Love Haiku of Nick Avis and Masajo Suzuki
My global comparison will explore the haiku of Nick Avis and Masajo Suzuki. I chose these two haiku authors because of their very similar writing content. I also thought it would be interesting to study a man and a woman from two different cultures. Nick Avis and Masajo Suzuki are both known for their haiku about relationships and emotions. Many of their haiku are very personalized and are about unsuccessful relationships from their past. They also write about nature and use seasonal words. Many of their haiku involve the interaction of people and nature. They both have written many haiku with the use of metaphors, especially metaphors for emotions.
The main difference I see in Nick Avis and Masajo Suzukis haiku is form. Avis uses many variations in form and the translations of Masajos haiku are all in three-line form. Avis does not often use punctuation or capital letters and Masajo uses both, which could also be the result of translation. Both of their haiku can easily cross cultures, however Masajo uses some things that are exclusive to Japan. Here are some examples of their haiku:
I really like this haiku by Nick Avis. I imagine that he is laying in bed alone and thinking about his past love. The image portrays the closeness he felt to her. He was so comfortable with her that left his clothes hanging in her closet. He is desperately trying to get her off his mind, but all he can think of is the security he had in their relationship. The image is very vivid and original.
haiku by Masajo Suzuki is also about longing for a past love.
I get the image that she is lost in thought while warming
an acorn in her hand. I think she is calming herself with
the acorn. I picture her leaning on the trunk of an oak tree
and writing. She is desperately misses her lost love and is
writing about her sadness and her memories of their time together.
two haiku are very similar. Both authors write about coping
with the pain of longing for someone. Avis does it by remembering
the past and Suzuki does it by actively comforting herself.
It shows their different methods of dealing with the hurt.
Women tend show their emotions outwardly. Masajo is physically
using the acorn to deal with her pain. Men tend to keep their
emotions inside. Aviss method of coping is silently
remembering the past.
Both of these haiku are easily understood in both Western and Eastern culture. However, I prefer Nick Aviss haiku, because I feel more people can relate to his situation. I also like the creativity of his imagery.
Nick Avis commonly uses visual images in his haiku. The two words in this haiku are very simple, however the two words form a wonderful image. Nick Avis chose two very appropriate words because the two lines in a v-formation of geese are usually uneven. I also love how he used the "g" from "migrating" to form the point of the v-formation and also the for the "g" in "geese."
In this Masajo Suzuki haiku I see the geese departing as a metaphor for the man she loves leaving her. She is watching the geese in the sky and worrying about the well being of her love. Through reading other Masajo haiku I get the feeling that this haiku might be sarcastic. This haiku is very thoughtful and she often writes negatively about her relationships.
The main similarity in these haiku is the image of geese in flight. Nick Aviss haiku is clearly about geese in a v-formation. When I picture the geese departing in Masajos haiku, I imaging they are also in a v-formation. Aviss image is much clearer because it is visual. Masajos image is a is not as clear, however it leaves more to the readers imagination.
Nick Aviss haiku I imagine a couple fighting while cooking.
The woman is beating the eggs while she is yelling at the
man. The anger in her words is shown through the action of
furiously beating the eggs. The beating of the eggs is a metaphor
for her anger. I think the stiffening of the eggs is also
a metaphor for the man closing himself off to her angry words.
The image of relating the feeling of anger to the action of cooking is clear in both of these haiku. In both cultures cooking is seen as stress relief. Nick Avis shows how anger affects cooking and Masajo shows how anger is released by cooking. They both use cooking as a metaphor for the feeling of anger. They take the emotion of anger and put it in to a visual image. Their haiku are further examples of how Avis and Masajo use many metaphors in their haiku.
This haiku is an example of Nick Aviss ability to create remarkable imagery. I picture a woman sitting alone in her living room on a rainy night watching television. She hears the phone ring and gets up to answer it and it stops ringing. She wonders who it was and goes back to watching television feeling uneasy. The feeling when the telephone stops ringing before you answer it or get a hang-up phone call is very eerie. This haiku expresses an unsettled feeling because of the image of autumn rain.
Masajos haiku she demonstrates the image of uneasiness.
I imagine a woman walking alone on a path and hearing an unfamiliar
voice behind her. She does not want to turn around and starts
walking faster. She thought she was alone on the path until
she heard the voice. The sky is dark and the wind is blowing,
which makes he even more apprehensive.
Both of these haiku use images to make the reader uneasy. The clear images make the reader feel like they are in the moment. They also use many seasonal and weather words to set the scene. Almost every haiku of Masajo and many haiku of Nick Avis use seasonal words. I relate the season of autumn to darkness and the idea of something ending. I also relate rain and wind to night and the idea of fear. Both of these haiku authors place the reader in the moment and make them experience the emotions.
In conclusion, Nick Avis and Masajo Suzuki have very similar styles of haiku writing. They use similar themes, such as relationships, emotions and nature. They frequently use metaphors and seasonal words. Avis experiments more with form, while Masajo is very traditional. Through this comparison I have discovered how alike two haiku authors can be even though they have completely different experiences and are writing in two very different cultures.
©2002 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors