sad person of the Moon? He is poet Basho, who was sad and felt lonely seeing the Moon. He did not that know the poem was the embodiment of the Catharsis. Catharsis is an emotional discharge through which one can achieve a state of moral or spiritual renewal or achieve a state of liberation from anxiety and stress. In literature it is used for the cleansing of emotions of the characters. The term was used as a metaphor in Poetics by Aristotle to explain the impact of tragedy on the audiences. The Kyrgyz readers were introduced with haiku in translation of Sagyn Akhmatbekova, Egemberdi Ermatov, Ramis Ryskulov, Akylbek Jumanaliev. They were the first poets who translated and created haiku genre in the Kyrgyz literature. However, haiku genre in Kyrgyz achieved its top level by the haiku of deceased young poetess Lira Usonakun kyzy. Japanese haiku genre and similar poems to haiku did not exist in the Kyrgyz literature.

When the poets started translating haiku, the Kyrgyz poets attempted to write haiku in Kyrgyz. However, not all of them could create brilliant haiku in content and form. Only the post-soviet Kyrgyz literature saw the magnificent haiku by Lira Usonakun kyzy, her poetry impressed the Kyrgyz readers much. Scope of her haiku covered human nature, life and death philosophy. Deceased young poetess could establish the path to the Kyrgyz haiku genre and she integrated it into the local context. Her haiku deal with the personal feelings and social issues of the modern society.

Lira Usonakyn kyzy claims that good and evil of human life go conjointly:

Эркелетет, беттен сылап,

Жетелейт да буттан чалат.

Турмуш деген чо? сабак.

The life is a big lesson

It loves and caresses you,

It leads you and breaks suddenly. [ 1,23]

The poetess emphasizes the role of mother in continuing the human line and admires the unity of mother and child in the following poem:

Табияттын кереметин карачы!

Бир денеде, бир убакта, бипбирдей

Эки ж?р?к согуп жатат тынымсыз. [ 2,25] .

How the nature is fabulous

The two hearts beat

With the same rhythm, in one body, at the same time

This haiku seems brilliant. Because in the short line the poet could include harmony of child and mother, that might be quite difficult for other poets. Woman with a baby in a womb is the sacred picture of the nature, that is the idea the poet wants to value. Nature is the eternal topic in the haiku of Lira Usonakun kyzy. She likes spring and always reflects it in the poetry, but some philosophical ideas still make us question about the sense of life.

Жакшы к?р?м жамгырды,

Жан денем жашаргансып,

Жан-д?йн?м тазаргансыйт. [ 2,25]

I like Rain

It rejuvenates my body

It purifies my soul.

Rain is the metaphor for purifying all living nature and inner soul of human being. The poet was very sensitive and romantic to all outer phenomena.

This poem was the last haiku of the author, who deceased at the age of 30 in May. It is called `I would love to live'.

Кубалап кыштын ызгаарын,

Кучактап жаздын жыргалын,

Жашагым келет, жашагым! [ 2,29]

I would like to live

Following the winter frost

Enjoying the spring beauty.

Spring is a miraculous time. The whole world comes alive after the winter. The world comes filled with aroma and the scent of splendid greenery:

“Тур, жатпай, жазды тоскун!”-деп,

Кубулжуп гимнин ойногон,

Келиптир куштар - оркестри. [ 2,29]

Stop sleeping and celebrate spring

Orchestra of birds sing

The hymn of flowering.

Spring gives hope for rejuvenation of everything in this world. Spring is a time to renew the excitement and zest for life that lives inside:

Жабылуу ар бир эшикке,

Тараткым келди жаз жытын,

Жапжа?ы, жакшы ыр менен. [ 2,29]

I would like to distribute

The aroma of spring to every closed door

With my new poems.

In conclusion, I would like to claim that haiku originated from the Japanese literature has acquired some specific features in the form and content in the Kyrgyz poetry genre. It was introduced via translations and haiku was created during soviet era when poets N. Baitemirov and A. Tokombaev lived. The post-soviet Kyrgyz literature saw the splendid progress of haiku with the poems of Lira Usonaly kyzy. The contemporary young poets also continue to explore the haiku genre in the modern Kyrgyz poetry art.


poetic comparative literature

1.Matsuo Basho . Yrlar. - Bishkek.-1996.-P.3-30

2.Lira Usonakun kyzy. Jashagim kelet, jashagim- Bishkek: Biyiktik.-2009.-P.20-29.

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