Haiku Friday

I've been working on a haiku about these seedpods but I don't quite have it. Want to give it a try?

I’ve been working on a haiku about these seedpods but I don’t quite have it.
Want to give it a try?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every so often, I set aside a day, or a few, to write haiku. I love that they require me to slow down and attend to the world around me. Haiku are about our immediate experience of the physical world. They are different from so many other forms because they don’t generally use rhyme or metaphor or other poetic tools. The writer is not supposed to interpret the experience for the reader—just transport the reader, so the reader can have the experience too. In a way the writer is supposed to make herself invisible. But, not really. The writer is, of course, present in the moment she chooses to share and in the way she constructs the experience for the reader. I’m not even sure it’s quite correct to say haiku doesn’t use metaphor—sometimes the metaphor seems to lie in the unstated connection between the two parts of the poem and sometimes the whole poem feels like a metaphor.

My very favorite aspect of haiku is the inference. The reader must infer the meaning, which the writer does not state. It is the unsaid that I find endlessly intriguing.

 
Today I thought I would share some of haiku of mine that have been published recently. Another nice thing about writing haiku is that there are a handful of journals that accept and publish them regularly, so haiku poets have opportunities to share. I highly recommend all of these publications for reading and for submitting. The Heron’s Nest and A Hundred Gourds are available on-line. Frogpond and Acorn are gorgeous, paper journals.

 

icicles…
keeping time
until the end

The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XVI: No. 1, March 2014

 

snow field
the earth marked
by fallen angels

Frogpond, Vol. 36:3, Autumn 2013
Third Place, Harold G Henderson Memorial Award, Haiku Society of America

 

measuring
  the length
    of my solitude
inchworm

A Hundred Gourds, Vol 3:2, March 2014

 

sending ripples
through the clouds…
water strider

Acorn, Fall 2013

 

 

For more Poetry Friday, visit the rogue anthropologist!

Christmas Cookie Haiku

photo-220

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eating the tree
before decorating it—
holiday traditions

 

sweet greenery—
wreaths welcome
to the tongue

 

decorated reindeer—
Rudolph’s nose
goes first

 

buttons
missing jackets—
gingerbread kids

 

ornaments
never meant for the tree
iced baubles

 

These haiku were inspired by Robyn Hood Black’s wonderful haiku series, “We Haiku Here,” and Laura’s delicious post at Author Amok last Friday in honor of National Cookie Day!

For more Poetry Friday, visit Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference.

Happy Holidays!

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved.

Haiku: The Wordless Poem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

for sale
a sparrow slips into the attic
trailing toilet paper

 

watching fireworks
from the car
chickenpox

 

screen door
song of the birds
cry of the cat

 

a sudden fall
of acorns—

chipmunk looks
at me

 

I’ve been focusing on haiku again, preparing submissions for Modern Haiku (deadline July 15) and Frogpond (deadline August 1). (Hint, hint…) I set these aside to post here because they were the most kid-friendly.

Haiku are sometimes called “wordless” poems. The idea is that the reader connects directly with the experience being depicted, not with the words of the poem. For me wordless also refers to all the words that might have been included but weren’t–words that the reader constructs for herself. We know from the words in the second haiku that somewhere there is a screen door, birds singing, and a cat crying but there are no words explaining that the cat is crying because she is on one side of the screen door and unable to hunt the birds happily singing on the other. According to Cor van den Heuvel, the poet Ogiwara Seisensui once described haiku as a circle–half provided by the poet and half provided by the reader. This is just the kind of active reading I hope to inspire in kids.

For more Poetry Friday visit Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today’s Little Ditty.

Haiku for Kids, Questions for Bloggers

P1040209

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pay dirt—
under the roses
a soccer ball

 

late at night—
a cricket sings
in the lizard’s cage

 

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2013, all rights reserved

 

Ever since I started this blog, I’ve had two recurrent questions: Who is my audience? And why do I do it? It’s been a year and a half now, and I’m still not sure I have any good answers. Am I writing for poets, teachers, kids, friends? Is my goal to write more, share more, promote more, connect more?

I’m the kind of person who likes to talk through questions like these. So, fellow poet bloggers, I ask you:

1. Who is the audience for your blog?

2. Why do you blog?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

A Haiku for Mother’s Day

Hachiya persimmons by Downtowngal

Hachiya persimmons by Downtowngal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild persimmons,
The mother eating
The bitter parts.

Issa

 

 

Along with Basho, Buson, and Shiki, Issa (1763-1827) is considered one of the four masters of Japanese haiku. Issa lived a particularly tragic life, losing his mother at age three, his inheritance and home after the death of his father, the wife he adored and their three children, all very early in their lives. To learn more about Issa and his poetry,
I recommend Anita Virgil’s discussion of his life and work in episode 16 of Haiku Chronicles.

 

Happy Mother’s Day