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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Not a Haiku : Not a New Year Resolution,

- definitely not. But I have been struck with the thought to write (or to try to write), as often  as possible, a not-quite-Haiku on an item from the news. Not necessarily from the breaking news from that day, but one that is still current. The ideal would be a daily haiku, but this being a not quite ideal world, it will be a not-quite-haiku not quite daily. Here then, is my first attempted NQH - quite possibly, my last.

What comes from heaven changes earth.
Bodies wrapped in shrouds of snow
a white tsunami
with its human load

25 comments:

manuel nieto said...

feliz año, un saludo

Leatherdykeuk said...

Splendid!
The Guardian used to run a weekly competition of 'news senryu' on the 5-7-5 format. Long since stopped, sadly.

Mariana Soffer said...

Happy new year my friend, let me give you a short advice, just do not give up anything you start at the first try, otherwise you won t get far, if you fail, at least give it a real try, besides, I think you are proposing something interesting and you can learn how to write in haikus the way that you want

Jeanne said...

Love it! and love the idea.

The difference, I think, between resolutions and goals is that resolutions are binary: you either accomplish them as stated, or you fail. Goals, on the other hand, lend themselves to nuance.

Tabor said...

Glad I stopped by today as your readers comments are just as interesting as your post!

Lucas said...

I think this a very sound concept. While many haiku poets in Emglish stick to the precise amount of syllables, others have done equally well by adapting the form to suite mood and content.
You have a taut haiku-poem with a startling turn on "white tsunami".
Happy New Year, Dave!

Elisabeth said...

A wonderful new years resolution, if indeed that's your intention, a not quite haiku for a not quite new years resolution. Happy times ahead.

Raj said...

calling the new year with a haiku. :)

happy new year sir.

Friko said...

good idea, much luck with it.
I think i may actually try to write the odd (very odd) verse in the new year, A resolution to be kept well hidden, though.

steven said...

dave i like this very much and perhaps mostly because i don't like rules and strictures in anything creative. rules can be fun as games to be played, but really - let it flow as you did! good on ya! have a lovely new year's eve. steven

Jim Murdoch said...

Strange, I watch the news daily these days - I never used to, in fact months could go by without me ever seeing it and I never buy a newspaper - and yet I can't ever recall getting up afterwards and writing a poem. It's not that events haven't ever moved me - my wife called me at home during the 9/11 attack and told me to turn on the TV (I was working on my third novel at the time) - but unlike many artists I've never ever felt the need to respond in any way.

Actually there was one instance now I think about it where I wrote a poem, it was after the funeral of Diana, I wrote a few lines about how many millions of flowers died that day.

All the best for 2010, Dave.

jinksy said...

Interesting-not-quite-haiku - I may need to steal 'a white tsunami' from it...

willow said...

Haunting, snowy and beautiful.

Warmest, woolly wishes for a wonderful 2010, Dave~!

Kass said...

I like the idea of making something beautiful out of the news. Good for you!

JeannetteLS said...

I quite look forward to NQH, whenever you do it. We've had the comments on a white tsunami, but "What comes from heaven changes earth" struck a chord deep within.

Which is what happens with poetry in whatever form it doesn't quite take. Thanks.

Dianne said...

I have not studied all of the forms of Japanese poetry, but I think Haiku has a 5-7-5 syllable format, or less, like 3-5-3, but it might take all forms. Either way, yours would work with the 2nd and 3rd lines transposed.

I love it, it is visceral, bittersweet, brief, visually concrete, yet a metaphor from nature, all the finest elements of haiku.
I look forward to more.

Cloudia said...

Excellent!
Chinese-y, Dave.


Aloha, Friend!
Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)

Comfort Spiral

Helen said...

feeling upside down
no where to go but upward
new year here i come

Enchanted Oak said...

You should go visit Karen's Keeping Secrets blog, with her lovely poem on the plum branch blooming. I can't link her here because it takes too much time for me to figure out, but if you go to my blog roll and scroll down to Keeping Secrets, you will see it and adore it.
I like your NQH

Fantastic Forrest said...

There once was a poet named Dave
Newsy not-quite-haikus he gave
With imagery grand
Ne'er a word that's bland
His work made the internets rave!

(Rave in a good way, I mean. We love you, Dave!)

Happy New Year from the Pacific Northwest.

Conda V. Douglas said...

Oh, eerie and evocative--and what a great idea, a NQH, it works!

Shadow said...

i was just watching a programme on nostradamus... sounds a bit like this.

Karen said...

I love the poem - the imagery and distilled thought.

Dave King said...

To all
I had not expected quite so many comments. At the moment Ithink I might be struggling to reply individually to so many on a daily basis. So thank you all.

I did not know about The Guardian's project. Shame I missed it.

Yes, I take the point about resolutions and goals. This, I would call a kite I am flying.

I do agree about the interest value of the comments received.

I sympathise with you, Jim, on the news issue. We have taken to watching the BBC (was News24) whilst having lunch. It is amazing to me how boring they can make the m ost dramatic items. (As indeed, I might!)

I haven't promised beauty - but I'll try!

I think I need a word of explanation. They are Not-Quite-Haiku because I shall be flexible with the 5-7-5 format - which makes less than complete sense in English anyway. Even more, though, it is NQH because in Chinese more is required than the format. Some seasonal reference and feeling is required, for example. A cutting word at the end of a line is also required to give the poem a particular mood or to cause the reader to reflect. The poem speaks in the present of a moment out of time, and therefore is almost barred from the sort of comment to which I am endeavouring to put its English equivalent. It's third requirement, brevity and compression, I shall strive for.

A special thanks to those who have written poems to me - and, yes, do go visit Karen's Keeping Secrets blog.

Aniket said...

A very happy new year to you Dave!

I had not been able to comment on most of your posts lately but have been reading them all on my reader. Have been enjoying Karen and your interactions just as much as the posts. She is a dear friend and extremely gifted.

Looking forward to many more NQH's