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Gene Myers.haiku column

The Haiku Society of America is pleased to host this ongoing column.

.Haiku: a place to share tools available to haiku writers and fellow haiku fans (like how to use Twitter, Facebook and Scribd for building community, self-publishing and marketing). The column will also feature interviews, blog spotlights and occasional multimedia presentations.

Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>


2012 .haiku columns

.haiku column number 13 • 10-11-2012

by Gene Myers <poetgene@gmail.com>

How the web nurtures budding haiku poets  

Michael Dylan Welch has been a very important figure for me as I've stepped into the world of haiku. His Graceguts website is a treasure trove for haiku fans. After going through the site, I'd ask him for advice and reading suggestions. He was always happy to help. So I decided to write a poem inspired by his "neon buddha" series.

My attempt fell way short. Oh well. But at least it gave me another excuse to pick Michael's brain.

"Hey Michael, I was wondering if I could get your opinion on this," I typed out the poem:

humid morning 
the plural of crows 
shadows on fallen buddleia

He's always been straight with me. He held nothing back in his reply.

"I get humid morning -- objective, sensory. The plural of crows -- okay, now you're off into an intellectualization or conceptualization, which takes the poem a little too far away from haiku, for my tastes. In the last line, I'm not sure if the shadows belong to the crows or something else, or if the shadows are literal or figurative. The poem also has three parts, when I'd aim for no more than two," he replied." For my money, I'd just kill the last line and make the first two lines into a one-liner."

humid morning the plural of crows

I saw his points. Nothing speeds perspective like showing a poem to someone you want to impress. However, if I made that the poem, I would lose the season I intended and I really wanted the buddleia to hint at Buddha.

That is why I wrote this. The last time I reached out through the web for input on a poem, I got so much valuable feedback, I was shown so many angles on my subject that I was able to make a chapbook of poems from the experience, Hands-Eyes-Stars.

In that way -- thanks to the feeling of community nurtured by so many haiku poets -- the web really has enabled old school haiku writing.

So please feel free to email me any ideas you may have.

It is also worth noting that the chapbook mentioned above, Hands-Eyes-Stars, has been viewed more than 49,000 times on Scribd.

Is there something you would like to see in a column? Email me at <poetgene@gmail.com>.

• .haiku column number 13 • 10-11-2012 •

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