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freshly turned earth...

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:21 pm
by RHFay
freshly turned earth
violated graveyard
ghoulish feast

Posted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:56 pm
by Bmat

Nice, but ewwww.

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:10 pm
by Magus
This honestly didn't really do all that much for me. I understand the limitations that you've placed on yourself in writing a haiku,but at the same time I don't think that you understand the form as it was intended, and just see it as a framework for a poem. A Haiku was a very high art, and their authors would spend, very literally, years on a single haiku, perfecting their language to a strategically concise and vivid degree. It's not simply about being constrained in size, but refined in your words, and how they interact on the page.

When I read this haiku, I don't see one poem --- I see three lines, I see 17 syllables. I see you using the form, but I'm not quite sure if you understand it as anything more than a syllable-count. Also, in reading this, I don't see you appreciating how the poem will actually be read. Each line gives no regard to syntax, or enjambment, but simply seems to "be." They seem to be meant to be halted at the end of each line, but there's nothing directing this, and so the eye, as it is supposed to, will read the lines as linked and flowing.

The poem seems very static, very stationary. It seems, like the lines, to be content with simply "being." They don't, at least with me, engage the reader or leave them with anything memorable (which is a chief complaint that I have concerning the majority of Yeats' poems).

Posted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:19 pm
by Magus
Okay... I just realized that this wasn't a haiku due to the syllable count... and it's definitely not a hokku or a haikai. So I assume that it's very simply just a short poem?

If you want examples of short poems that I feel are more engaging and evocative, you should take a look at A.D. Hope's "Inscription for a War:"
Stranger, go tell the Spartans
we died here obedient to their commands.
---Inscription at Thermopylae

Linger not, stranger; shed no tear;
Go back to those who sent us here.

We are the young they drafted out
To wars their folly brought about.

Go tell those old men, safe in bed,
We took their orders and are dead.

Another great example of this kind of "short" poetry is Ezra Pound's "In a Station of the Metro:"
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, blank bough.

And here is Pound's "Ts'ai Chi'h:"
The petals fall in a fountain,
the orange-colored rose-leaves,
Their ochre clings to the stone

The point is that when you write a poem this short, this noticeably brief, you put tremendous focus and pressure on the actual language, the word-for-word diction, that you use. It becomes impossibly important to be flawless in this regard, if nothing else.

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:33 pm
by RHFay
Magus wrote:Okay... I just realized that this wasn't a haiku due to the syllable count... and it's definitely not a hokku or a haikai. So I assume that it's very simply just a short poem?
Okay, Magus, I know for a fact that you are wrong with this statement. There has been great debate regarding the syllable count of English haiku, and the current consensus amongst those actively writing and publishing haiku in English is that English haiku do not need to follow the 5-7-5 syllable count. Less is often considered better, more in line with the true spirit of haiku.

I have been told this from a pretty good authority - a poet who has had many English haiku published in various haiku journals (including Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Acorn, Mainichi Daily News, Asahi Haikuist Network, and Simply Haiku). She has told me directly through a Live Journal comment that the members of the Haiku Society of America and any English language poets who are actively publishing haiku in the major haiku publications aren't writing in 5-7-5. Check around at the various publications if you are in doubt that this is truly the case.

I could possibly link to the LiveJournal page where she made these comments to me if you would like, but I don't think it's necessary unless you insist on getting the information straight from the source. However, keep in mind that the information is available on-line.

My poem above may fall short of the true spirit of haiku, it may be relatively weak, but having less than seventeen syllables does not mean it's something other than a haiku (or, to be more specific, speculative haiku).

How many times have I posted the scifaiku guidelines as stated in The Scifaiku Manifesto and the Scifaikuest submission guidelines? I could link to them again if you would like, but basically both sites state clearly that the 17 syllable rule is not an absolute requirement.

The moral of the story may be that poetry is indeed subjective, and you can't please everybody. *******************************************************

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:03 pm
by RHFay
Let me just add that I admit I'm still learning about the art of haiku composition, and perhaps will never be a "haiku master". However, trial-and-error is the only real way to see what I can do with the form. And I have had a bit of publication success with speculative haiku. I've even inspired at least one other writer to try his hand at composing scifaiku and horrorku for publication.

Take that as you may.

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:29 pm
by Magus
I did not mean the comment that it wasn't a haiku in a derogatory manner, but simply did not realize that haiku's can have less than the maximum number of syllables per line. It was meant as a comment, and not a critique, which you've already highlighted was ill-informed.

If you can't take a simple critique of your poetry (which you've posted on a public forum, where everybody is free to read express their opinion) than maybe you should rethink allowing others to read it. I don't see why you're seemingly so defensive and offended by my comments. I did not attack your poem; I did not attack you as an author; I expressed my opinions on your poem, and that's all.

Poetry is subjective, so you should understand off the bat that there will be people who hate your entire body of poetry (I merely felt that one poem, of all of your that I've read, was not quite as good as the rest). Now, does my so-so feelings on one poem of yours discredit my comments on it, or on any of your other poetry? I suppose that you'll have to decide that for yourself.

Experimentation is fine, I try my hand at it all the time (from prose poetry to my more recent, lengthy endeavors). Hell, I even haiku up some haikus on occasion. However, just because you experiment with something doesn't mean that you can't continue to experiment, refine and revise it after the first trial.

I once had an English teacher a long time ago who told me "If you can change your underwear, you can change your writing." What he meant by this was that you can always change your writing, improve it, revise it, alter it.

If you don't feel that any changes are necessary, than by all means don't make any, but don't shut yourself up to the possibility. I never read something that I wrote and supposedly "completed" without going back and changing something... even years after I had thought it finished.

My comments were very simply that there is a brevity to this poem that the diction you use has neither warranted nor capitalized upon, and that your lack of any manner of punctuation adds nothing to the poem (and that, when any aspect of literature fails to add to the work as a whole, it should be altered so that it does). I posted the poems that I did in order to show you examples that I felt demonstrated what my opinions (and yes, they are only just that: my opinions) on your poem were.

I see you using the haiku form, but I don't see you utilizing it.

And if you are so offended by my comments, I said that I only liked one of Yeats' poems, and he's a Nobel Laureate. I also despise Wordsworth, and he was the English Poet Laureate for seven years.

But understand that so long as you continue to post your poetry, I will continue to critique honestly and thoughtfully. You can take that as you like it.

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:30 pm
by Magus
Also, a favorite quote of mine that I think that you should consider:

“A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

Paul Valéry

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:49 pm
by RHFay
I think I wasn't irked by what you said so much as the way you said it. It just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. And I've grown a little tired of the debate over the 5-7-5 format, although that's not really your fault.

There are some pieces that I would be more than happy to revise and rework. I've done this plenty of times with my pieces for publication. However, there are other pieces done "just for fun", like the one I posted here, that I wouldn't really bother spending any more time with.

It would be nice if every poem was a masterpiece, but I don't think that's a necessity. And I've quickly learned that I will never please everyone anyway.

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:33 pm
by Magus
I think I wasn't irked by what you said so much as the way you said it. It just rubbed me the wrong way for some reason. And I've grown a little tired of the debate over the 5-7-5 format, although that's not really your fault.
It's no problem at all. I understand where you're coming from on that.
It would be nice if every poem was a masterpiece, but I don't think that's a necessity. And I've quickly learned that I will never please everyone anyway.
I agree, and know about this from first-hand experience.

Posted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:20 am
by RHFay
An interesting and ironic aside to this discussion - I just received an acceptance from a print publication for a submitted scifaiku/horrorku that is most certainly not in the 5-7-5 format. It's actually one of my first pieces for publication to deliberately depart from the traditional 5-7-5 syllable pattern. (This particular publication has a "scifaiku corner" where they publish speculative haiku.)

I guess what I've been trying to say is that, although I definitely place a high value on education, learning, and knowledge, practical experience does often trump academic theory. In other words, the truth of the matter may be a bit different than what you are taught.

I've spent about a year now working at getting poems published in various publications, and it's been quite the learning experience. I've also participated in several illuminating, if at times frustrating, discussions with other poets. The apparent difference between literary poetry and speculative poetry, and the differing attitudes amongst academics regarding the two forms of poetry, has been especially enlightening.

In other words, you may not want to approach a speculative haiku in exactly the same way that you would a mainstream haiku. After all, speculative haiku are derivative forms anyway. Some argue they aren't really haiku at all, simply due to their speculative subject matter.

And perhaps I'm more of a "folk artist" than a "true poet", at least based on certain "poetry snob" attitudes (coming from outside discussions, not any discussions here). If that's the case, then so be it. I'll be happy with my accessible folk art, and leave the high-brow, inaccessible stuff to the "poetry snobs". (Speaking in general, overall terms, of course, not as a specific response to anything said here.)