March meeting report

Our March meeting was held on the 2nd, and we read and discussed the beginning of Alice Munro’s short story “To Reach Japan”.  We read up to the part where Greta thinks it is safer to be a woman than a man when it comes to writing poetry, a matter which we discussed at length.

Our next meeting will be April 20th. We will continue reading “To Reach Japan”. See you then.

https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1445542959l/18665115.jpg

3 thoughts on “March meeting report”

  1. Occasianally I’ve thought about our disccusion on Greta’s idea in this story,”To Reach Japan”;”it is safer to be a woman than a man when it comes to writing poetry.
    I remember that you asked the members the question,”Do you think men’s poetry are superior to women’s?”, I nodded almost automatically. Later I asked myself “Is it true? Why I didn’t deny?”
    On historiacl backdrop of Greta (the 1960s) the percentage of women who made their own bread were much smoller especially regarding to writing , as we disccused at that time: On quality of poetry women’s are sometimes superior to men’s of course. So, my answer is “No, some poetry by women are superior to men’s” (It took time a lot!)
    Writing that pays a living wage requires reasonable effort which elevates the writers to new heights.
    To be fed was still quite safer and easier in Greta’s era, and the 1960s would be a turning point about women’s social advancement, though many women are struggling against some hindrance factors even nowaday.

    1. By chance, I just came across the following in the Wikipedia page for R.H. Blyth, an Englishman who was a famous popularizer of Zen, haiku and Senryu in the West before and after the war. He says this about women poets: “ In the chapter ‘Women Haiku Writers’ Blyth writes: “Haiku for women, like Zen for women, – this subject makes us once more think about what haiku are, and a woman is…Women are said to be intuitive, and as they cannot think, we may hope this is so, but intuition…is not enough… [it] is doubtfull… whether women can write haiku”[35]

      1. Thank you for your recomment.
        Yours reminds me of a theory,「第二芸術論」(A Second-Class Art); the genre of Japanese short verses represented by Haiku ranks as a second -class art compared to that of Western poetries, by Takeo Kuwabara(桑原武夫).
        He called for the theory after the World War Ⅱ, and it exerted big influence on Japanese writers.
        Then, some tried to have broader view of things, some violated the rule of rhythmic structure. Their trials were effective to express their poetic reality more widely, and obtained some proof that the genre of Japanese short verses was not merely second -class art, but it could experience readers vicariously.
        I think women writers also tried to contribute on it, but I don’t know how many were successful.
        I wonder if many were abortive because of their lack of intellectual and social-awareness, or their inefficient intuition on social frictions and so on…?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.