Tuesday, February 28, 2006

II: 059

of weather cliches
March arrives


At February 28, 2006 10:52 PM, Blogger Shane said...

ha ha. aint that the truth.

At March 01, 2006 7:07 PM, Anonymous levon machenry said...

read the "unemployed / quahog shell" piece. don't really know what it means since i live inland.
seems to lack that "universal quality." may i propose...

the erratic bounce
of a tumbleweed

have lived most of my life in alabama, and now southwest texas.
i think more people can relate to
tumbleweeds. also read the comm-
entary on the "bicycle seat" haiku. people read an awful lot into things.

At March 01, 2006 8:16 PM, Blogger david giacalone said...

Levon, Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts -- and your edited haiku.

The notion of "universality" is hard to pin down. We can't limit haiku to nouns that virtually everyone is familiar with. Most people are familiar with clams, even if they don't know the particular type called "quahogs" in several parts of North America. I've always been quick to reach for a dictionary (in my hand or online) when I'm not sure what a word is.

I'm not at all sure how many people are truly familiar with "tumbleweed" -- except for seeing them in Westerns (all of which were filmed, I understand when the tumbleweed was extinct in most of the American West).

Although I like your tumbleweed image, I agree with those who see the roughness of the clam shell and its connection with money as quite compelling.

Not long ago, I mentioned "people read an awful lot into some of the haiku" to a wise haijin. He replied something like: "But, that's what's great about the poetry -- it's open ended enough to allow for (actually hope for) interpretations that the poet might never have thought of. And, the reader is never wrong to say 'this is what I see,' or 'this is what your poem made me think about'."

I'm always quite pleased when someone sees something in one of my poems that never occured to me (and I don't argue or let on that my thought wasn't that deep). At times, I see something new in one of my own haiku long after I wrote it -- and congratulate myself on the many layers of meaning.

Thanks for stopping by and please come back.


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