the seasonal blogs from 2006 to 2009

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from Sep'2009 permanent website @ The Four Seasons of Haiku
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stone grey blossoms hang
over the oak lintel, like a
ripening bunch of grapes

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13 comments:

diana l. said...

Is this describing a sculpture? (or am I taking it far too literally?)

David said...

ummmmmmmmm. no diana I'm supposed to be describing a colour. but I've failed, hopelessly again!!

diana l. said...

What do you mean "again"?

I find the experience of writing any style of poetry to be so tricky in terms of precisely striking that balance between not saying too much - where there is no mystery, no interpretive space between the
lines - and not being explicit enough (where I'm so taken by my own ideosyncratic experience that I don't realize it's not fully translating for a reader). I so often err in one direction or the other (not too mention sounding overly melodramatic at times!) but particularly dislike it when I'M taken by my own piece but no one else "gets it". (Don't you hate that?)

All this to say, (if I may be so bold) when you hit it right, David, you hit it QUITE right.

David said...

You are absolutely right. It is a difficult and tricky path to tread. One of my key readers has just retired (he was a colleague) and he was someone I could trust to help me get those 'spaces' right.

Generally I find its quite difficult getting an honest, informed response from readers, for all sorts of reasons.

I've just rejoined a poetry workshop i attended a few years back - partly to help - partly to get help.

Thanks for your compliment dianna. That's very encouraging coming from you.

Alan Summers said...

Hi Diana, David,

It's true that every writer needs readers, and pretty much all the great writers have great readers 'proof-reading' their work before it goes out into the public domain.

Not long coming out of an M.A. in Creative Writing has taught me the value of blunt honesty from collegues.

Once you have a trusting relationship it saves so much time!

Blunt honesty is quite different from subjective criticism, it's when a friend/collegue is defending your poetry by wanting the best for it, not for themselves, but for the poetry, and we gain from that.

Unfortuntely most people see criticism as negative, but once someone is brave enough to ask for criticism and learns from it, it's amazing how are they speed ahead in development.

I was fortunate enough to have U.K. poet Tim Liardet as my main tutor and he is no holds barred, and boy did I progress in an amazing twelve months with him.

Even Tim has his readers, and will take critique himself, and if you've ever read his poetry, he doesn't put a word wrong.

I can also recommend getting Ted Hughes' 'Winter Pollen' series of essays and articles, and re-reading "The Thought Fox".

I still have my readers from my M.A. class, and also my wife is tougher than all of them so I don't get away with anything. ;-)And that's the whole point, why try to get away with writing something a little less perfect? It doesn't make sense, but we all try to do it.

I'm working on two collections at the moment and it would be so easy to include some haiku but I know they don't work anymore, their time is up, haiku has moved on. It's tough, but a writer has to have both a thin skin and a thick skin, and which time to don a particular skin.

I always feel we have to check every single word, and do we need every single adverb and adjective?

I think you are attempting something very complicated, which is fascinating, but I don't think it works within the 'haiku form'.

There aren't any obvious similes or metaphors in haiku, the 'third image' is often the metaphor when two juxtaposing concrete images create that third image which is often slightly abstract.

But if the one or two 'written' images aren't concrete images it's gets very difficult to create that overall third image.

stone grey blossoms hang
over the oak lintel, like a
ripening bunch of grapes

stone grey blossoms hang
over the oak lintel
a ripening bunch of grapes

(plum/apple/pear/cherry) blossoms hang over the oak lintel
a ripening bunch of grapes

(plum/apple/pear/cherry) blossoms
over the oak lintel
a ripening bunch of grapes

(plum/apple/pear/cherry) blossoms
over the oak lintel
a bunch of grapes ripen

(p/a/pe/c) blossoms
a bunch of grapes ripen
over the oak lintel

(p/a/pe/c) blossoms
a bunch of grapes ripen
over the oak doorway
Just thinking out aloud.

Is this an experiential haiku, if so, is it your house, or one you visited? Maybe there's something to pull out of your fieldnotes to replace a line maybe?

By the way, even the top national writers often feel they're not succeeding, and I suppose that's part of most writers and what makes them strive everytime.

all my best,

Alan

David said...

Alan

I know this falls outside haiku. I was in a bit of a hurry and did not see it through.

Thanks for the experiments - what fun!!

Winter Pollen is great - I have a signed copy. I love the article on The Thought Fox and the drafts of Plath's Sheep in Fog especially.

You are very fortunate to have gathered about you some good readers.This is so important. You put this really well. The aim is the best poetry - it is best done without ego - or at least putting it to one side. I feel in a bit of a desert of criticism at the moment. Was Philip Gross a tutor on that MA?

I've returned to haiku after a long break. I didn't expect to stay so long. But it seems to fit in with everything else right now.

Thanks for your comments

All the best with the collections

David

Alan Summers said...

Haiku is a great discipline for other writings.

Phillip left a few years ago to be at University of Glamorgan. He was also a 'Bristol poet' for a number of years and I was lucky to catch a number of his readings.

I also spent a memorable long weekend in Dartmoor where he showed me a great place to fly. :-)

As you know he has a keen interest in haiku.

David said...

Yes! The first time I came across Philip Gross was through one of his haiku in HQ magazine.

I heard him read at The Troubadour in Earls Court a few years ago and my wife has done some work with him.

diana l. said...

All I can say is - please continue to feel free to give ME criticism. I currently have a very small set from which to draw feedback and desperately want to continue to grow.

Alan Summers said...

David,
Do you know HQ editor Kevin? He's a good friend of mine and has an excellent 'editing shed' too! :-)

Diana,
I'd be happy to comment if that's okay?

David said...

Alan

I subscribed to HQ for a while about a million years ago. I don't know the editor - I don't think I ever submitted anything to the magazine but I still have some old copies - hang on a minute..........yes copies from 92 - 94. A really impressive magazine. I think I ended the subscription when my wife became pregant and we became diverted by another kind of creativity.

Please give Kevin my best.

David

David said...

diana

I'll try and comment more!

David

martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.