White frontier

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The dream is a unique subject in haiku. From the first dream, a season word for the “fifth season”, the New Year, to the ordinary dream, a suitable word for the whole year, a dream can be perceived and described in numerous ways, from subtle metaphors to mental allusions as slippery as silk. From Basho to Kaneko Tohta or Michio Nakahara, poets of the 21th century, the dream has had a special plce. It is like a white frontiuer between the interior and exterior worlds, between the inside and the outside.
The objects of a dream can be seen or even touched, but this means its death. The dream cannot adapt itself to the exterior world, nor can exterior assimilate it.Something inward that flows outward dissolves and vanishes when we waken.

From the stomach of
a fish, something was disgorged –
a first New Year dream (1)  

At the other end of the dream spectrum, Kaneko Tohta writes about a dream that remains in the interior world. It is as real af if it had passed the white frontier between the worlds. It rejects the exterior world and can live a moment, a night, or one’s whole life. Between the person who is dreaming and the dream dreamt, there is a relation of host to guest. The emptyness left by the dream is the place xhere the two meet.

Slept well
until the barren firld inside my dream
turned green

I also encountered in haiku a third aspect of dreams : the dream that is dreaming. It seems a paradox. The dream is something that we are dreaming. But can the dream, too, dream ?Is it independant of us ? If the answer is yes, then the dream can dream.

The dream entangled
in convolvulus is still
dreaming without end

But the questions will flow in an endless flux like a dream born from a dream. The first of them : what does a dream dream ?

Clelia Ifrim

white frontier

Photo : Nicole Pottier

(1) Michio Nakahara, Message from Butterfly, published by YOU-Shorin, Nagano, Japan, 2009, translated into English by James Kirkup and Makoto Tamaki.

(2) Kaneko Tohta, în Ko, autumn – winter 2009, translated into English by David Burleigh, p.45

(3) Michio Nakahara, op cit., p.99


Original text in romanian :

Graniţa albă

French translation :

La frontière blanche


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