Dear Haiku Maven, Recently a publisher accused me of something terrible on Twitter. She tweeted to over 1,000 of her followers that my widely-published haiku, which I had tweeted earlier that same day, was a déjà-ku. I am new to Twitter and so sent her a PM (Private Message) showing that my haiku was published years before the one she was claiming came first. (It was very similar to mine with only two word changes.) She sent me a weak PM response but never tweeted her followers correcting her mistake. I am afraid my reputation has been injured. Help!
Signed, Haiku Twitter Newbie
Dear Newbie, Déjà-ku is a common problem in the haiku world. Haiku Maven suggests you contact the poet who penned the haiku similar to yours. Perhaps it is just a coincidence. If you do not get a response, or are not satisfied with the response you get, you should move on. This is a fight not worth fighting. You can afford to do so since you describe your haiku as “widely-published.” As for the haiku publisher who tweeted déjà-ku about your poem, I would definitely strike her from your list of Twitter followers unless she is willing to own up to her mistake to all her followers. Finally, Haiku Maven can refer you to a worthy article on the subject, “Some Thoughts on Déjà-ku” by Michael Dylan Welch, which can be found on his website, “Graceguts.”
The Haiku Maven posts each Friday to The Haiku Foundation blog. Haiku Maven offers advice about awkward situations involving haiku poets. The word maven comes from the Yiddish meyvn, meaning “one who understands.” Please use our Contact page to send a question. Haiku Maven will select a pseudonym for you based on your question. Click this link to see the Haiku Maven archive. Feel free to leave comments.