Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Poetry Museum: Kerouac



Kerouac in 1968, explained the importance of Haiku to the Paris Review :

Haiku? You want to hear haiku? You see you got to compress into three short lines a great big story. First you start with a haiku situation—so you see a leaf, as I told her the other night, falling on the back of a sparrow during a great big October wind storm. A big leaf falls on the back of a little sparrow. How you going to compress that into three lines? Now in Japanese you got to compress it into seventeen syllables. We don't have to do that in American—or English—because we don't have the same syllabic bullshit that your Japanese language has. So you say: “Little sparrow”—you don't have to say little—everybody knows a sparrow is little because they fall so you say”

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