Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Hokku submissions for a renku of yet undetermined length-
all comments are welcome!

mist suspended
in brilliantine
sunlight -? b

drowsy bees
listlessly mount
blossoms of weeds -? b

a drowsy bee's
languid humming
weeds past full bloom -? b


shooting stars
unfathomable distance
between us -? TM

soaking up sunlight;
golden apples
await the fall-? TM

ripened light
golden apples
await the fall -? TM

his eyelashes brush
my cheek -? TM


twilight stroll
a pocket full
of rose hips -? EC

seven new bills
but at least
the Giants won -EC?

rising embers
the hunting party
has returned- EC?

ready to bolt
the mounted elk head
stares at the door- EC?


T.Migratorius said...

I like them both very much.

I especially like the visual of the mist suspended in brilliantine ( I had to look that up) and/or sunlight.

But, the wording of the drowsy bees verse is just as clever.

I think I like #1 best though for being so unique. But, am I the only one who would have to look up the definition of brilliantine to 'get it'? Hey, you're dating yourself dude!

bandit said...

I'd first thought brilliantine to mean a vibrant blue-still can't think of that hue with the assonant sound.
I like the texture the word inspires in viewing certain light, though wonder if this is a two line poem or do I need to interject some juxtaposition?

The bees poem feels a little clunky to me today, and really lacks a cutting break.

Both these were renku submissions originally, thus the lack of kireji: two statements as the hokku is the only verse intended to be a true haiku.

I think I'll work on these as I await further offerings.

bandit said...

Luckily, I've had a day to consider these:

As for "brilliantine" sunlight, late summer in this climate might offer an oily, hazy air, diffusing light, and often the breezes fragrant with sweetness or rot.
This could be early autumn in a sequence of the season.

My second attempt at the drowsy bees feels a little more upbeat, with a cut and ambiguous L3, I hope.

T.Migratorius said...

Verse 3 is equally good Willie! I agree about the cutting break and that may make it a better starting verse.

bandit said...

Hi, T!

I like your ideas. Let's see if there's anything I can add.

Verse two has a tongue-in-cheek reference to autumn in the last two lines. To change anything would lessen the dry lightness of mood and wry humor. I think these lines alone convey a kigo of early autumn, inviting the reader in on a private joke.
The first line may be too long for purists, or someone like me with a degree of obsessive-compulsion.
Plus, I think you might infer more in describing the quality of light, thus creating a definate kireji.

Line 1?- "light ripens" -e.g., but still two verbs in the poem.
"Ripened light", perhaps? This would be my choice for hokku, at this point, just for its position in season and lightheartedness, though in a short sequence of renku it may be hard to better in intensification.

I think verse 3 and 1, in that order, bookend a love sequence longer than 2 or 3 verses, through the discovery of love and its unfortunate summation.

I might add an ellipsis after 'butterflys',or even an exclamation point, at the risk of creating too distinct a break but in order to possibly amend the mood. As for 'unfathomable', I have a particular fondness for this substantial word after being rebuked for its use in a poem about whale song. If I were to leave it, I would drop the article 'the', as I would in every one of these poems if so limited and place a comma at the end of line 1. As it were, without distraction, self imposed or however, I later
chose "fathomless" in its stead, though I prefer 'unfathomable' in this instance for its stronger tone
of incredulity.

T.Migratorius said...

Thanks for the in-depth comments.

I used shooting stars in the first one as a fall kigo I had found at Shiki.

I almost did not submit #2 on the basis of the long first line, but am glad I did after getting your suggestions. It really helps to see my poems from another point of view when I am stumped on how to improve one that I know can be better. I do like 'ripened light' and changed the length of line two.

#3 would have to read autumn butterflies to technically be a kigo??

bandit said...

I wasn't at issue with

golden apples
await the fall

which seems smoother, and its possible "ripening light' may sound a little less stilted, except for the issue of the -ing ending, often used as a technique in the third verse for breaking away drastically from the hokku and wakiku. (1st and second verses)"Ripening" would add a syllable, making each line equal, assuaging my odd peccadillos.

But I'd suggest dropping 'the' before 'unfathomable distance'. Also, I thought meteor showers occured annually in summer, though I suppose autumn with its kigo of clear, bright skies would have made shooting stars an autumn phenomenon.

I just hope my play on words doesn't sound too worm eaten!

T.Migratorius said...

Hi Willie,

Just looking at your suggestions once more and have made adjustments again. I am going to keep the word 'the' in the stars verse. It just rolls off my tongue better that way, but that is just me! I had written it a couple of weeks ago after sitting outside under the stars awhile. I initially used 'summer stars'. I agree about meteor showers happening in summer, at least in our part of the world.

I like the 'ripened light' suggestion very much!

el coyote said...

Hey guys! Hope you don't mind I threw down some ideas... so glad to see y'all back working on some new projects! I've been feeling a little discouraged lately...

bandit said...

Oh, really? Knock me over with a feather..Glad you're back!

A diverse group here; where to begin? At the beginning.

"Twilight stroll" sets such a relaxed tone for me with its first line. Similar to the visual sense of "ripened light", it adds a sense of participation in its suggestion of physical action.
After a more than adequate kireji cut, a well defined second statement has a child like innocence, though subtly suggesting an ache for lost youth, clinging to happier times. Where could the following verse lead us?

The three verses to follow could certainly be American autumn, with the throwball, sorry, football and hunting references, yet are somehow incomplete standing alone, as though they may better serve as links further along in a poem.

Of the poems so far I would choose "twilight" for its quiet tone and depth of emotional response. The one question that remains is is this an Autumn kigo?
The answer may be outweighed by the content and position of this verse.

T.Migratorius said...

Good Morning!

I like your poems Eric! I really like the playfulness of the first poem also. It is my first choice of your entries.

bandit said...

Ooh, call me city boy! A further reading about Rosehips reveals there nutritional and medicinal value. ...a pocket full of rosehips. You can make tea, soup,and harvest may occur in late summer. I still like this poem for a hokku-any other suggestions?
Any thoughts to share, El C?

T.Migratorius said...

Last fall I was making rose hip tea for myself. I noticed yesterday that we have a new crop perfect for picking right now. I do like this poem very much.

I also like the languid humming as a starting verse. I will defer to you two to decide.

bandit said...

Glad you spoke up, Robin.
Hearing no further comment, I would choose "Twilght Stroll", for its hint of eccentricity and light touch. A good starting point to jump off from.

In that case, dear, would you care to add three submissions for the second verse?

Our numbers seem to be small at this early stage-perhaps a twelve tone junicho, beginning with autumn, then?

Let's begin with a new post.

el coyote said...

Hello all! Thanks for the positive feedback for the hip ku.... bandit I appreciate such a detailed critique and insight, thank you very much. I also did a little research and like the medicinal quality and the association w/ tea. I actually went for a twilight stroll and came upon some rose hips! Ha! Manifestations of haiku! Yes they do seem to be a late summer early fall kigo! I am excited to be working on a new project with y'all!

bandit said...

Thas' right-you are hip, baby!

catgirlslovehaiku said...

Great haiku. Love the collaboration.