Order of perception in Poetry


In my readings I just noticed something profound and important in composing poetry, especially Haiku.

What I am speaking of is “sensory perception” order. I noticed that in some of my weaker works I had not paid attention to the order of perception. I think I did this to create a sense of surprise but in doing so I set up an unnatural feeling.

For example when I first met my wife saw her from afar and noticed her confident walk. As she approached I then saw, in detail, her attire. It was not until we were in close proximity that I picked up the scent of her perfume.

So if I wrote a haiku and started with the perfume then moved backwards in describing the moment the poem would feel stilted and odd.

As I continue to write I will make sure to follow this observation and now that I am aware of this rule I can now break it.

Hope this helps in your writings.

About fiercebuddhist

Welcome. I am happy that our paths have crossed. Here you will find various poems, articles and photography. I hope that you enjoy them and visit often. I am currently working on writing “A Haiku A Day” so that I can, perhaps, have enough good ones for publication. If you are wondering what a “Fierce Buddhist” the following declaration should clarify. The “Fierce” in FierceBuddhist I define as “an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just those close to me or those I agree with. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them.” In the Army and in the dojo I learned how to defend myself, family and country but that does not mean I endorse the use of force. Two nonviolent examples of Fierce Buddhists that come to mind are Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. While I do not claim be even close to them I can strive and so can you. Furthermore, my Buddhist name, given to me by Sensei Kubose, is Seiyo. His interpretation of my communication and interaction with him led him to this name. He told me Seiyo means “Fierce Sun.” The sun shines on everyone without prejudices without giving preferential treatment to anyone. This is tough to live up to, as you can imagine, but it sure sets the tone for my life. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.

10 responses »

    • Ben,

      Some where I read a story where a person wrote a letter to ee cummins and said the like him they too avoided the rules of grammar. It is said that he wrote back “before you can break the rules you must first learn them”

      I heard/read this early in life and came to understand that once you have learned the rules you can then work within the boundaries, and perhaps slightly outside, to make them work for you.

      Let me illustrate. After I was injured my commander wanted me to leave the military on a medical discharge as I could no longer function in my duties. I knew that if I served my full time and got out with honorable discharge but showing I had a disability it would be to my advantage. So, I went and tested for a easier job, passed the test, went around base to find where I could transfer, talked to the commander there and asked him to request me to be assigned to his unit. This was done in less than a month and happened so fast my old commander had no idea what happened but since the orders came for a higher officer he could not refuse.

      I hope this little example illustrates how to use the rules to your advantage. But, first one must know them. 🙂

      And this is one of the ways I survived the Army. 🙂

      • Hey, that was really just a rhetorical question, 😀 But thanks for the interesting anecdote. I did similar things all my life, so I think I can relate.

  1. I’ve learned something new already! I was not aware of this rule…which I have no doubt broken unawares and will probably do so again even in the knowing! I really need to study the haiku form more…

  2. Pingback: Haiku Tip #2 Editing « FierceBuddhist

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