ere are the final standings for all subscribers who participated in 2004. The score is based on a 5 point system. 5 for 天 Ten, 4 for 地 Chi, 3 for 人 Jin, 2 for 三客 Sankyaku and 1 for all other participating subscribers.
Now, as you should all know, it is not about the winning. It never is. The purpose of art–and life in general–is to participate. And as participants, you experience something different, making yourself all the more unique and special–even if you are just dabbling. I believe this in my heart. When I went to Japan, I studied at Nihon University. There, I met a professor who researched Edo Period senryu. I told him my father practiced senryu poetry and that even I had tried my hand in it. He looked at me and said in a tone that I suppose he meant to be polite, “I don’t really read amateur poetry.” My pride was not so much hurt as I was disturbed by this attitude. Isn’t particpating in any fashion the first step to learning? And even if you don’t make it your life’s work, did you not at least learn something new, and maybe something about yourself? And that alone has value?
I swore that I would never be that kind of teacher. I enjoy sharing my experience–what I know, what I have learned–with my students, hoping the assignments I give them, the readings they do, the projects they are “forced” to do, will expand their horizons even a little, making them more open, more experienced, more accepting and ultimately better people. I want them to enter my world, even if for a taste, in the hopes that they too will grow into adults who will be willing to let others into their own worlds. No judgments, no discrimination.
And this is why I hold these “salons”, modest as they are. I want you to taste a little bit of my world, and I hope to share in what you have to offer.
Anyway, here is a list of scores of all participants this year, led by SunJun and msbLiss. Tomorrow, I will talk a little bit about their poetry.