Adele Evershed

Masters of Sabi



 
 
late fall
the bay nuts
too ripe to enjoy

 Adele Evershed


                               
autumn rain
the mountain trail
suddenly a river…

Adele Evershed


   Adele Evershed was born in South Wales and has lived in Hong Kong and Singapore before settling in Connecticut. Her prose and poetry have been published in over a hundred journals and anthologies such as Wales Haiku Journal, Prune Juice, Modern Haiku, Shot Glass Journal, and Hole in the Head Review. Adele has recently been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net for poetry, and the Staunch Prize for flash fiction. Finishing Line Press will publish her poetry chapbook, Turbulence in Small Places this year and her novella-in-flash, Wannabe, was published by Alien Buddha Press in May.

Commentary

 Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell have posited that a shared unconsciousness may exist, which can help explain commonalities perceived among the dreams of disparate populations, patterns and models (e.g. the mandala) exhibited throughout the artwork of ancient cultures at the furthest distances from one another, who had never come into contact. Unlike some methods of writing and artwork which demands personalization, where specificity and precision augment and support objectives, haikai is peculiar in how leaving things vague and undefined, permitting mystery (yûgen) and ‘dreaming room’ (or ma) can in fact truly enhance and elevate a micropoem.  From tanka to senryu universality become a prized asset, with the benefit that translated into our tongue court waka of the forebears may still resonate with modern readers today, and we can hear a stanza about a drenched wayfarer in olden Kyoto and completely empathize and identify with our own soggy travails. The ‘haiku moment’ Adele so aptly depicts may as plausibly have been experienced by Li Po, the nun Chiyo or Akiko Yosano. It’s fascinating to conclude this showcase in a circular fashion of sorts with bookends, and that two of the most captivating talents at sabi of our broad literary circle, possessing very different sensibilities and attributes, would find themselves on secluded roads making their way to a sea. Déjà vu is a common experience in short form poetry composition, for these moments which strike a chord are visceral, recurrent and seem to transcend individual actor, time, or space. Antiquity’s most prominent masters of yore traveled the same pilgrimage routes generations, centuries staggered, even at times describing literally or in homage identical scenes from different viewpoints, with complementary lenses. Matsuo Bashō himself famously quipped that ‘those who have no traveling experience along the Tokaido [the old inter-city highway] are quite unlikely to become good at poetry’. If days of trekking illuminates the poet, sabi may be detected in the layers of accumulating film. Skillfully utilizing purely natural imagery in these two verses Evershed nonetheless broaches highly recognizable, profound sentiments about maturing, obsolescence, expiration dates – in a horticultural produce sense, and also in the case of fate’s unexpected submersion of our byways. A wu-wei acceptance of destiny, whether weather or the life cycle of agriculture, going with the flow and following the Tao (or Way) these pieces speak to a perceptive understanding of the universe and our unique respective places in it we can all admire and learn from


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