Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I was speaking to a colleague about her writing recently. She began to to discuss her various limitations as a scholar. I told her that I did not see most of those, and only really saw one.


How is it that complexity, she asked, is a limitation?

So, I provided two metaphors.

I mentioned that when one writes a Haiku, while there may be many metaphorical and larger issues, there is not enough "space" for the poem to be about a Rock, Tree, and a River. Usually, one is the focus.

It was pointed out to me that I was missing something about the essential complexity of the Haiku, and was prompted to find something from my own cultural tradition.


Take matzo ball soup I said. Matzo ball soup broth is always a very simple chicken stock, salty, delicious, yet simple. The focus is on the delicate and lovely matzo balls. You would never find them in a complex broth, which would hide the delicacy of their doughy goodness.

Get the metaphor? If not, ask!!

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