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your avocado tree


goldenlangur

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goldenlangur

your avocado tree before the old house I remember

 

dawn cups of tea and mists rising in the valley

 

your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountain

 

 

(one-line haiku)

Edited by goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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A somber and eloquent remembrance poem, Goldenlangur. I don't think there's anything out of place or unnecessary in this one-line haiku. I love dawn cups of tea and mists rising in the valley, and your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountain is ghostly and resonates of the afterlife. The poem on the page makes me think of a scroll with the poem inscribed in characters upon it.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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Golden,

 

I love avocado... and the tree, the old house always have a place in one's mind.

 

the second one reminds me of lily of valleys.

 

the last one is my favorite, not only the sadness it conveys but the good use of the two words "shadows" and "stretch", which can be read in different ways:

 

your death anniversary shadows (noun) /stretch(verb) to the mountain

 

your death anniversary/ shadows (verb) stretch(noun) to the mountain

 

Maybe I over read it, but this is how it came to my mind. :)

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your avocado tree before the old house I remember

 

dawn cups of tea and mists rising in the valley

 

your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountain

 

 

(one-line haiku)

 

This is lovely, but I would opt for lesss contrived a structure. The first line yells "here am I, an inversion", the second line would be better w/ a comma instead of the 'and' (the brief pause a comma invokes alows, for me, at least, the mood sink in before continuing with the rest. I know that 'anniversary' is significant for you, but the three-noun-string seems to ruin the mood set by the first two lines.

 

You say, one-line haiku, but, though 'haiku' is both plural and singular. Would each of the three stand by itself as a one-line haiku and be as powerful as the ensemble? I do not see why a fine poetic offering has to be saddled with the haiku label, as if it were not good enough without it.

 

Again, very, very enjoyable poetry here.

Edited by waxwings
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Aleksandra
your avocado tree before the old house I remember

 

dawn cups of tea and mists rising in the valley

 

your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountain

 

 

(one-line haiku)

 

I loved this. Very effective, and warm. I didn't know about one-line haiku and now I do. And I am impressed. All three lines are powerful and have that spirit that haiku must have.

 

Thank you golden, for sharing.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Hi DC,

 

Golden,

 

Regardless of form, a moving beautiful piece gets the essence in a few simple lines- an astonishing and powerful work...

 

Enjoyed deeply!

 

DC&J

 

Thank you for this generous thumbs-up. I am much encouraged.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony,

 

 

I am rather taken with this thought here:

 

The poem on the page makes me think of a scroll with the poem inscribed in characters upon it.

 

Tony

 

Your comment here encourages me to experiment with this form:

 

A somber and eloquent remembrance poem, Goldenlangur. I don't think there's anything out of place or unnecessary in this one-line haiku. I love dawn cups of tea and mists rising in the valley, and your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountain is ghostly and resonates of the afterlife.

 

 

Thank you very much.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

 

How rewarding your reading of the final haiku -how a slight shift in your death anniversary can give more than one reading. As you have delighted us with your own use of this form I appreciate this considered reading.

 

A big thank you. I hope you will post more of your own one-line haiku.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi waxwing,

 

Thank you for your detailed comments. If I may respond to the points you raise:

 

I would opt for less contrived a structure. The first line yells "here am I, an inversion",

 

Does not writing use contrived structure - be it a sonnet, ballad, triolet or even a haiku? If an inversion is to give layers to a piece why is it a no-no to use?

 

 

 

the second line would be better w/ a comma instead of the 'and' (the brief pause a comma invokes alows, for me, at least, the mood sink in before continuing with the rest.

 

You have sensed the pause without the comma. The lack of comma is precisely to suggest a natural breath pause. As you might have gleaned from your own reading and writing of haiku punctuation such as periods and commas are usually not used. There are some haiku writers who prefer to use punctuation and there several who don't.

 

 

I know that 'anniversary' is significant for you, but the three-noun-string seems to ruin the mood set by the first two lines.

 

Would you expand a little on this?

 

 

You say, one-line haiku, but, though 'haiku' is both plural and singular. Would each of the three stand by itself as a one-line haiku and be as powerful as the ensemble?

 

Yes single-line haiku are written and stand on their own if the writer is able to do the form justice. http://www.simplyhaiku.com has a good archive including a few articles on one-line haiku.

 

 

 

I do not see why a fine poetic offering has to be saddled with the haiku label, as if it were not good enough without it.

 

 

Do you mean that western labels and structures like sonnet, triolet etc are worth using but labels and structures like haiku (and its associated forms) are not really worth using?

 

 

I appreciate your taking the trouble to read this and raise issues and hope that you will expand on a couple of points that puzzle me.

 

 

Thank you very much.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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goldenlangur

Hi Aleksandra,

 

 

 

I didn't know about one-line haiku and now I do.

 

 

You're quite right - one-line haiku is not as common as the three-line haiku. Lake posted some in the forum. I find it quite fun trying out this version of haiku.

 

 

 

I loved this. Very effective, and warm. And I am impressed. All three lines are powerful and have that spirit that haiku must have.

 

 

I am delighted and encouraged that you have sensed the haiku spirit in these pieces.

 

 

Thank you so much.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Hi waxwing,

 

Thank you for your detailed comments. If I may respond to the points you raise:

 

I would opt for less contrived a structure. The first line yells "here am I, an inversion",

 

Does not writing use contrived structure - be it a sonnet, ballad, triolet or even a haiku? If an inversion is to give layers to a piece why is it a no-no to use?

 

Depends on connotation of "contrived" we can agree on. I mess up trying to reduce length of comment. Happens with what I think may be a helpful viewpoint on writing to all interested, not necessarily just the author. I myself pay, for that reason, special attention to comments by others. Here I see a a perhaps nor a fully effective inversion. Your as is word order feels significant, and would, I feel, be more so w/comma before "I remember". Makes it inclusive of what is said before and after.

 

 

 

the second line would be better w/ a comma instead of the 'and' (the brief pause a comma invokes alows, for me, at least, the mood sink in before continuing with the rest.

 

You have sensed the pause without the comma. The lack of comma is precisely to suggest a natural breath pause. As you might have gleaned from your own reading and writing of haiku punctuation such as periods and commas are usually not used. There are some haiku writers who prefer to use punctuation and there several who don't.

 

Misunderstanding? I did not sense a pause; "and" is to smoothly unify what goes before and after. It does not create a pause unavoidably, but there can be one due to a syntactic or semantic reason. I think a more defined a pause might strengthen each of the two thoughts. Replacing "and" w/comma would do just that. Comma is the standard separator of more than two equivalent parts: of speech, of a clause, of a sentence.

 

I do try to structure/segue/organize words to avoid punctuation unless there is otherwise an uncertainty where one thought/clause ends and and another begins

 

 

I know that 'anniversary' is significant for you, but the three-noun-string seems to ruin the mood set by the first two lines.

 

Would you expand a little on this?

 

You use what looks like a three-noun compound (death-anniversary-shadow) subject for the verb "stretch". Or did you intend "your death anniversary's shadow". Why not "the shadow/s of your death anniversary stretch/es to ..... And, perhaps, "reach", instead of "stretch". (See! The finer, less certain nuances are hard to comment on in a succinct way.)

 

 

You say, one-line haiku, but, though 'haiku' is both plural and singular. Would each of the three stand by itself as a one-line haiku and be as powerful as the ensemble?

 

Yes single-line haiku are written and stand on their own if the writer is able to do the form justice. http://www.simplyhaiku.com has a good archive including a few articles on one-line haiku.

 

As I explained before, I was not sure if this was just one lengthy one-line haiku or a string of three. I've seen one-line haiku that are more than one line. Site you mention shows some that seem incomplete haiku, in the traditional sense, even if there is the claim of Westernized version. I not fully competent to pass judgment, and it for is you to decide what essential to haiku notions you want to meet.

 

 

 

I do not see why a fine poetic offering has to be saddled with the haiku label, as if it were not good enough without it.

 

 

Do you mean that western labels and structures like sonnet, triolet etc are worth using but labels and structures like haiku (and its associated forms) are not really worth using?

 

We need to name the form only when we submit a poem to a contest, to bring it to the attention of the uninitiated or if it is a not immediately recognized variant of the named form, e.g., the Rainis' sonnet. I think what you have written is an excellent poem, whether or not it (they) meet some as yet undetermined (in English) model.

 

 

I appreciate your taking the trouble to read this and raise issues and hope that you will expand on a couple of points that puzzle me.

 

 

Thank you very much.

Edited by waxwings
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goldenlangur

Thank you waxwing for returning with some expansion on your earlier comments.

 

 

 

Waxwing: Depends on connotation of "contrived" we can agree on. I mess up trying to reduce length of comment. Happens with what I think may be a helpful viewpoint on writing to all interested, not necessarily just the author. I myself pay, for that reason, special attention to comments by others. Here I see a a perhaps nor a fully effective inversion. Your as is word order feels significant, and would, I feel, be more so w/comma before "I remember". Makes it inclusive of what is said before and after.

 

 

A basic understanding of contrived might be that all poetical forms are premised on it as they have their particular structural requirements, be it of length (stanzas, syllable counts), meter (rhyme schemes), even themes etc. Allan Bloom, the American critic and thinker, says that God alone creates and the rest of us, writers and poets included, follow some form of contrived structures which have already been put in place by others long before us. So I would say that while poets play around with certain aspects of form, we are more or less working to a literary DNA print already set out in our literary and writing heritage.

 

To come to the point you make about inversion here:

 

I remember your avocado tree before the old house

 

This is a statement. It reads like a factual description.

 

An inversion:

 

your avocado tree before the old house I remember

 

allows for two possible readings. The first is that it might be a factual observation. The second possible reading is that while the person remembers the avocado tree before the house (as an association sequence ) the tree might not necessarily be physically before the old house.

 

This is the kind of play in juxtapositions of images and suggestions in the haiku which I find exciting.

 

 

waxwing: Misunderstanding? I did not sense a pause; "and" is to smoothly unify what goes before and after. It does not create a pause unavoidably, but there can be one due to a syntactic or semantic reason. I think a more defined a pause might strengthen each of the two thoughts. Replacing "and" w/comma would do just that. Comma is the standard separator of more than two equivalent parts: of speech, of a clause, of a sentence.

 

 

 

waxwing: You use what looks like a three-noun compound (death-anniversary-shadow) subject for the verb "stretch". Or did you intend "your death anniversary's shadow". Why not "the shadow/s of your death anniversary stretch/es to ..... And, perhaps, "reach", instead of "stretch". (See! The finer, less certain nuances are hard to comment on in a succinct way.)

 

 

 

waxwing: I do try to structure/segue/organize words to avoid punctuation unless there is otherwise an uncertainty where one thought/clause ends and and another begins

 

 

Re your trying to structure/segue organize words to avoid punctuation would you not say that such structured, and if i may add, 'contrived use is inevitable to express something effectively?

 

 

Re the pause - Your mention of a pause suggested to me that it was sensed even though it was not actually indicated by a comma. My apologies for this misreading of your comment.

 

Indeed my contrived word use in your death anniversary.... is to allow more than one reading. Lake's comment points out how the haiku can be read in more than one way.

 

If I were to begin the shadows of your death anniversary it would give one reading.. But your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountains could be read as:

 

1. your death anniversary shadows stretch to the mountains

 

2. your death anniversary

shadows stretch to the mountains

 

 

The implicit caesura and break up of the images to get more than one reading is what Basho calls 'leaps' the reader should make and which the writer should try to work into a piece.

 

 

 

waxwing: As I explained before, I was not sure if this was just one lengthy one-line haiku or a string of three. I've seen one-line haiku that are more than one line. Site you mention shows some that seem incomplete haiku, in the traditional sense, even if there is the claim of Westernized version. I not fully competent to pass judgment, and it for is you to decide what essential to haiku notions you want to meet.

 

I am still a little puzzled by your stance. On the one hand, you point out how writers like myself should aim for a less contrived writing, and on the other hand, you talk about traditional sense of the haiku.

 

From my little experience of haiku and its associated forms - it is a vibrant form, allowing for much play and experiment and 'traditional' is almost a misnomer as poets have been writing and experimenting with these forms for over 300 years. So much has changed from the days of the Japanese court use of the hokku which Basho developed into the haiku as we now understand.

 

haiku poets today follow a variety of structures:

 

a strict adherence to the 5 7 5

 

a free form of short long short lines

 

one-line haiku (which actually harks back to the Japanese haiku technique of writing and reading haiku as a single-breath poem)

 

 

 

 

waxwing: We need to name the form only when we submit a poem to a contest, to bring it to the attention of the uninitiated or if it is a not immediately recognized variant of the named form, e.g., the Rainis' sonnet. I think what you have written is an excellent poem, whether or not it (they) meet some as yet undetermined (in English) model.

 

 

I know of no such rules in the poetry forums that I post or even the journals to which i have submitted. The only rule of thumb seems to be that in a general poetry forum like PMO where members post a variety of forms but where free verse is predominant, then it makes sense to name the particular form one is using in a piece. There are poetry sites which have dedicated forums for specific forms. In such forums we don't name the form as it the forum is called haiku or tanka or haibun etc.

 

I remain puzzled about the point you make in this context.

 

 

 

Thank you.

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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