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Messages - cat

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In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Why I love haiku
« on: March 22, 2014, 06:18:24 AM »
Just my opinion here, which I hope doesn't offend anyone—

Every poem finds its own form, its own size, and should be taken for what it is, poem qua poem. Excellent poetry comes in all shapes and lengths. None is superior to the rest.

In my opinion, "mentally editing" the work a poet has put heart and soul into "down into haiku" is disrespectful.

Outside of haiku, I do not even write poetry, so I'm not saying this because I any have skin in the game. I don't.


In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: haiku now results
« on: March 22, 2014, 06:05:45 AM »
Gene, I share your curiosity about this, because the guidelines in the Traditional Haiku category clearly state:

. . . the traditional approach to haiku in English—three lines, 5-7-5 syllables [emphasis added], with a caesura after the first line emphasized by a dash.


In-Depth Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Accidental Haiku?
« on: March 22, 2014, 05:59:47 AM »
Tristan, I don't know why you couldn't find anything. I Googled her and in less than 10 seconds was on this page, which is about another form she created, the "Staccato." At the bottom is her biography, which says she created the Alouette (not "aloutte") and eight other forms.

Shadow Poetry (which used to publish the haiku journal White Lotus) says this about the Alouette:

The Alouette, created by Jan Turner, consists of two or more stanzas of 6 lines each, with the following set rules:

Meter: 5, 5, 7, 5, 5, 7
Rhyme Scheme: a, a, b, c, c, b

The form name is a French word meaning 'skylark' or larks that fly high, the association to the lark's song being appropriate for the musical quality of this form. The word 'alouette' can also mean a children's song (usually sung in a group), and although this poetry form is not necessarily for children's poetry (but can be applied that way), it is reminiscent of that style of short lines. Preference for the meter accent is on the third syllable of each line.

Hope this helps!


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: The use of simile in haiku
« on: May 26, 2011, 12:03:50 AM »
Hello, Nu and Alan,

Alan, I have a question.

Since a simile by definition is an explicit comparison using "like" or "as", how can you call this:

Pharmakós the name you scratch inside

or this:

memory of starlight wink of a one-eyed dog as it sneezes

or this:

a long journey
some cherry petals
begin to fall

a simile?

Your examples show relationships between dissimilar things but are not, strictly speaking, similes.  Metaphors, perhaps, juxtapositions, yes, but not similes by definition.

I would suggest that Jane's advice actually moves the comparison away from simile by dropping the "like" or "as", so even though she calls it "the technique of simile", it could more accurately be called "the technique of effaced simile", as the simile is no longer there once "like" or "as" is taken away.

Maybe someone who has Japanese can answer this: Are the cited haiku overt similes in the original?  Or is this a translator's way of structuring a haiku because the original uses some other technique that doesn't lend itself to English?

It is extremely rare to see overt similes in ELH anthologies or journals.  It would seem there are other techniques that are more effective, or we'd see more simile in ELH.


Other Haiku News / Re: New! Contest Archive
« on: May 12, 2011, 07:25:21 AM »
Hello, Billie,

I did miss the announcement!  So I'm glad you posted the news here.  Thank you.

How much fun is this!  What a great resource for those entering contests, to see all the previous winners and honorable mentions in one place.

Thank you, THF.


Hello, Larry,

It's been a long time since I studied math, but if memory serves me correctly, the factorial of 11! would be 39,916,800 possible permutations.  That does not take into consideration the 100,000 words in English.

So it looks as if there is plenty of acreage in the haiku playground, at least in the foreseeable future.


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: Do you play it safe?
« on: May 07, 2011, 02:22:35 PM »
Interesting questions, John.

I'm not sure I agree with your premise, though.

But in answer to your first question --

No.  I have no fear of being told I'm not playing by the rules in haiku or in life, although I do believe that if you write in a form, you need to respect and honor the form you're writing in.  (On the flip side, it's always fun to see just how elastic "the rules" really are.  But does ELH have rules?  That is the question.)

And yes.  If I think others won't "get it", I try another approach.  Perhaps there are two kinds of writers -- those who believe in the supremacy of self-expression and those who believe that writing is first and foremost communication.  I'm with the communicators.  If what I write leaves readers in the dark, I don't believe I've done my job.

As far as "actively try[ing] our hand at trying styles we are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with", I am not quite four years into my haiku journey and I am still mastering the basics.  I believe the foundation needs to be in place before you put up the fancy woodwork. 


Contests and Awards / Re: Catherine J.S. Lee wins chapbook competition
« on: April 29, 2011, 07:38:36 AM »

I'm away for a day with food poisoning, and I come back and find all these wonderful, generous comments!  What a terrific bunch of poets you are!

Thank you for posting the news, Billie, and thank you, John, Don, Alan  ;D , Gael, Lorin, and Ivory for your kind words.

John, you can order a copy by following the link Billie provided and then clicking on the "Store" tab, or from me.  PM me for details if you want.

cat  :D

Hello, Mark,

The mentoring forum here at THF was made private was for just that reason -- so that haiku that were workshopped here could be submitted to the journals.  Some journals consider work that has appeared in the forums "published" and some don't -- most are pretty clear in their guidelines, so reading through those should give you a pretty good idea of which is which.

Here are some guidelines from a cross-section of journals:

ACORN says: "Posting to private online mailing lists and workshops is not considered prior publication; however, appearance in an edited online journal or a public forum, or posting on Facebook, Twitter or a personal blog, renders a poem ineligible for submission."

BOTTLE ROCKETS says: "No simultaneous, previously published material, and/or work that has "appeared" anywhere in the universe please for any reason. That means in newsletters, websites, e-zines, blogs, discussion groups, contests, programs, flyers, any thing you can possible think of. Even if it is printed somewhere and the editor of that publication doesn't consider it "published," WE DO. If it has "appeared in public" or been published, do not send it."

FROGPOND says:  "All submissions must be original, unpublished work that is not under consideration by a print or web-based journal. While posts on Internet sites such as Facebook or Twitter are eligible, posts on blogs are not."

THE HERON'S NEST says:  "The Heron’s Nest requires first publication rights, including first electronic rights, for work accepted. Poems that have been previously published in print or on the Internet, including publication on personal Web sites or blogs, public video and/or photo sites, and public forums, are not eligible for submission to our journal. Any work that can be found in a Web search is considered previously published."

NOTES FROM THE GEAN says: "All poems/artwork submitted to Notes From the Gean must be unpublished, either in print or electronically, and not under consideration elsewhere. Works that have been uploaded to sharing networks or blogs will be deemed as published and those that are work-shopped on closed forums will be considered as unpublished."

PRUNE JUICE says:  "Here at Prune Juice, we believe ‘previously published’ poems are those that have been previously selected for publication by another editor. Therefore, any work that you yourself have submitted to social networking sites, blogs and microblogs are still considered here at Prune Juice. In short, if your poem has only appeared publicly in your Twitter stream or on your personal blog, we will still consider it as we believe this is not considered as a previously published piece."

As you can see, there is a wide variety of opinions among the journals as to what constitutes "previously published".  Even if I had changed a word, I would not submit a haiku that had appeared on Twitter or Facebook to journals with guidelines like Acorn, Bottle Rockets, The Heron's Nest or Notes From the Gean.

Hope this helps.


(Fixed a typo.)

Journal Announcements / Re: education
« on: April 23, 2011, 05:13:16 AM »
Good luck with your school, Don.

You are an amazing teacher and a visionary so I know it will do very well.


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: ? haiku or senryu ?
« on: April 17, 2011, 08:13:58 PM »
We have?

Um . . .

That must be what just went flying over my head.  I didn't get it.


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: ? haiku or senryu ?
« on: April 17, 2011, 05:49:58 PM »
Dear Gabi san,

I am not suggesting one should not be mindful of one's craft and the elements one includes in one's poems.  I consider that a given.

But I think putting things into boxes -- getting out the label gun and trying to decide if this is this or this is that -- is truly an energy vampire.  When I'm thinking about what to call something after it's written, I'm wasting my time.

This won the Traditional Haiku category in the 2010 HaikuNow! competition here at THF.  Would it have even been submitted if Day were dividing her poems into haiku/senryu categories?

war memorial
the shine on a bronze soldier
from so many hands
~Cherie Hunter Day

I still feel the labeling is the province of editors, who are more attuned to the lit-crit enterprise.  Those involved in the process of creation should eschew labels if the work is to reach its full potential.

Just my opinion.


New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: ? haiku or senryu ?
« on: April 17, 2011, 06:05:17 AM »
Hello, Mariu,

Gabi san has given you the complete run-down, and it's good to learn these things.

But in every day writing practice, it can be crazy-making and also an energy vampire to think too much about labels.  Write what you want to write.  Send it out, as most journals are receptive to both haiku and senryu and don't ask you to choose a term for your work.  (Some of the competitions and Prune Juice -- which focuses on senryu and kyoka -- are exceptions.)

One of my colleagues used to have a poster on his classroom wall that said, "Label jars, not people."  I would say "poems" could be substituted for "people" in that.  Sometimes the theoretical can help the practical, but it can also get in the way of the writing by pulling focus away from what makes a poem effective, which is after all the main goal.

Just some thoughts.



New to Haiku: Free Discussion Area / Re: haiku and senryu
« on: April 11, 2011, 12:40:55 PM »
Wow, Mark!

An impressive list of articles by some heavy hitters.

Thank you.


Come on, boys!

You can't talk about the should-read masters and leave out my main gal, Chiyo-Ni.

Patricia Donegan's landmark Chiyo-Ni: Woman Haiku Master is out of print and so rare used copies go for close to $100.  But you can find her here:

I have another, more comprehensive site bookmarked on my MacBook, but it's at school and I'm not, so I'll try to remember to add it Monday.  I can't find it today with Google.

Here's a review of the book, with some useful info:

and another:

Check 'em out!


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