NaHaiWriMo Day 23

Spanish moss summer Othello in the park

Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss (Photo credit: nouspique)

dress up stage in grandmother’s yard — Spanish moss


About T A Smith

Just one of the literacy scholars on this site who wants to explore writing in all its complexities.
This entry was posted in Haiku, Poetry, Prompts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to NaHaiWriMo Day 23

  1. Love your spanish moss haiku…it is a touch of home here

  2. Ruth says:

    nice marriage of words and photo

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you. I just loved your February face poem. Not only did it draw from one of my favorite Shakespearean comedies, but it was a wonderful description of this coming spring. We have a pear tree, and their limbs really are like that. Thank you for coming by and commenting.

  3. Blue Flute says:

    I like the two haiku and how they connect together so well, and the image of Spanish moss as setting a stage.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Blue Flute, Thank you so much for this visit. If you liked these, I am delighted. Now I can thank you personally for the wonderful post at dVerse. It kept me thinking and reading and rereading. Then there was the bonus of reading all the writing it inspired. I look forward to visiting you as well.

  4. Raivenne says:

    Oh how this takes me back to my childhood and my grandparents back yard. I used to stage plays using the over grown Spanish moss as mock curtain. You have no idea how your lovely words touch me. Thank you for the sweet, sweet memories I am enjoying now.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Welcome and thank you. I am delighted my words stirred such memories and even more so that you shared them with me. Thank you for stopping by. Hope to see you again.

  5. Shawna says:

    I love the moss as stage curtain; beautiful imagery.

  6. ManicDdaily says:

    I loved the mixture of Spanish Moss with Othello, and the picture had a particularly Desdemonic aspect for me. Such an interesting way to write. They work very well. K.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      😀 I was just commenting on that very thing in response to claudia’s comment. I felt the same way about the setting. Of course there is also the Spain, Moor and moor connections. Fun. 🙂 Thanks for commenting and doing the esp thing.

  7. David King says:

    Wow, the form threw me at first, but as I adjusted the sense of a moment caught sank in. The end result – beautiful.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      David King,
      Welcome. You got it exactly. I’ve always thought haiku were like a detailed photograph. They capture a moment with such clarity that you keep gazing at them to see what else you notice. I don’t succeed at that, but I’m writing in that direction. Thank you for letting me share these with you.

  8. Beth Winter says:

    I am somewhat speechless. Your poetry is gorgeous, but your skill and knowledge of Haiku far surpasses my level of understanding of the form. I have to admit that I always looked at it from a Westerner’s viewpoint with syllables and kigo but never looked more deeply into the form. Now I am curious, very much so. When this happens, I have to feed the curiosity. It is time to break open the books and study. Thank you for this experience.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Beth Winter,
      I’m so glad you stopped by. I don’t comment often, but I’ve really enjoyed my visits to your blog. I’m glad I could share this bit with you. You’ll enjoy your look into haiku, I’m sure. I love the form, but I think it is an excellent practice for tightening imagery in any writing. I look forward to seeing you again, your place and mine.

  9. Very nice…love the pic and verse!

  10. claudia says:

    love that you weave Othello and grandmother’s yard in it…memories behind the image..makes it even more palpable

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I wrote these as separate haiku/senryu, but you’re not the first to see them as one. Linked by moss and acting, I can see that. I’m glad you liked them, especially your mention of Othello. Perhaps its silly, but I liked all the possible connections between the play and Spanish moss. Always welcome your visits and comments.

  11. Gay says:

    I’m staggered after having read others comments. Luke is correct, of course, about all the features of haiku; but as BlueFlute has stated here today’s exercise is less about form than about image.

    I liked both. Conversationally, I use “Spanish Moss” as a byword for hanging around doing nothing. Ha. We don’t have it here. We have the more evil kudzu which is eating everything alive and creeping all over trees and pushing down fences. But I digress. I like the idea of the outdoor stage where the moss functions. I can see little kids standing up reciting poetry, singing songs, and acting silly..doing cartwheels and falling down laughing. Certainly a picture of summer. Well done.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Hi Gay,
      I’m so glad you came by. I just loved Blue Flute’s article. Thank you so much for hosting it. If you hunt and peck around here for very long, you’ll see I’m a quiet fan of haiku … o.k., not quiet. 😉 I wrote these with NaHaiWriMo in mind, but I’m absolutely delighted to share them at dVerse as well. I think trying new forms and new focuses in writing helps us sharpen and expand our toolkit, don’t you? That’s why I keep taking out sonnets and staggering through them. Love them, but can’t write them very well.

      I will say, it must take someone unfamiliar with having kudzu around to like it. I do like it, but I’m sure it is a nuisance. Did you know it originally came from Japan where it has some kind of environmental inhibitor (predator/consumer/weather … don’t remember)? I like your idea for the moss. It definitely does hang around. Goodness, scenes in bayous wouldn’t be the same without it.

  12. slpmartin says:

    Another excellent pair…words and image.

  13. Luke Prater says:

    Is this one haiku/senryu or two? Nicely-penned, though syllabically irregular. 11 syllables apiece – are you writing in Ginsberg’s haiku adaptation where it is one line only, left-right, to get as close to the japanese single verticle line as possible? (‘American Sentences’). Actually on the syllables, Japanese recognises morae (determining syllable weight, of which there are four, and not dependant on number of syllables), not straight syllables as we do, so haiku/senryū in English are 90% failures in my opinion (not that I can write them either). The cut, the two images contrasted and brought to the ‘aha’ moment are essential. And if we are to use the term ‘haiku’, a seasonal reference is essential also. I think your two (or one?) are pretty good, on those provisos.

    And are you Japanese? This might explain your success and the decision to write them in a single line 🙂

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thank you very much for such a detailed comment. I think after a few readings I’m ready to answer your questions.

      First question: They are two separate haiku. I’d say at least the first one counts as haiku, perhaps the second, though neither has a subtle kigo. The first declares that it’s summer, which is basically cheating. However, I’ve always associated Spanish moss with summer, though it’s there year round where I grew up.

      Second question: Yes, I am purposefully writing in the single line form and usually around 11 syllables. My Ginsberg experience is actually limited. I read him in college, but not much, to my shame, so I can’t claim his direct influence. You’re right about wanting to write closer to the Japanese form.

      In answer to your last question: I’m not Japanese. So my understanding of morae, the cut, kigo, use of tangible to suggest the intangible–these are all limited. My goal is to learn Japanese and begin writing haiku in that language. I think the more one understands a language, the better one can create with it. I maybe be blind and deaf when I get there, but I will get there. Thank you so much for these questions and thought-provoking comments. Ultimately I just want to write better, no matter the language, and your comment has definitely moved my mind in that direction.

      • Luke Prater says:

        Indeed… I think for me, learning Japanese might be the only way I’d feel like I could fully master Haiku also. They just don’t translate well into English and the liberties most modern poets take are ludicrous. We end up with what may be a great poem of seventeen syllables, but the feel is not there. And that’s what counts. The sense of the snatches of imagery; cogent, terse, cut and contrasted by another to render a sense of epiphany or at least a little twist/excitement. All in a very short verse (which, as you have, should really be written as one line, not three). If you come back to the comment you made on my blog, I replied to it there. Thank you for the visit and comments my friend. In honesty there hasn’t been a blogger getting much closer to real haiku in English than this that I so far have seen (there are one or two good ones of Facebook’s poetry scene, but generally it is poor, poor, and it’s everywhere – which is why I don’t write them usually).

        v interesting discussion. I have a couple of links/articles on writing haiku/senryū in English and how/the problems etc if you ever want them.


        • Yousei Hime says:

          I have also enjoyed our discussion. 😀 I will take you up on viewing those links. Are they on your blogroll? I whole-heartedly agree with learning Japanese to move toward mastery; however, I doubt that full mastery will ever be reached. I anticipate obstacles once the new language opens doors. I suspect there are some particulars that haven’t really “translated” to English, thus we’ve ignored them or been ignorant of them. Still I really look forward to discovering the possibilities.

          There are some better haiku writers out there, if you’re interested. I’m actually stunned at how many people seriously write them, from all around the world. Here are a few of my favorites: translations of modern Japanese haiku and tanka–; writer whose haiku convinced me to try single line–; beautiful photos and often stunning haiku–

          If the articles you mentioned aren’t on your blog roll, please email or comment them to me. Very best to you. Smiling and looking forward to more intellectual and poetic exchanges.

  14. brian miller says:

    nice…def love the first one…great turn in it…and i miss the spanish moss from FL

    • Yousei Hime says:

      Thanks. I really like that one two, but I wasn’t sure how well it read to the prompt of “wig.” Still think it stands on its own. I miss that moss too, let me tell you. Makes the outdoors a whole other world, doesn’t it? Thanks for the visit and comment.

  15. spanish moss
    reminders of the past-
    summer vacation

    Thank you for this prompt. I like it much better than “wig” which was the other one I read.

    Your haiku inspired me to do the above one of my own.

    • Yousei Hime says:

      I tend to write around the prompt, suggesting rather than using the word. I do that especially if I don’t like the word. Spanish moss came to mind rather quickly for the “wig” prompt. I agree that Spanish moss suits summer; that’s exactly how I pictured it. Yet where I grew up, it was there all year. Funny I don’t remember that. I like your haiku here very much and am honored mine offered creative spark. Here’s to summer. 🙂

      • Yousei-San,

        Thank you for such kind words. As a child growing up in Charleston SC the picture you show is common Old oak trees with Spanish moss are ubiquitous to the area. I loved paddling my canoe on the backwaters and just listening to the frogs. In fact this is inspiring me to write a haibun.

        Here is a visual adaptation of the above haiku.

        reminders of the past-
        summer vacation

If you leave tracks, I'll find you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s