A Hundred Gourds 3:1 December 2013
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Le Groupe Haïku de Montréal

| Introduction | page 2 | page 3


While other forms of Japanese poetry are written and explored the GHM is primarily a haiku group. A long list of haiku books have come from members of the group but are too numerous to include in this overview. The haikuists of the GHM have made their mark in the French haiku world and will continue to make their presence felt.

downtown sous la pluie
flic flac sur le macadam
de toi je m’ennuie

downtown rain
plip plop on the pavement
I miss you

Diane Descôteaux             

tempête de neige
chaque auto
a son igloo

cars parked
under igloos

Huguette Ducharme             

le bac renverse
dans l’escalier en spirale
ma vie étalée

recycling bin overturned
on the spiral staircase
my life exposed

Anne-Marie Labelle             

son ancienne paroisse
l’église convertie
en condos

his old church
now converted
to condos

Carole Daoust             

more snow today
lying on the window sill
the last orchid

encore de la neige
sur le rebord de fenêtre
la dernière orchidée

Maxianne Berger             

vent aride
seul le cactus
a la tête haute

desert wind
only the cactus
has its head up

Genevieve Filion             
translation by Mike Montreuil             

Tanka writing is even more recent in French Canada, with Janick Belleau and Andre Duhaime leading the way. Three French tanka anthologies have been published in the last ten years. The first anthology l’Anthologie du tanka francophone was published by Les Éditions du tanka francophone and included French speaking poets from Canada and Europe. The two other anthologies were edited by Maxianne Berger and I, L’estuaire entre nos doutes published in 2012 and nuages d’octobre in 2013. Maxianne and I will be launching Cirrus: tankas de nos jours, the first French on-line tanka journal in Canada, if not the world, in January 2014.

dans les vagues
l’image mouvante
du grand peuplier
nos amours compliquées
au gré des vents contraires

on the waves
the shifting image
of the tall poplar
our complicated loves
at the mercy of headwinds

Micheline Beaudry             

sous un tunnel de pins
un vélo tandem
mais sans toi pour partager
les sanctuaires-jardins

under a tunnel of pines
a tandem bike
but without you to share
the garden-shrines

Janick Belleau             

Haibun is one of the latest Japanese forms to be written in the French Canadian haiku scene. Luce Pelletier was an early adopter and innovator of the form in French. Luce and I are the two regular members who have had haibun published in a French Canadian poetry journal. It should be noted that the French have a different approach to haibun. They have taken to the long haibun, trying to imitate Basho. Their on-line journal L’étroit chemin has a 400 word minimum requirement with multiple haiku.

Y marcher jusqu'à l’orée/ Walking to the edge
by Luce Pelletier

Silencieuses vagues immobiles. Oiseaux endormis sous le mélèze. Soleil blanc gelé à l’horizon accroché aux heures. Soupir embuant les yeux. Le ciel bleu pâle distant impénétrable. Que les yeux le cœur emmitouflé. Neige d’hier ouatant mes pas. Y marcher jusqu'à l’orée. Voile de silence émanant des ramures gelées. Brise glacée. Souvenirs menant mes pas.

le vent apaisé
les nuages dispersés—
le ciel sur la neige

La maison douce et chaude. Éternité impénétrable de la chaleur des êtres aimés.

Walking to the edge/ Y marcher jusqu'à l’orée/
translated by Mike Montreuil and Luce Pelletier

Quiet still waves. Birds asleep in a larch. White sun frozen to the horizon hung to the hours. A sigh mists eyes. Pale blue sky distant impenetrable. Merely eyes heart muffled. Yesterday’s snow quilting my steps. Walking to the edge. Veil of silence emanating from frozen treetops. Iced up breeze. Memories leading my steps.

wind quieted
clouds dispersed
the sky on the snow

The house pleasant and warm. Impenetrable eternity of the warmth of loved beings.

Exterior Apartment Stairs on Gertrude Street, Montreal. One of the architectural features of the housing in older sections is to have outside entrance way to the second and third floor apartment. This despite the cold winters in Canada.

(Photo courtesy Carole Daoust)


All haiku are taken from the book, Montreal: a haiku anthology/Une anthologie de haiku, edited by Pamela Cooper and Monika Thoma-Petit, 2010, King’s Road Press, Montreal.

The tanka by Micheline Beaudry is from her book, comme une étoile filante/like a shooting star, translations by Mike Montreuil, 2012, Bondi Studios, Carleton Place.

The tanka by Janick Belleau is from her book, D’Âmes et d’ailes/, of souls and wings,, 2010, Les Editions du tanka francophone, Montreal. D’Âmes et d’ailes/of souls and wings was the winner of the Canada-Japan prize for 2010.

The haibun by Luce Pelletier is from her book, marcher jusqu’à l’orée,, 2012, Marcel Broquet Éditeur, St-Sauveur.

All poems used by permission. Translations are by the authors unless otherwise stated.