The Sound of Sense

Future Mystery

Robert Frost called it the “sound of sense”. I bust that phrase into two and think of it as “sound” and “sense”, but Frost more accurately describes the reality of poetry. Still he doesn’t completely describe poetry, because no one can. That’s a good thing. It gives the rest of us and our descendants for the next hundreds of millions, or billions, of years something new to do.

My view of sense is taking me into two different directions. After reading Jane Kohut-Bartel’s “Song of the Nightingale”, I want to understand better the 8th century Japanese collection, the Man’yōshū. After reading Debbie Roth’s Forgiving Fridays, I want to learn more about Hafiz (and Rumi) and the theme of forgiveness. Along these two ways of sense may the sound that’s right appear.


Text: Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday where Toni is hosting asking us to write about our plans.

Photo: “Future Mystery” by the author.

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

58 thoughts on “The Sound of Sense”

  1. Wow Frank! This is great. And I love that you want to know more of Man’yōshū. You are digging deep with this. I love that you want to learn more of poetry and the writers. A most wonderful goal. I like your plans muchly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your talents and your quest fascinate me. It is good to surround yourself with poets, for we are all in lesson, and there is still a lot to learn. I think it was Kerouac who called himself “an outlaw of the sensorium”–I dig that, and continue to use it as mantra.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow, Frank. As you step off the rim of the Universe and go after the Great Man’yoshu, I wish I was there to peek into your heart! I remember the first reaction I had upon reading the Man’yoshu: one of utter recognition. These poems spoke to my afflictions, my wants and yearnings, and they were written 1500 years ago. They are us. LOL!’ An affirmation of Human Nature.

    Your haiku is superb. And you are right: they are one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jane! I think I read something of yours about the Man’yoshu earlier this year, but it wasn’t until a couple weeks ago that I realized what it was and that it would be worthwhile to read. It takes time even to see what is in front of us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL! Sometimes like 1500 years!
        I have written several essays about the Man’yoshu, and one of them is in the back of “Song” I believe, or somewhere published. It is a study that gladdens the soul, and excites our passionate natures.

        The Man’yoshu is so worthwhile to read.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I am honored in your doing so, Frank. Thank you. As we have talked about there are many editions of the Man’yoshu. Or, there is now. And I am partial to Wright’s version. He centered down on some of the evocative poems in the entire document.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently lucked into a Mary Oliver book on how to write poetry. I look forward to when I can sit down with it in earnest. I love learning new poetry forms and have been known to actually read a poetry dictionary. May you be ever enriched on your journey, but don’t get too cold in the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Im glad you said no one can describe poetry. I don’t feel alone now. Maybe it is just the sound that makes sense to the one reciting or writing it. I was told by a writer/editor friend that poetry is saying the most using the least words. I kind of like that. I do enjoy learning the different forms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone has to express it through their own subjectivity and that makes it ever new. I suspect a human reader’s subjectivity rewrites a poem while reading it. A robot just recites it. I like the idea you expressed of poetry being able to say the most in the least words. Thank you, Mary!


    1. I often go back to Frost although I like Mary Oliver better. Reading Hafiz and the Man’yoshu are tasks I would not have thought of doing without reading about them from other people. Thank you!


  6. “I bust that phrase into two” … This makes me happy.

    Also this:

    “That’s a good thing. It gives the rest of us and our descendants for the next hundreds of millions, or billions, of years something new to do.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. reading and digging deep into other authors and their writing enriches us in so many ways, i like how you broke up sound and sense, made me think how we sense sound through our skin like how we feel a touch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Both Rumi and Hafiz are unfamiliar to me except for what I’ve read on Debbie Roth’s pages. I’m reading Daniel Ladinsky’s “The Gift” now which is an enjoyable translation of sorts of Hafiz’ ghazals, but I think Gertrude Bell’s 19th century translation may be better. However, I don’t know much about either poet. Thanks, Jane!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have the translation by Coleman Barks. I’ll keep the one by Helminski on my list. I’ll see where these take me. Thank you for the offer for further references, Debbie. As I move along in these readings and get some questions I may get back to you or just post on your site.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Frank, this is magnificent. I am so grateful to know you and read your poetry and explorations of what touches you. The thing that really got me about this poem is that it moved me beyond the mind and senses into an experience of the great love inside of me. Thank you. (This by the way is often my experience with Rumi and Hafiz). I’m honored to contribute this post for Forgiving Fridays. Blessings 🙂 , Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

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