“Western poets, even when they sing it, do nothing but use it.” The poet, Joan Margarit, refers to nature. Also when they write haiku
I have read those brief poetic compositions, of Japanese origin, signed by Western poets of very varied tendencies, if there are tendencies in poetry, beyond disquisitions, which entertain critics, professors and doctoral students. Poets subscribed to the 17 metric syllables -5+7+5-, which is the only one in the haiku Western, although since its origins it has had venerable oriental poets, who gave the metric some freedom in the syllables, but not the number of verses, three. In any case, always with all the attention paid to reason, its raison d’être, nature, not as a means, but as an end by and in itself.
Nature, taken as a whole, in its elements, each one of them, also a whole: substances in the double sense, both fruit trees, which stimulate the senses and move the sensitivity, and essences, which germinate in the heart. One must be, if not immersed, then at least strongly affected by oriental spirituality to write haikuthat not only seem like it, but that they really are.
And this is not the case of those written and published by Western poets, in which the word revolves around what critics call “poetic subject”, that is, a self, who observes nature, and sings it, like someone who he sings a love song, and tells how he is doing or how he has been doing, without making love an inseparable part of his being. In it haiku there is no differentiation between the subject, the self, and the object, nature, but the fusion of both in a common spirit.
Sometimes it happens that one day a book of haiku, that they are, even though they are written by a Western poet, who sings of nature, not from observation, but from contemplation, in which, in turn, it is contemplated. This is the case of “A single instant”, a collection of haiku, Written and compiled in a book by Lola Mons, whose compositions of 17 syllables move away from the soul-body dualism, the foundation of Western spirituality, to settle in the matter-spirit non-dualism, which the poets delved into in the West mystics, and so it was bad for them, in life, with the guardians of Christian orthodoxy.
Lola Mons’ gaze is not that of the eyes of the face, with which she merely describes what she sees. Neither is that of the mind’s eye, through which to establish ephemeral relationships between the elements that it sees. These gazes are transits that lead to the gaze of the eyes of the heart, where the spirits of nature and the poet meet in contemplation, making the landscape a spiritual work of art. It is the look that illuminates and is illuminated by the flashes of branches, the wind, the forest, the sea, the plum tree, the lark, the narcissus, the clouds, the brambles… precious stones, which the poet sets in those small poetic jewels, which are each one of the 136 haiku, which make up “A single moment”. Each one of her words expresses an emotion that she tells herself, and ignites a tenuous emotional flame in the poet’s chest. And in that of every reader well willing to let himself feel her warmth.
It is worth asking what has led Lola Mons to sing a song to nature, without using it, correcting Joan Margarit’s statement, with which she began these lines. On her long list of thanks are the names of those she regards as “my Japanese family.” Anyway, in the haiku, so small, nests the greatness of two hearts, that beat in unison. Heartbeat, whose echo Lola Mons shares with the heart of the reader, in “A single instant”