Saturday, February 14, 2009

Geert Verbeke - Three Questions

Geert Verbeke photo copyright Jenny Ovaere
Geert Verbeke is our guest this week for a round of Haiku - Three Questions. He writes:

Born in Kortrijk, Flanders (Europe) on 31 May 1948. Father of four and husband of one! Children: Hans (1969), Saskia (1972), Merlijn (1984) & Jonas (1986). His soul mate is Jenny Ovaere, ex-teacher now companion for Joker travelling. Author of poetry, novels, meditations & fairy tales, has written haiku since 1968. Wrote a few books about singing bowls. Survives excellently without membership cards or decorations. Agnostic thinker & liberal Democrat. Recorded 11 CDs with relaxation music on Singing Bowls. His pathway has taken various avenues, he did some 'bread and butter' jobs: factory worker, service station attendant, artist, parks department worker, jazz-photographer, volunteer in terminal care & expert in Creative Problem-Solving (C.O.C.D, Antwerp). Geert does not claim to be a guru nor a teacher.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I have been writing and publishing haiku for over 40 years now. The reason? I like observing and reflecting, as a modest but eager student. Becoming a master is not my aim. I write haiku to study in depth my own mind in confrontation with poetry, zen, world peace and all kinds of extraordinary stuff such as you, the moon, koi, etc.

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Besides haiku, I love in particular tanka, haibun and haiga, but fragmentation is not my purpose. All haiku are poetry!

3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?

A haiku is no sheer drudgery, no top-class sport. What this means is that my haiku are not written for the victory platform of a bicycle race, not with the Tour de France in my mind! Sorry, I have no top three. I can only give you two haiku and a tanka chosen at random:

old pond
master Bashō jumps
the smell of sake

(from my book Frogs, published by Cyberwit, India)

the monks
drink green tea
the abbot sleeps

(from my book Thé Toi, published by Cyberwit, India)

when I pare apples
you calmly slice tomatoes
as soon as I kiss you
you strew flour in my hair
and on the kitchen floor

(from my book Tanka, published by Cyberwit, India)

Geert Verbeke

Leo Baekelandlaan 14
8500 Kortrijk
Flanders -Belgium



If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Geert answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Christopher Herold will be our guest next week.


Magyar said...

As always Geert, interesting_

isabella mori said...

it is interesting to see haiku and similar poetry from another person like me, for whom, i presume, english is not his mother tongue.

a japanese art form written in english by a flemish (?) writer. yes!

i notice geert does not use punctuation. that is always a matter of a - question mark for me. do i use it? don't i? when? why? why not?

i really enjoyed "when i pare apples". a rich image.

what do you mean by "participating", by the way?