Week 1 – The Cicada (Nicholas Economos)

I wasn’t able to write a poem about an experience this week.




            I had a surprisingly difficult time finding subject material for my brief poem this week. This is surprising because I don’t find the concept of Japanese poems all that difficult to understand. I recognize the important of brevity in Japanese poetry, as “’wordiness is… taboo to animistic beauty’” (Konoshi in Inouye 26).  In many of the poems we have read and seen in lecture the volumes few words can speak is powerful and apparent. The context and uses of “utsusemi” is a key example of this idea (Inouye 17). Yet in practice I’m having a difficult time evoking the emotion needed to produce poetry characteristic of Japanese tanka poets. Though I was admittedly busy this last week I put in an effort to become sensitive to my surrounding, with nothing to show for it unfortunately. I wouldn’t say I’m frustrated yet though. This week I’m determined to keep my eyes open to my surroundings. Japanese perception of nature is “’concrete and visual,’” and I will continue to attempt to draw inspiration from my environment (Susumu in Inouye 25).

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