Aug 31

Haiku 949

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , , August 31st, 2011

by Alison

by Alison

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(It Could Have Been Much Worse and Yet…)

I’M SO EXHAUSTED –

Irene took three trees and our

electricity

Comments (2)

Aug 29

Review: Haiku U by David M. Bader

Posted: under Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , , August 29th, 2011

by Kelly

by Kelly

It’s that time of year again — back to school.

For all those prospective English majors out there, here’s fun little book that could help rekindle the spirit of literature for the semesters yet to come.

Haiku U, by David M. Bader, is a pint-sized book with a 5-7-5 haiku on each page.

Each haiku is a 17-syllable synopsis of a title from the world’s literary cannon.

There is a haiku that recaps Jane Eyre, another that recaps The Iliad, and still another that recaps Robinson Crusoe.

I liked this one, which retells the story of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita:

Lecherous linguist —

he lays low and is laid low

after laying Lo.

This one recounts F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby:

Beauty to weep for —

coral, azure, apple green.

His custom-made shirts.

As I flipped through the pages of Haiku U, I quickly realized that I only liked a haiku if I had the appropriate background knowledge. In other words, if I hadn’t read the book in question (or had never heard of it), its haiku synopsis meant absolutely nothing to me.  In fact, I even started skipping haiku that belonged to book titles I didn’t know because I had already figured out that they would be lost on me.

So while many of Haiku U‘s poems were out of my reach, the idea of recapping an entire book in 17 syllables got me thinking. Could I sum up an entire novel in three short lines?

I could and I did. And because I was summarizing a novel in haiku, I thought it only appropriate that the novel I summarized have something to do with haiku. So here in my haiku summarizing Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors (follow the link for a review of the book detailing its haiku connection):

American nurse

wounded Japanese captive

cross cultural love

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Aug 25

Haiku 948

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , , , August 25th, 2011

by Alison

by Alison

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Ode to my In-laws:

too short a visit

there presence has me craving

Grand Central Station

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As we know in the world of haiku, sometimes short is sweet. My in-laws were in New Hampshire for just two days and it was wonderful to see them. Penelope had a blast. Grandma and Penny danced around the house like butterflies. Grandpa cracked Penny up and had all of us giggling. And we all took a trip to the pool one day that included a swimming lesson for Penny from Grandma and finally, a trip to the Depot Station Ice Cream Parlor. And one of the flavors? Grand Central Station. I had to order this seeing as how 1. B and I used to live in New York 2. the in-laws are native New Yorkers and 3. New York tends to be a meeting ground for this side of my family. Grand Central Station ice cream? Yum!!! Caramel ice cream with chocolate rice crispies and tiny malt balls. So I am planning two trips: a trip back to the ice cream parlor and a bigger trip in November which will take us into the real Grand Central Station.

Comments (3)

Aug 23

Haiku 947

Posted: under Daily Haiku, Kelly's Haiku.
Tags: , , , , , , August 23rd, 2011

by Kelly

by Kelly

on the water

boats rev pulling skiers — on land

first acorns fall

Comments (1)

Aug 21

Haiku 946

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , , , August 21st, 2011

by Alison

by Alison

at the garden store

rows and rows of snow blowers –

yellow Mums in bloom

Comments (1)

Aug 18

Review: Poetry, the Movie

Posted: under Reviews.
Tags: , , , , , , August 18th, 2011

by Kelly

by Kelly

I watched an amazing movie over the weekend. It was a South-Korean film called Poetry.

The movie jacket boasts a host of awards from recognized film festivals like Cannes, Toronto, Telluride and New York. After seeing the film, I understand why. It has a very quiet nature, and yet it builds to a fascinating climax.

The movie doesn’t have anything to do with haiku, per se, but it does question the origin of poetic inspiration, a topic that — of course — interests me as Alison and I are now deep into year three of Haiku By Two.

The main character of the film, a 60-ish woman named Mija, has recently been told by her doctors that she has Alzheimer’s Disease.

She doesn’t know what to do with this information. After all, her high-school aged grandson (whom she is raising) seems downright incapable of behaving in any sort of civilized manner, and her daughter (the grandson’s mother) lives in another city. Mija is, it seems, on her own when it comes to addressing the needs of her disease.

On a whim, she registers for a poetry class at her local community center. There, she hopes to discover an artistic muse. She desperately wants to write one good poem before she loses her grasp on language, but doesn’t know where to look for inspiration.

At a time when Mija should be focusing her energy and money on herself, however, she learns that her grandson has been involved in an awful crime. A local young woman has killed herself and Mija’s grandson, along with a handful of his friends, are accused of causing the situation that led to the suicide.

Given her Alzheimer’s, will Mija be able to fully grasp the seriousness of her grandson’s crime? Will she be able to help him escape arrest? And will she ever find her muse and write the perfect poem?

Poetry is not the kind of movie that features eye-popping special effects, and it is not the kind of movie that will have you griping your armrest in suspense. But it is the kind of movie that gets under your skin. Poetry is the kind of movie you need to watch with someone else so that you have a discussion partner at the end.

I, unfortunately, watched it by myself, and thus have been dying to talk about it with someone (anyone!) who has experienced it and can help me digest the story.

If you’ve seen it, drop me a comment and let me know what you thought about it, especially the end!

Or, if this post so moves you, rent it and watch it, then come back here and tell me what you think!

Comments (12)

Aug 18

Haiku 945

Posted: under Daily Haiku, Kelly's Haiku.
Tags: , , , August 18th, 2011

by Kelly

by Kelly

smaller than a grape

the baby tree frogs have hatched

their presence pleases

Comments (4)

Aug 14

Haiku 944

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , , August 14th, 2011

by Alison

by Alison

opposites attract

and opposites disagree –

cool wind, bitter words

Comments (1)

Aug 12

Haiku 943

Posted: under Daily Haiku, Kelly's Haiku.
Tags: , , , , , August 12th, 2011

by Kelly

by Kelly

I thought I’d put my

infertility to rest —

I’m crying again

Comments (3)

Aug 10

Haiku 942

Posted: under Alison's Haiku, Daily Haiku.
Tags: , August 10th, 2011

by Alison

by Alison

IMO

volunteerism should not

create more chaos

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Okay, so this is a kvetch-ku. I seemed to have gotten myself into a pickle with volunteerism. Do not get me wrong – I believe in volunteer work. Seeing as my last full-time job had me working at a volunteer-driven organization, I like to practice what I once preached and contribute to my community and give back to the world.

I started volunteering as a child assisting an art therapist (although all I remember doing was playing with the art) continued into my teen years cooking meals for the homeless and delivering meals through Meals on Wheels.  I liked doing this work. It was social, it pulled me out of my world and got me to understand others, and I felt good about contributing in small but very practical ways. It was just a few hours per month and did not in any way interfere with my school work, my family time or my social life. As an adult I volunteered as a conversation partner for international students and recent immigrants. Oh, how I loved this volunteer position! So much did I love chatting away with newcomers from Korea, Argentina and Nicaragua, that I quickly enrolled in an ESL certification course and never looked back. To this day, I teach English to immigrants and I love it.

But…. volunteerism is not always a good thing. I’m not sure if it’s just a woman thing, but every where I turn someone is asking me to bake a batch of cookies. Now let me confess – I am not a great baker. I forget cookies in the oven and my muffins turn out like rocks. And yet it takes me several hours of baking + shopping + cleanup to bake a batch of weird looking cookies to deliver to a bake sale in which no one will buy them… except me. What good is this, I ask? Next time, I’m writing a check. For the seasoned bakers out there, brava! I will buy your brownies too.

I also recently agreed to a local volunteer job before getting all the details. You see, I am not very good at being put on the spot. So when I was asked publicly to take on a “little” writing position I responded with an “Um, oh, yeah! Okay, I’ll do it.” Big mistake. The little job had my staying up till 2 a.m. for three weeks straight to meet a deadline. Ugh. But I’m working on getting kinda sorta tougher. I gave notice for this writing position and will only be doing it for one more month. And I am starting to consider more deeply what I want and don’t want out of volunteer work.

What do you think? What makes volunteerism wonderful and what makes it a major pain in the tuchas?  Tell me about your volunteerism – the good, the bad, everything!

Comments (3)