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The Haiku of Networking with Jim Kacian

Eric Byrd January 20, 2020 2598 2


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Today we explore the connection between networking and Haiku with award winning poet Jim Kacian.

Episode 011: Words are important when you network. Networking is first and foremost about communicating with others. How we choose words and which words we ultimately decide to use is a process with many facets. There are many ways to tell a story or share information. As a way of expanding our perspective on the process of using words I talked to award winning Haiku poet Jim Kacian about how studying Haiku might help us all share experiences and choose words more effectively when we network. Jim is the owner of Red Moon publishing, the worlds largest publisher of Haiku outside Japan, as well as the founder of the Haiku Foundation, which seeks to expand and improve the art form of Haiku.
Join me and Jim as we explore Haiku… what it is, how it’s different from other genres and what we might learn from this ancient Japanese art form as we communicate with each other.

Visit The Haiku Foundation website: www.thehaikufoundation.org

Watch the session with Lee Gurga that Jim mentions in the interview about different work habits: Jim Kacian and Lee Gurga

Check out the Red Moon Press website (and get some Haiku of your own): www.redmoonpress.com

Click the play button below to hear Jim read 15 of his poems:

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What do you think?

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ADDITIONAL NOTES AND TOOLS:




Episode Text:

Jim Kacian

How did my words shake the experience of that? It is compelling to you, but it is the experience itself that underlies all this. Without that, I mean, it’s why we’re helping you make the most

Eric Byrd (host)

Choosing the right words to share an idea or experience is critical when you’re networking. And as it turns out, it’s also important to poets who are writing haiku. Today. Jim Cation and I explored the Connect theme theme The Fall of 2019. I was talking to a friend about the show and sharing that I wanted to bring a new perspective to the conversation about networking. I wanted to interview some people who worked with words for a living and asked what she thought She suggested I interview a poet, And what a wonderful idea, I thought. But do I know any professional poets? Well, as it turned out, my network provided one within about 48 hours, and I was introduced to Jim Cation. Jim is the owner of Red Moon Press, a company that has focused on publishing English language haiku since 1993 and is the largest publisher of haiku worldwide outside Japan. Jim founded the Haiku Foundation in 2009 which is a nonprofit organization which focuses on archiving English language Hi Cooze, First Century, as well as giving back to the art form now and into the future. Jim is an internationally renowned poet and author. His written 16 books of poetry, 14 of them dedicated to haiku or haiku related genres. He’s won numerous awards, including the Haiku Society of America, Merit Book Awards as well as awards in Italy, Canada, Britain, including several in Japan. I was intrigued by the idea of exploring haiku, in part because it’s a genre that tries to say much with very few words, something I also find true about networking. Here’s my chat with Jim. Could you maybe take a couple minutes toe? Give your explanation, maybe a brief introduction of like what is haiku and what makes it different than maybe other forms?

Jim Kacian

If you could only have one attribute to say to people around the world what it’s like, Ooh, what would they say? Almost all of them would say, Oh, it’s you know 575 It’s a three line home. Faisal was the first line seven souls in the second line. Faisal wasn’t there. Okay, that’s you know, in a way that’s not a terrible thing. It’s at least identifiable in his own way. The fact that it is far from essential and far from current practice in any culture only complicates the matter. Those attributes are extremely minor, not only to us in English but to the originators and Japanese to other cultures around the world. And there are a variety of reasons for that. One of the B, the really huge differences in language Haiku in Japanese is written in a single vertical line, not three lines. Japanese classical haiku typically are sure and long or long and short the way they often break down. But not that every time. More rigorously would be five on and 12 on or 12 on and five on. So there’s some sort of there’s some sort of work that goes on here when you stop trying to take that sort of Leia and approach and try to adapt it to a language like English, which is stress on which is meter in a different fashion it’s a it’s just a different kind of young. In either case, what we’re talking about is finding a very small number of words that express something that we find significant to us, and I want to go back on that little bit. The haiku is not actually a set of words. The haiku is an experience. So right now I’m in this Roman, I’m talking with you. I look out my window and something strikes me like the readiness of the hawthorn Berries right there. It’s fabulous. It’s the way the light is just striking. It just just right right now so that maybe the thing I want to express, but that’s what it is. It’s the hawthorn Berries and the light, not my words about it. What the written part of High, who is is trying to find some small number of words that will allow me to encapsulate that kind of imagery and presented to you the reader of the auditor and allow you defined in your own bank of experiences, something that might correlate to that. It may not be the exact same experience Probably won’t be. I’m having this one out. How can you possibly have it, but you might have had some similar experience or it might relate to you in some way. We’re light made some other difference to you. So there’s the high. Who is the experience? The literary genre that we used to try to express that is another removed, and that’s a like all homes. It sze a collection of words. And this, I suppose, is the departure point for us because you’re interested in how the words how we fashion our words in such a way that they might be persuasive, that they might lead us from point A to Point B. Hi. Who in a way, I don’t want to take you from point A to point B. They kind of want to say your point. A. You get to point B, you’ll find your way.

Eric Byrd (host)

That’s interesting. And I’ve been thinking about this is it relates to, you know, the folks who listen to this podcast and you’re right and in so many contacts in so many ways, what they’re trying to accomplish is this idea of persuasion, the narrative to lead somewhere, so to speak, that specific or it has an outcome, and I’m actually the more I think about it, the more it I’m attracted to the concept of just sharing the experience and then recognizing that the other person has their version of that experience, that’s not mine. All right, so I like that, I think. And I like the understanding, is hopeful that haiku is actually the word for the experience.

Jim Kacian

I think that’s fair, I think. And I don’t want to diminish the accomplishment of the people who write haiku because there’s talent like anything else and people who are more talented at using words. Well, what will compel the reader or the auditor in a way that a person with less town or less killer let’s practice? Or so it’s not just a matter off. Oh, here’s an experience we all concerned. It’s really counting my words shape the experience of that. It is compelling to you. But it is the experience itself that underlies all of this. And without that, I mean, it’s why would we bother?

Eric Byrd (host)

And I think that actually may be where the Italian is right is so much of human communication is sort of that outcome based especially in business, and I like the I like the idea of having the, if nothing else, a thought experiment to just say, Well, what if we didn’t do that? What if we just shared this imagery? This experience that we’ve had might be a business experience and then just the sharing of that? As you said, maybe somebody else has had a similar experience or has seen that hawthorn bush or a hawthorn bush in a lighting? And this reminds that it calls that back for them. So when you are working on a poem, how do you where do you get inspiration for ideas? And I mean, it could literally be anything, right?



Jim Kacian

Well, I’m sure everybody has different processes. In fact, at Hiker North America in August of this past year, I did a presentation with Colleague the girder and what we did. Uh, we’re both well known in the haiku feel, Uh, and we’re oil and water were really, really different. So what? We decided we would do it. We don’t have a brief amount thought, but what we decided to reduce, we would share our processes, and it was very interesting. Lee is a very structured person. Yeah, he speaks, uh, the tale about his writing process and about how his daily practice takes him to be in a certain place, a certain ambience. Face too, practices craft every day, and I admire that. I recognize that keeping the tools sharp this is very important. But why is it important? It’s important not for the stuff that you put out every day, because the stuff that you put out every day is the stuff you put out every day. But you need the tools to be sharp for when inspiration comes along, so that it’s not just the mundanity of what you’re doing. The truth is, haiku is written about the ordinary, the everyday, the quotidian, the mundane, the most ordinary stuff in the world. And yet really good haiku are not. Monday there they catch you. They make it there alive to you. Why is that? Well, that’s because somebody at some point work through them indemnity of it and at the moment of inspiration, had their tools shopping out to be able to call the experience into a suggestive and compelling persuasion. It is it is already hard and active persuasion, so keeping the tool shop is really work. My process is the opposite of leaves. I do not see haiku that most of what I write is not worth anybody’s time, so rather lay that on anybody. I tried to stay as sharp as I can with my tools, but I allow haiku to come to me, and I come sometimes do, and I appreciate that they don’t have to amuse business when she feels like that’s That’s fair. That’s the way it is. But you know, for example, just looking out at the hawthorn Berries, and that’s something about that meant something to me. It is significant if my tools were sharp, and if I if the muse permits it, I will work with that. Well, that’s kind of the disparity. You, Lee is over here, slaving away at trying to make the views bend to his will as I see it, and I’m over here say, I’ve got tools, let me know, you know, step in any time you like, speak up as you wish and so different things. So we have some fun with that and some other other parts about that, I’ll give you the link to that. You could include it.

Eric Byrd (host)

Yeah we’ll definitely I’ll include that with the show notes for this, so people can take a look at that. It’s I think that’s an interesting tie in with the the anything that you want to do well requires tools and requires practice to become proficient, and you never reach that level of perfection. But you can always work towards it. So in the world that I’m working in with networking, you know, that is never, never get complacent in speaking with people and being intentional about how you do that. So so again, I think there’s a lot of commonality in the experience of approaching it. And I like the idea of approaching communication as an art form more than, ah kind of a mechanical machine that you’d kind of runs on its own.

Jim Kacian

I think parallel to that is the fact that we it’s very easy in our culture, probably in all cultures, probably just basically humans. We see people who are masters of their craft, whatever that craft might be, and we see them at their moment of peak efficiency. We see Rafael Nadal and hit the shot down the line from from a ridiculous angle and you know, how can he well we don’t see is the two hours of practice he put in before the match and the two hours of practice he’s put in for the last 20 years. Every day plus eating right, getting rehab, coming back your way. We see the glory moments, and in a sense, you know, a book of haiku is like a book of Lori moments. What we don’t see are all the really bad poems or all the refashioning of grabbed Ross that turns into something good because you stayed with it and you told it enough Don’t became a polished stone and that’s fair. I mean, I’m not saying we shouldn’t Oh, uh, glory and the slave ish work because it is its latest work to a real point. It is that work that allows us to have Warren bullets. Sometimes it’s it’s really easy. Just wanna be there because I’m here. I’m great. Give me all my ass place. We sometimes don’t see the work that goes behind. One of the most painful things you will ever see is a YouTube video of a guy who undoubtedly has seen some people doing Parker and decides I want to do it This is the first time he’s ever done. He runs out of wall. The idea is to run step into a black, let he runs and wins on his head, and it’s a term painful to watch at the same time. There we are, all right, that’s what it is without practice, folks.

Eric Byrd (host)

So maybe the lesson there is doesn’t matter what it is. You’re probably not going to jump into it the first time into a back flip.

Jim Kacian

Probably not the first time you back off the wall wear lots of padding.

Eric Byrd (host)

There should be a haiku in there, right?

Jim Kacian

Senryū. Haiku is a more serious well, genre. Senryū is much more, It’s the same sort of genre format primarily contains human foibles. It’s a funnier thing, often course. So Senryū is sort of a humanized version. Oh, the more etherealized haiku.

Eric Byrd (host)

So you had mentioned earlier than in haiku, sort of. That the third line or the third line concept is sort of a surprise. Can you talk a little bit about the kind of how the form is structured? Because I I think that really interesting.

Jim Kacian

Well, the third line is kind of a Western creation, right? Ooh, I’m not saying that there were twists and surprises in Japanese. Aigoo, I’m saying that because of it being a single vertical line, the way the word sped to each other create a certain kind of reader experience, which is different than in the West. We come to an end and then jumped out of the next line. There’s a a pause it most. We talked earlier about what the most important part the haiku might be. And for most people in the world, they’re going to say syllable count, because that’s what they are. In fact, the most important thing about what haiku is is what is called the cure. Reggie Reggie is from the Japanese ver curie to cut. The most important part of a whole haiku is the way that this section of the home in this section of home are divided. The cut is silence. It could be a piece of punctuation. It doesn’t have to be in Japanese. It’s actually there’s actually a thing called particle or several particles, which are used as line enters there, sort of written out punctuation. For example, the particle ya might be like an exclamation point for us. So there’s there’s partners or in English we can happen, Elif sees or dash or an exclamation point or nothing at all. But the thing that that’s credible is that that there are two parts to this home and they are divided. Yeah, what makes the whole work is when they don’t touch, but that there is a spark between them. The spark between them comes about by gauging weird. Put the cut and how to make it how to make the pieces talk to each other across that, that silence cross that, then, yeah, no good haiku was written without some sense of that. In the three line format, the cut very often cuts that comes after the second line or on the go into that little bit more. But you know, if that would make it now gets to a Japanese phone that was long short, so you would have the 1st 2 lines that would say something. The third line would surprise you or deep in it, or give you the the other image even more common than that is in English again, or in Western languages. You would have the cut after the first line, then you would have the second line, which would seem to deep in the first line on the third line, which would be a surprise on it. It’s still true images, but it’s the surprise that twists that makes the home get your attention makes you say I never thought of it that way. I didn’t see it that way. Now I see it that way is the cut that makes all that possible? One of the technical changes or alterations that come into haiku and in the Western languages in the last 25 years is single line hiker called Monica. One of the big advantages of Monaco is that the cut, which is not usually marked by punctuation or gap the cut can come in multiple places, which allows the poem to sort of refract upon itself every time it stops. You can read the Poland in every way that stops here. There’s a different way, stops here. It’s a different way. Then it’s like facets to a gym every time you turn it. It’s the same gel, but it’s got a little different glimpse of a different take. There’s a little more depth this weighs one more color that way. So that’s a very interesting way of managing the number of words that are people. The set, the set of poems that you sent me, you that you like of mine, several of those harmonic. Ooh, we’ll work exactly that way. You could see stops as you go along with you if you’re in a time of reader. If that’s what you’re you’re looking for, that’s not available in the same way in a three line. So that’s sort of like a technical with dance and the height and Japanese don’t really work that way. They have a more clear cut Kira, and that’s usually from a particle s. So we know exactly where the cure is intended to be by the poet Assess. Western languages are expanding upon the way I work by the virtue of the way their languages work English being a good example of that. And we have to make the genre expand and being more interesting, I think in so less

Eric Byrd (host)

thank you. You shared a kn audio file with 15 poems of you reading some of your haiku that we will make sure to share. I’ll share that on the website. Do you have any favorites? Would you do? Are you up to reading a couple for us here?

Jim Kacian

Well, I think I’d like to just kind of choose one or two and just kind of illustrate when I just talk about perfect one of the first ones on the the file that is I hope I’m right where the river ice ends. And that’s I mean, that’s I think, just by itself just read is a sentence like that. It’s confusing. I hope I’m right. Where the river and what is that? Me? Uh, well, I don’t know what these it means A lot of things. If you look at it from the point of a mama coo with multiple multiple stops, there many ways that you can. Per Parsons spoke, for example. I hope so. Just a export. A tive guy. I hope I’m right with the rumor. I sense so there’s one thing. The hope is now being contrasted with the setting of River Ice River. I suggests, you know, powerful source force. The moon may be breaking up clogging river. Maybe open the over at some point. That clogging is kind of a powerful image. So I’m I hope I’m right with Rice ends. Second reading would be and and on the file I sent you, I only read it once. If I was actually giving readings, I would give multiple versions of these reads just as I’m doing here. Oh, that’s fascinated me. I hope I’m right where the river ice ends. So that’s a completely different feeling. I’m not just hoping I’m moving. I’m right about what? What could be any number of things. But the image that’s positive against that is again real right, sir. This is stove ng up in some powerful sources, forces that are in play and get arrested. So there’s some Stasis. There were often there, you know, there’s all kinds of stuff that’s going on by having the multiple stops gives you a different turn of the of the gem, and you feel differently about each of those readings. The best mom could do that. The best three line haiku don’t try to do that sort of thing. They try to have more cuts over to read one first line snow falling second line, all the directions third line of the air, so snow falling, go very often in the haiku you’ll find the first line is used to set context. So snow follow, you know, we all right where we are So Snow Hole, second line. So that would be the short part. So the long time with envy, all the directions on the air. Well, when you go through snow falling all the directions you’ve got, you know, where could it go from there, but of the air put you back into the first image, and you now recognize it’s not just snow falling, but there’s also Browning in motion and win, and whatever else is in the atmosphere that might be so. It takes you into kind of a moment where I didn’t know that all those directions were in that area until Snow told. So that’s kind of what the haiku moment about that is. Yeah, the haiku was so in. The was the experience. The words that I tried to use to try and catch that included this sort of misdirection after the second line to surprise you with of the air. That’s it. That’s not a typical way that I could try. That’s ah,

Eric Byrd (host)

I like that one, especially because it. And actually with the with the monoku as well. The the perspective that I is the experience, er hearing that air reading that maybe I’m the one who’s moving through the snow. Maybe the air is still, but my experience of the snow is still that it’s moving at all right, So I like I like it. It’s like a three D description of an experience or sharing oven experience and with the river ice. My kind of impression, am I thought was my perspective on it might be very different whether I’m standing on the shore or standing on the ice, and the way that it’s written could present itself. Either way, depending on how I am choosing, you know, whatever is happening with me and how I’m experiencing it in the moment, that’s

What do you think?

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Jim Kacian

it’s a very important in those to you. You didn’t just allow the words to go by you. You actually put yourself into the position off. What can this be like? We’re what is the experience here? And so what? You made it personal those wonderful readings, and I’m honored that my words made you want to do that enough to actually put yourself in that, and that’s all. Any poet or any artist of any kind can ask for that. You offer them out there and you hope they’re good enough and interesting enough that when someone bothers to take the time to do that, that they get rewarded. And this that’s it. Thank you.

Eric Byrd (host)

They’re welcoming that well crafted haiku that gave me an entry point that was perfect, the last one that I think I put on the list, which I thought might actually have some meaning for my particular audience, new to the group sitting in back with the artificial plants. So my my suspicion is that lots of people who listen to this podcast role of we’ll be able to identify with that experience, given that this podcast is specifically designed for people who belonged to networking croup. So I thought that was a particularly appropriate one to sort of wrap up on anything else that you’d like to share about haiku. Your experience with haiku.

Jim Kacian

When I saw that listed and I saw that last, I laughed. I knew why you had it there. Okay.

Eric Byrd (host)

I know that experience and I could probably read that five different ways to know that you kind of bring up that as well. That’s fantastic. Now that may show up in a reading here in Leesburg. At some point when I’m hanging around with friends.

Jim Kacian

That would be fun. Yeah, critical to that is the word artificial because, I mean, you know, it’s one thing to hang around with the potted plants, but if you’re hanging around with the artificial plants.

Eric Byrd (host)

Oh, it’s that kind of meeting. That’s a fabulous, wonderful,

Jim Kacian

I guess we as we discussed last week, we talked a little bit about, uh, narrative persuasion and how that relates and my my version two story and why I felt that was important. Oh, I think that one of the things that comes across from haiku is not that it is not trying to be persuasive. It is trying to be very persuasive, but it is not trying to be not trying to own your experience. It’s trying to offer my experience and see if you can connect to it. Yeah, you showed how that works. You took some of my words and you went to the space in your mind. And by making that the case, you were then able to imagine this ark or imagined that art and so it became your experience. I think that’s really kind of the crux of this,

Eric Byrd (host)

Thank you very much,

Jim Kacian

My pleasure. Any time.

Eric Byrd (host)

I had a great time talking with Jim and a couple of things that I took away from the episode that I wanted to share with you first and foremost, that you need to keep your skills sharp so that you’re ready, whether that’s for an opportunity to speak to someone in a networking event or whether that’s to be ready. When the muse decides she wants to inspire you. Either way, because you can’t be complacent and to do it well, you have to choose to do it intentionally and then Choosing a way to share an idea impression or experience in the fewest words is a noble task, whether that’s in networking or in haiku. And finally, there are many ways to approach productive work. A structured, regimented go after it approach is equally is valuable as being ready when the opportunity presents itself. Just figure out which one works best for you and then go for it. I’ll share the Haiku Foundation website link in the show notes as well as access to the link to the audio file of Jim Reading. 15 of his poems and on her way out, I’ll play you a few of those. I want you to share your comments at adventurers and networking dot Net. Let everybody else in the community know how you think haiku might be applied to your work. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. Until then, remember, life is an adventure, so keep exploring.

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This post currently has 2 comments.
  1. Shelley Baker-Gard on January 27, 2020

    It is a shame that whatever program you used to convert the audio to text was so poor – much of the text was nonsensical.

    • Eric Byrd on January 27, 2020

      Hi Shelley,
      Thank you for the input! I agree, the service I’m using for the transcripts isn’t doing a great job with the interviews. It seems better with just my solo episodes. I’m working to figure that out!
      When I find some time to either edit this manually, or find another, more accurate transcription service I will repost the text.
      In the meantime do you think I should take it down? Is it distracting? (anyone else have an opinion?)
      I really appreciate the feedback. Thank you so much!

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