Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 (Part 2)

2010/03/06

First of all, we post the latter part of Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002.

As we mentioned in the former part, Alan Summers is founder / tutor of With Words which promotes the love of words through a number of inclusive literacy and literature events; courses; activities; workshops; writing walks; and renga projects.

The With Words website: www.withwords.org.uk

 Alan Summers also has his Blog: http://area17.blogspot.com

According to his self-introduction, he is Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku  & renga.  He is Joint Co-ordinator for the 1000 Verse Renga.  He is also  Co-organiser for The Summer Japanese Arts & Film Festival 2010 in Bath U.K.

 

The following is the latter part of Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 in Yuwa, Akita Japan.

The WHF2002 Conference was fantastic, and enjoyed the Mayor’s offical welcome to the World Haiku Conference where I launched ‘Parade of Life: Poems inspired by Japanese Prints’  jointly edited by Paul Conneally and myself.

 

‘Parade of Life: Poems inspired by Japanese Prints’  ISBN: 09539234-2-8  Poetry Can/’Japan2001’*/Bristol Museum & Art Gallery  (2002)

*Japan2001one year-long festival, from April 2001 to April 2002, celebrating the interaction between Japanese and British culture.

There were more memorable treats in store before I left for the Akita’s Bullet Train station to take me back to Osaka.

Shin-Akita

a present of haiku cards to play

on the long train journey

 

First treat was that Visnja McMaster had left a copy of her book, 100 Hrvatskih Haiku, ‘Anthologija za igru Haiku karte’ (100 Croatian Haiku, an anthology for the Haiku Cards game) at the hotel reception for me, along with kind words and autograph inscribed. 

Secondly, sharing a taxi with Janine Beichman (author, translator, historian) to the Bullet Train station to catch a train for Tokyo. Before Janine and I left, we did stop off at the Rogetsu Museum where we greatly enjoyed the displays of original scrolls. I was able to again thank one of the translators who works at the Museum for her fine assistance during the filming of Visnja’s ‘Haiku Cards’ event with local Akita schoolchildren at WHF2002.

As my jetlag was never given a chance to leave, I am further and enjoyably indebted to Janine for her assistance both before boarding the Akita Shinkansen, and after, helping me work out the onboard telephone system!

Tokyo Bullet train –

only three corners

to my bento box

Janine and I parted at Tokyo where I caught another train for Osaka. Then, home to England. Armed with many memories I reclined into my seat.

Bento boxes are the most practical of travel food. Each of the stations had fine selections. The balance of rice and small portions of food, rather than slabs of bread offered in the West, made me a very contented traveller.

Shinkansen

another bento box

gets on with me

 

Also pleasant was the regular up and down travel of beverage sellers who lullabied me with the softest urgings for coffee. These soft cries, these light trillings, reminded me of the scene in Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver!’with the song “Who Will Buy”.

I feel so fortunate to have travelled aboard the famed Bullet trains; not once, but several times, using them for both short and long distances. They are worth the ticket money, I assure you. For someone of my height, over six foot, they are a luxury. The interior of each cabin is long, wide and clean, and the movement of the train from side to side is almost unnoticed. The sheer luxury of writing without the pen skidding off the page is sheer bliss.

The Bullet Train, and the stations, Shinkansen, were an experience unto themselves, and it was fitting that Akita would provide me with such an incredible train experience all the way to Osaka.

Thank you Akita for being such a lovely place to visit and for making me feel so welcome.

Alan Summers

Secondly, we tell you about how we got to know Alan Summers.

On January 26, 2010, he sent us the following comment on our website:

I have many fond memories of Akita, when I visited as part of a haiku conference back in 2002.

I also enjoyed taking shinkansen all the way back to Kobe; much nicer than a plane flight!

I have included a few haiku.

Thank you for this clear and enjoyable website.

Alan

the rain

almost a friend

this funeral

 

an attic window sill

a wasp curls

into its own dust

 

fourteen summers

the glue remains

of a paper heart

 

 

heavy downpour

a hover-fly goes deeper

into gerbera

 

 traffic jam

a driver fingers the breeze

through the sunroof

 

After receiving his comment, we sent an e-mail to Alan Summers, saying that we are going to hold International Haiku Spring Festival 2010: Akita, Japan.

The Haiku festival is held in May in celebration of the first anniversary of the opening of our website ‘Akita International Haiku Network’ , remembering World Haiku Festival 2002 in Yuwa, Akita Japan.
Here, let me post the front cover page of our yearly pamphlet to show part of our poetic activities.

  

Alan Summers answered our e-mail back to us as follows:

By sheer coincidence there will be a mini-Japanese festival held in Bath, England during May (12th – 24th May 2010) organised by With Words (Alan Summers and the With Words team) in partnership with Bath Libraries and Tokyo art critic Rachel Carvosso of Tokyo Art Beat.
The festival will include renga and haiku workshops, and renga parties, as part of the 1000 Verse Renga Project supported by the BBC, Bath Chronicle newspaper editor Sam Holliday; Bath and North East Somerset Council: and Roger McGough, British poet; and Ken Loach, international film-maker.
=======
QUOTES:
=======
 From the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Poetry Season: “The free project, led by Japanese poetry expert Alan Summers, is the first attempt in Europe to produce a 1,000 verse Renga.”

Alan Summers also took part in the BBC’s Poetry Summer 2009 season.
Councillor Terry Gazzard, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for tourism, leisure and culture said: “B&NES’ libraries are a place where words can come alive and everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Schemes like this poetry project bring the whole community together and reinforce Bath’s reputation as a global centre for the arts.”
Would there be any chance of a kind of twinning of the two events, or  ” in  partnership” ?  No funding is being asked, just an official phrase.
It would be fantastic if the amazing Akita conference back in 2002, and now in May 2010, could be recognised over here again.

all my very best,

Alan

Blog (incl. 1000 Verse Renga Project information and photographs)
http://area17.blogspot.com

With Words:
http://www.withwords.org.uk

This is such a  fantastic suggestion that we’re planning to hold International Haiku Spring Festival 2010: Akita, Japan in partnership with the mini-Japanese festival held in Bath, England

We sincerely hope that our readers as well as our haiku friends will take part in these two festivals in May.

Last of all, I, Hidenori Hiruta, translated Alan Summers’ travelogue into Japanese.

Would you please read my Japanese translation too?

世界俳句フェスティバル2002年の大会はすばらしく、町長から公的な歓迎を受けた。私はポール・コニアリと共同で編集した『人生のパレード:日本の出版物から啓発された詩』という本を大会で紹介し販売しました。

『人生のパレード:日本の出版物から啓発された詩』 

ISBN(国際標準著作番号): 09539234-2-8

日本2001*/ブリストル博物館と美術館(2002)

*    日本2001:2001年4月から2002年4月までの1年間にわたる

          フェスティバルで、日本と英国の文化の相互交流をお祝いした。

新幹線で大阪に帰るため秋田駅に向かいましたが、さらに記憶すべき思い出

として残ることになった楽しみがありました。

新幹線秋田

長旅楽しむ

俳句カードのプレゼント

まず第一に楽しくなったことは、ヴィスニヤ・マクマスターがクロアチアの

俳句の百句を俳句カードゲームのためにまとめた句集を私のためにホテルの

フロントに預け贈呈してくれたことであった。句集には、親切な言葉と彼女

の署名が書かれていました。

次に楽しかったことは、東京行きの新幹線に乗るために秋田駅に行くタクシ

ーにジャニー・ベイチマン(作家・翻訳者・歴史家)と同乗したことです。

ジャニーと私が出発する前に、私たちは露月記念館に立ち寄ったのでした。

記念館で私たちが露月の巻物の原物を楽しめたことは本当に素晴らしいこと

でした。

私は、記念館で働いている通訳者の一人に再びお礼を述べました。彼女は世

界俳句フェスティバル2002で地方の秋田の児童とヴィスニヤの「俳句カ

ード」のイベントの映画製作の間に大変よくお手伝いしてくれた方でした。

私の時差ボケは依然として立ち去る気配はありませんでしたが、ジャニーが

私を助けてくれたことに対しては、彼女に大変恩義を感じていますし、秋田

新幹線に乗車する前と、乗車してからは列車内で私に電話の操作を手伝って

くれたり、本当にありがたいことでした。同時に、とても楽しい思い出にな

ることでした。

東京行新幹線

角三つだけ

駅弁に

ジャニーと私は東京で別れ、私は大阪行きの電車に乗りました。そして故郷

の英国に向け帰ったのでした。たくさんの思い出を抱え、私は座席に身体を

もたれかけました。

駅弁は旅行中一番実用的なものです。各駅で素晴らしい駅弁が選り取り見取

りです。米のご飯とおかずのバランスは、西洋で出される厚切りのパンとは

違い、私をとっても満ち足りた旅人にしてくれたのです。

新幹線

別の弁当

喜ばす

乗車中飲食物の販売のための売り子が定期的に行ったり来たりすることも、

また楽しいことであった。彼女たちは子供をあやすようにこの上ない優しい

言動で私にコーヒーを奨めてくれました。このような優しい声、このような

明るく震えるような声は、私に「誰が買うつもりですか」という歌と共にラ

イオネル・バートの「オリバー!」の中の場面を思い起こさせました。

私は名高い新幹線を一度ならず数回も、短距離長距離両方で使用しながら旅

をしたことをとっても幸運であったと感じています。新幹線はチケットの値

段にふさわしい価値があると確信して言えます。私のような身長、6フィー

トの身長でも、新幹線は十分ぜいたくなくらい快適です。各車両の内側は長

く、幅広く、しかもきれいです。そして、電車の横揺れはほとんど気が付か

ないくらいです。ペンがページ上から急に滑り落ちたりしないで物を書ける

この上ない贅沢は無上の幸福です。

新幹線の列車、各駅、そして新幹線はそれ自体一つの体験であった。秋田が

私に大阪までの全旅程で信じがたい電車体験を与えてくれることになったと

言うのがふさわしい言い方である。

このような美しい所を訪問させてくれたこと、そして私にすばらしい歓迎を

感じさせてくれたことに対して、秋田の皆さんに心からお礼申し上げます。

アラン・サマーズ

コメントの中の俳句の和訳例

降る雨や

この弔ひの

友のごと

 

屋根裏に

スズメバチの巣

丸くあり

 

夏過ぎて

糊のごとくに

心あり

 

土砂降りに

ハナアブ潜む

カーベルに

 

渋滞に

そよ風受ける

八つ当たり

 

アラン・サマーズ

The next posting, Haiga by Masuda Aika (Part 4),  appears on March 13.

Hidenori Hiruta

 

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2 Responses to “Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 (Part 2)”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    The paper heart haiku? Thank-you, Mr. Summers. Your haiku, above, is beautiful and the paper heart brought back my own personal memories. I think that is wonderful when a writer can transcend time and miles.

  2. Alan Summers Says:

    Thank you for your comment, it means a lot to me that you connected with that haiku.

    all my very best,

    Alan
    http://area17.blogspot.com
    http://www.withwords.org.uk

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