Between Words revisited

the length of a thought
in breathless space between words
resonates silence

Kim M. Russell, 2016

echoing silence
in breathless space between words
a thought’s duration

Kim M. Russell, 2017


My response to Carpe Diem Writing and Enjoying Haiku #4 having fun?

This weekend, Chèvrefeuille has brought us a new episode of Writing and Enjoying Haiku as a tribute to Jane Reichhold. He says that, in the first three episodes of this special feature, he followed her book almost to the word. However, this episode is based on his own knowledge and feelings about haiku, starting with one he wrote after an episode of ‘Ask Jane’ about the Kanshicho-style of writing haiku, in which you don’t follow the rules – ‘free-style’ haiku-ing:

tears fall
on an empty sheet of paper
a new day rises

© Chèvrefeuille

Chèvrefeuille says that this haiku reflects the day on which someone close to him died. He tried to capture his feelings and emotions, but it took a whole night to order his thoughts, and he tried several versions. Finally, he felt he could cope with the loss of the close friend, tears broke through and found their way onto the empty sheet of paper – and there was his haiku!

He also tells us about the first haiku with which he became known as a haiku poet:

a lonely flower
my companion
for one night

© Chèvrefeuille

 In one of the episodes of ‘Ask Jane’, Jane re-wrote this haiku. Her idea was to work on the word ‘lonely’, because a flower cannot be lonely, that’s a human feeling. Jane suggested the following idea:

a single tulip
my companion
for one night

© Chèvrefeuille

He was happy with the edit because, when he published the original haiku, there were several comments that it felt a ‘one-night-stand’. That becomes more obvious in the second version because tulips have a sensual meaning. As Jane said: “that second haiku has more connotations … even some sexual with single / unmarried and tulip / two lipped!”

Chèvrefeuille goes on to say that a haiku is a really short poem, but it’s also the ‘biggest’ poem, because we can say so much with few words in a symbiosis between the poet and the reader.

The goal for this weekend meditation is to step back and look at our haiku (or tanka). What do we see? We should change the way we look at them, as if we are readers and not poets. What do we see … what scenes come to mind?

I have worked on a haiku that I first wrote and posted in Carpe Diem’s first winter retreat in 2016.


5 thoughts on “Between Words revisited

  1. What a wonderful redone version Kim. I remember that first version and that was a beauty, but the reworked version is even more beautiful. I think you have done a great job. Thank you by the way for yoir kind words and the reproduction of a part of my post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. yes i do like the version two of your haiku, there is always the feeling pf writing a better haiku, it a question of calling a halt, thats enough this is where it ends

    Happy Sunday Kim

    much love…

    Liked by 1 person

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