Opposites with a Common Goal:
autumn ends unable to explain what Ive lost
For example this pair of haiku is expressive of a loss. Marlene Mountain uses a one-line haiku explaining the feeling of loss as well. By using the season of autumn and saying that it is ending makes me think that the relationship has ended and she does not know how to or does not want to explain what happened. However, now she feels lonely and in that lost.
Masajo Suzukis haiku is in regular form with three lines. Her haiku mostly reminds me of a memory that is missed. It sounds as if the relationship went bad by her use of the words withered, grass, which is very frail, and the burnished description used for the color gold. Masajo is more descriptive and reveals more of what was actually going on in her situation, where as Marlene vaguely describes the feeling of her loss.
nothing he said cheered me pale moon
field of pampas grass
In this pair both Marlene and Masajo focus on the sadness of the heart. Marlene uses the pale moon to describe the deep sadness. Which is a great symbol because of the light color whish represents a dull and quiet feeling as opposed to a bright color, which would be bright and happy.
Again Suzuki uses grass to represent frailty and sadness. She talks of how she goes to the field to get rid of the gut wrenching sadness that is held with inside her heart. Both, Marlenes and Masajos haiku makes me think that there is nothing anyone would be able to say or do to cheer them up. As a result, both writers have looked towards nature to help them. In Marlenes case she looks to be enlightened by the moon and in Masajos haiku in the field.
xs in the old address book cloudy day
a few mums in bloom empty vase
leaves fall you touch me
The aspect that I really like about Marlene Mountains
haiku is that she tells of what she knows. However, it is
not what she says but how she writes in her haiku. The way
she can say something in her haiku without giving the whole
situation away gives the reader a chance to imagine what could
be going on in the situation.
sweet rice dumplings
even to my love
a little white lie
hazy spring night
a woman too with a cigarette
between her teeth
a glass of beer
I serve it to a man
I will never love
The great thing about Masajo Suzukis haiku is that it is not only about her lover but about her love for life and her striving to live it to its full potential. These characteristics come out in her haiku. I think her haiku are very visual and have a depth of love and yet the simplicity that the words seem like they float through the sentence. In essence she followed her own path down her road of life and successfully found what she was reaching for all the way love.
he leans on the gate going staying
I have stolen a man
I like this pair because they do not really directly relate to one another. However, I took a closer look and saw that they both are about a man leaving. In Marlene Mountains haiku it is obvious that a man is exiting her life. Yet, the way she says that he is leaning on the gate makes me think that he might not be leaving but testing her to see whether she wants him to go or stay. So she uses those play on words going and then staying.
In Masajos haiku she talks of how she stole a man.
Probably from another woman, yet it was not of value to her.
This haiku make me feel like there might have been regret
to the situation because of the way she had to roll the blind
up to see him walk right out of her life. A man that was stolen
and not rightfully hers had gone and she just wanted to take
one last look.
Both Marlene Mountain and Masajo Suzuki have proven over
and over again that their haiku has such insight into a womans
life in love and everyday instances that make their haiku
unique. However, they both are very different in their approach.
Marlene likes one-line haiku where as Masajo tends to lean
towards using the three-line technique. Another difference
is that Marlenes haiku are not just about a woman who
is in love and her feelings that surround that relationship
whether it be good or bad, like Masajos haiku are.
Marlene Mountains haiku also reflect her style of living
in everyday life like a normal woman. In July 1981 she did
a self-interview and when asked if she had a style she answered,
"Let's say I've had a style. Or more accurately an attitude.
I perceived the world around me through art and through the
objects I saw as art (I was very attracted to inanimate objects
such as a tin roof, a garden hose, a cement block), and attempted
to express this attitude in the least number of words. Human
relationships and, to a certain extent, natural phenomena
were more in the background."
On the other side, Masajo Suzuki was a woman filled with love in a way that was somewhat of a sensation for her time. Her haiku stemmed from her love of everyday life and her life was unusual because she was not a courtesan or mistress, but a wife and later a divorced woman who was openly having a love affair with a married man. When she was asked about the source of her haiku writing she exclaimed, "The influence of arts and artists on me had not been small, but what has most influenced my haiku? Love! It has been the source of all my artistic activities." In essence they have their similarities yet their differences are what set them apart from other haiku writers and make them Opposites with a Common Goal.
©2001 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors