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  #1  
Old 06-04-2018, 04:32 PM
Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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Default Hometime haiku

Hometime

Aboard the klotok
Su stares into the river
with round brown eyes.

Through the clear water
she trails her long thin fingers
dampening auburn fur.

The little boat slows
as it nears Su's old playground
of durian trees.

Now her mother smiles
though tears glisten on her pale cheeks –
she has brought Su home.

- - -
S3 L3: reinstatement of full stop
S4 L1: and --> Now
S4 L2: while --> though; roll down --> glisten on

S1 L3: deletion of 'her'
S3 L3: deletion of full stop
S4 L1: 'a' in place of 'A'

Last edited by Felicity Teague; 06-12-2018 at 04:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2018, 05:13 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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These are beautifully atmospheric. Full of quiet, exotic undertones. Visuals like Su's fingers trailing in the water and the grove of durian trees and the smooth glide of the narrative is a pleasure to read. Coming home.

The "dampening auburn fur" is intriguing. The whole of it intrigues. I really get a transcendent feeling from it. Beautiful.

My single question would be why the mother has pale cheeks, assuming she is Indonesian/Asian, but pale is a relative -- even subjective thing, isn't it?
x

-----------
Editing back in to say S2L3 has six syllables.
x

Last edited by Jim Moonan; 06-05-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2018, 12:42 PM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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I think Su is an Orangutan, perhaps rescued as a baby and brought up by a human "mother". A European woman who is now returning Su to the wild? That would explain the pale face, and the tears, perhaps.

I hope I am not too wildly off-target with my clumsy guess. The important things are the sequence of quiet thoughts, the gentleness, the water and the trees. I am in Borneo. I hope Su is, too.
.

Last edited by Ann Drysdale; 06-05-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:09 PM
Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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Hello Jim and Ann,

Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment :-)


Jim

Thank you! I was hoping you'd comment, because I really liked your suggestion of replacing each of the stanzas of my recent 'Bird-day Ode' with a haiku. These haikus come from a much longer poem that's actually still in draft form; I had been struggling with the amount of information I wanted to include, and the decision to shorten the whole thing helped me to zoom in on just a few moments on the river. I'm happy you enjoyed it.

I did hope to create some intrigue, so your picking up on that is appreciated too. I see Ann has answered your question about the mother's paleness! I was hearing 'damp'ning' (2 syllables) for 'dampening', but I'm happy to rethink that if it doesn't work.


Ann

Thank you too! Yes, Su is an orangutan. The much longer poem on which this is based (as I mention to Jim) goes into a lot more detail about the journey home, including the klotok and the wildlife of the river. I even thought I might provide the woman's first name, Birutė (she is Birutė Galdikas), and end with something about distant sounds of logging while Su plays in the durians.

So that wasn't a clumsy guess, by any means. I'm happy you find things to like here, and yes, we are all in Borneo!


Best wishes,
Fliss
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  #5  
Old 06-06-2018, 08:43 AM
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Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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I like this, but I think the syllabic constraints are holding it back by making you add fluff words and unnecessary modifiers here and there. Here's what feels essential:
Aboard the klotok
Su stares into the river
with round brown eyes.

Through clear water
she trails her long thin fingers
dampening auburn fur.

The boat slows
as it nears Su's old playground
of durian trees.

Her mother smiles
while tears roll down her pale cheeks –
she has brought Su home.
In the last stanza, I'd consider "as" for "while".
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2018, 02:06 PM
Felicity Teague Felicity Teague is offline
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I'm glad you like it, Aaron <(:-)

I understand some of your essentials, but not others.

If I remove a syllable here and a syllable there, can I still call this poem a haiku or does it become something different? (A poetry friend once told me something about 'stresses' being more important than syllables in haiku.)

Originally I had 'as' rather than 'while' in the final stanza, but I realised I'd already used 'as' in the previous stanza :-] (copyeditor mode)
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:14 PM
David Callin David Callin is offline
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I didn't know where this was going until the very end, Fliss, and I liked the gentle surprise of the ending. (I worked out Su's nature on the second read.)

Cheers

David
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:02 PM
Aaron Novick's Avatar
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felicity Teague View Post
If I remove a syllable here and a syllable there, can I still call this poem a haiku or does it become something different? (A poetry friend once told me something about 'stresses' being more important than syllables in haiku.)
I'm not an expert on English-language haiku by any means, but as I understand it it's basically consensus that the 5-7-5 syllable pattern is not essential to English-language haiku—it's based on features of Japanese that English doesn't share. (Similar to how many Chinese poems have equal numbers of characters per line, while few English poems count words per line.)

Your friend's point about stresses is a good one: if you can hear a short-long-short stress pattern running through each stanza, then you're probably near enough.

See also the discussion in this thread: https://www.ablemuse.com/erato/showthread.php?t=29511
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:44 PM
Jeanne Jeanne is offline
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Default No need to call this haiku

This is a fine poem with memorable concrete images. It is, however, not haiku, and I see that you have not called it such in your title, which is good.

The haiku asthetic in English these days is quite spare (eg. 3-4-3 syllables, or there abouts) and rarely are there adjectives or adverbs, trusting that nouns alone can suggest the images best without modifiers. There often is a quite understated comparison or juxtaposition between a "season word" or time of day or weather conditions in one line and what is happening in the other two lines. This resonance alone can be profound and result in an "aha!" realization in the reader, as in:
as in:

dawn--
a crab pricks a bubble
in the seaweed

13 syllables.There the seascape and beach are for you to assume. Also, there is a resonance between the time of day and the action of the crab, a fatalism in the pricked bubble. How does the day start for this creature? With nothing! Can we relate to that without it being hammered into us? Yes!

Last edited by Jeanne; 06-06-2018 at 07:54 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2018, 10:23 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hi Fliss,

Lovely.

Cheers,
John
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