The Lighter Side of JzB

Here you will find photos, poetry, and possibly some light-hearted foolishness. For the Heavier Side
of JzB
see my other blog,
Retirement Blues. (There be dragons!)

I claim copyright and reserve all rights for my original material of every type and genre.

Every day visits*
From Moose, Goose, and Orb Weaver
All seized by Haiku

"Why moose and goose?" you may ask. Back on 2/04/13 Pirate wrote a haiku with an elk in it, and I responded with
one with a moose and then included him every day. A few days later in comments Mystic asked "Where's the goose?"
So I started including her with this post on 2/07. A week later on the 14th, Mark Readfern
asked for and received a spider. The rest is history.

*Well, most days, anyway. Grant me a bit of poetic license.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Carpe Diem #568, Apples

I just read Kristjan's JUST READ post, then read the prompt for this post.  Help me if I've got this wrong, but I think Jane Reichold's apple haiku are way off the mark.  Are they stark and detached observations, or do they depend on sentimentality?  Only the first of the three can possibly be viewed as a brief moment in time.  Like the other two, it is a vivid image, but I see no deeper meaning there, or even a particularly sparkling insight.  The second one strikes me as being both twee and trite - very unlike the CROW haiku of Basho.  The third is the best.  It might have a deeper meaning [though I can't tease it out] and a touch of irony, but it seems to have two caesura when there should only be one.  Am I too harsh, or flat out wrong?  Let me know in comments.

one apple hangs where
leaves have abandoned the branch
now comes the squirrel

Carpe Diem #568, Apples 




  1. Well, yours certainly does have that brief haiku moment! I thought her first haiku was interesting. I did think there was a moment involved in the movement, and definitely a lot of colour - but a real sense alluded me, though it had more nostalgic value than the second, I felt. Her 'statement' in the third was sort of cliched I thought, if a bit clever. The second, well, a nostalgic look that wa complicated, but then probably not so to everyone!

  2. I'm not one for analyzing poems. I rather like Archibald MacLeish's observation in "Ars Poetica": "A poem should not mean but be."

    That said, yours IS! ;)

  3. Can we talk?

    No Jazz, you're not off the mark. You're have developed a discerning eye. You are noticing that even Big Name haiku poets write a lot of drivel between their masterpieces.

    When Jane is good, she's really good and you see the work of a master. But she is human and misses the mark much of the time.

    I like the first: "southern sunset/ filling the apple bin/ a deeper red." It's a gorgeous "shasei" or sketch poem. Nothing wrong with the occasional life sketch.

    The 2nd one is just "meh." Another sketch but too clever with the play of cinnamon glow and apples.

    The 3rd is absolutely awful in too many ways to mention w/out going on for many snobby and pedantic paragraphs, but I'll just say this: It's not really haiku at all and Reichhold should know better.

    Harsh? Yes. Eveyone's a critic. But I conclude by saying that Jane Reichhold is one of my favorite haiku "masters" (if there is such a thing) and her books/website is one of the first places I go to for help in understanding this challenging art form.

    1. P.S. you're right about two caesura issue. Reichhold teaches us about the fragment and phrase and it's totally absent in this poem. The poem feels disconnected because there is no fragment and phrase, rather, it's 3 disconnected lines. This is just one of the many problems with it.

    2. I am glad to get the opportunity to talk shop, so thanks. :)

  4. Ah that busy squirrel...have to admire their determination and readiness this time of year too!

  5. Ah. what a nice discussion.. as many of my haiku are random shots.. I am a bad judge to see what is a really good haiku (though I think that the kerosene lamp catches a moment.. the applesauce seems a little bit too disconnected).. you have captured a perfect moment I think.. (and I think squirrels are perfect for haiku)...

    1. I like your honesty, Björn, in saying that many of your haiku are random shots. That's how I feel about many of mine! I guess I'm glad for people who know how to "talk haiku" (as in, examine it and tell me why it works or why it doesn't), but my brain doesn't operate in an analytical manner, so I'm afraid a lot of this discussion is lost on me. I rely more on instinct than analysis to let me know if a haiku "clicks" or falls flat.

  6. Love this ~ a bit of humor with reality! Happy Week to you!

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

  7. Hello there Jazzbumpa --
    I'm not sure how much *new* I can add to the conversation here -- it's been very interesting and helpful to read all of the comments as well as your own. In the end I much prefer your haiku moment to any of the three Reichhold poems we read. :)

  8. Interesting discussion of haiku...makes me more critical of my own attempts! Enjoyed the moment watching your squirrel here :)

  9. Hiya! I'll admit it, I have read read it yet ... but I know what your talking about. The moving force behind waka was religious ... and the goal was to grasp inner meaning ... that is the haiku moment. Shiki changed a lot of this, in the sense that he took religion out of haiku and that's fine, but then haiku took on more of a descriptive tone, which is what he wanted. I think in the end though, Lolly has the right of it. If you're pumping out tons of haiku, you'll have a lot of chaff and little grain. I'm not overly fond of most of Reichhld haiku ... but I'm not overly fond of some of my own verse either and I find I write better if I'm sticking to the classical idea of looking for inner meaning.

  10. Wow! I learned a lot here today..

  11. Rules are not my forte. But someone has to be able to teach and analyze.
    Thanks for the in depth lesson.

    I just twisted a tale for this prompt. Mainly because I wrote it before the prompt and squeezed it to fit.

    Made sauce or juice :)



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