08:16 am
24 September 2023

Mr. Paz theory on Haikus

Octavio Paz states that an essential element of Japanese culture is its sensitivity. And he clarifies that this way of sense is not narrowed down to feelings or sensations, but it represents an intermediate state between it and thought. And that peculiar *sensitivity*, that *sense*, would be expressed by the word used by the Japanese when referring to it: kokoro, difficult to translate, according to the writer. And following poet Juan José Tablada, he considers that in this term, two senses are united, the affective and the intellectual senses, but keeping their individuality, as that *sense*, that *sensitivity*, is a perpetual fluctuation between though and feeling.

However, Japanese Art is not only reduced to a feeling, a sensitivity, as Paz clarifies. There are two more keys: its indetermination, and its “purposeful incompleteness”. As for the first, he quotes Donald Keene, who points out the first feature as fundamental, and sets as example a haiku of MatsuoBasho. And he shows how the reader finally is choosing and deciding for one of the multiple senses offered by the poem, without his choice being merely arbitrary. It is an invitation to participate, in which the poet urges the reader. An invitation for him to be the one that closes a possible sense; for him to recreate its meaning once and again, without indicating himself a unique possibility.

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