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Suzette Richards's Blog

About Suzette Richards
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Nominated as one of the BEST POETS (current or in the past) on World Poetry Day, 21 March 2013 - in Dazed & Confused Magazine.

2. @ WATER DANCE (facebook page): Tips, poetry forms, self-publishing, websites, my books for sale, etc

Included in: My poem, ON THE OCEAN WAVES
International Who's Who in Poetry 2012
Library of Congress ISBN- 978-1-61936-035-8

My poem, The African Man, featured twice during 2012 in the eMagazine, Afritorial

A Door Left Ajar - Follow up

Blog Posted:12/6/2012 6:57:00 AM

a door left ajar

an exit     an entry

signals possibilities

You would not believe how I have agonized over the format of haiku and what is acceptable haiku poetry! I have learned that although Zen philosophy is in essence haiku, I still need to focus on ALL the aspects of what a haiku poem entails. Many thanks to all who had been my teachers, especially Debbie and Charles. Herewith is a reply to a letter which I have found very helpful in my learning process. I hope that it may be of help to other aspiring poets as well. ~ Love, Su 

Dear Suzette,

I apologize for my delay and writing. We are just now beginning to review
the work submitted for the winter issue of Frogpond and your email was
tucked within.

This is such a good question. On examination we have 3 lines and 18 syllables.
Haiku and senryu can be written in 1 to 4 lines and contain 17 or fewer syllables,
though once in awhile an extra syllable is written. (It's best to stay within the
17 or less syllable structure.) So if we are looking at structure alone, this would
appear to be a haiku, although the ellipsis in the middle of the line is unusual.
The caesura is most often set at the end of the first or second lines, but once
in awhile we see deviation.

Now the bigger question is content. Haiku is a poetry of images, suggestion, conciseness,
juxtaposition, and often contains seasonal references, or human references that may or
may not suggest season. Nature images are also a big part of haiku, though not always
necessary. So you see there is quite a bit of leeway.

What haiku should not do is lead the reader or tell the reader how to reason or what to or think. Again,
we rely on the power of suggestion through the images and words we choose. I feel that
what the third line here does is tell the reader what the writer thinks the door left ajar does,
so in that respect, though this looks like a haiku, the content leaves me feeling a distance
between what we are presented with and the true nature of haiku.

I hope this helps settle your dispute with your friend and that you are both inspired to continue to
study, read, and write haiku, as well as longer poetry.



Francine Banwarth
Editor, Frogpond

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  1. Date: 12/6/2012 11:17:00 AM
    Although I am learning more and more all the time about acceptable haiku and senryu, I still cannot abandon my personal preference for a little rhyme thrown in. Hugs and Merry Christmas! Catie :)

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 12/6/2012 11:27:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    As long as you are having fun in the process. Merry Christmas & (((HUGS))) ~ Love, Su
  1. Date: 12/6/2012 10:52:00 AM
    back when I knew very little about haiku, I wrote them all the time... now I know more about haiku I rarely attempt them.... I miss the days of ignorance because what I wrote then was fun and enjoyable and pretty, maybe I should rename them all mini-free- verses then I can love them again. Thanks for sharing this informative letter

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 12/6/2012 11:23:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ...or you could try SUZETTE PRIME :-)
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 12/6/2012 11:24:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Good point, Catie :-)
    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 12/6/2012 11:15:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I think the Soup should add a form called "Short Verse" for the poems which do not quite meet the criteria of being Haiku or Senryu.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 12/6/2012 11:09:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I know what you mean Francine. I started writing "haiku" a few months ago in honor of a fb friend and her late dad (who's poetry I admire). But, like you say: the more I learn, the less fun I am having. It is a pity that we impose such high standards on ourselves. I dare to push the envelope and maybe - just maybe - I will get it right one day. X
  1. Date: 12/6/2012 9:32:00 AM
    IT IS very helpful, Suzette! Thanks for sharing it. A very concise (and extremely interesting) definition.

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 12/6/2012 11:03:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You are welcome, Ruben. WE are learning and growing together :-)

My Past Blog Posts

Goodbye Soupers - with Omar Khayyam
Date Posted: 5/19/2013 1:42:00 AM
Date Posted: 5/17/2013 5:18:00 AM
Happy Mother's Day
Date Posted: 5/11/2013 3:06:00 PM
Date Posted: 5/11/2013 1:09:00 AM
The Gag Factor
Date Posted: 5/10/2013 9:15:00 AM
My Perspective ...
Date Posted: 5/7/2013 1:39:00 AM
The Face of PoetrySoup
Date Posted: 5/6/2013 2:42:00 PM
Date Posted: 5/5/2013 3:20:00 PM
America's first settlers resorted to cannibalism
Date Posted: 5/3/2013 10:58:00 PM
Date Posted: 5/1/2013 2:03:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/30/2013 10:17:00 PM
MOST AWFUL by Caleb Smith
Date Posted: 4/25/2013 12:35:00 PM
WORLD BOOK DAY, 23 April - Birth and Death of Shakespeare
Date Posted: 4/23/2013 3:16:00 AM
You are what you read - ROUNDEL CONTEST UPDATE
Date Posted: 4/22/2013 1:43:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/19/2013 4:00:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/18/2013 1:09:00 AM
Suzanne Delaney and Suzette Crous
Date Posted: 4/11/2013 1:28:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/8/2013 8:02:00 AM
GROOK contest finalized
Date Posted: 4/8/2013 3:17:00 AM
Suzette Poet and Author - new website
Date Posted: 4/7/2013 2:17:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/5/2013 1:34:00 AM
Date Posted: 4/3/2013 2:49:00 PM
Date Posted: 3/31/2013 11:44:00 PM
WHO IS THE POET? - No 4 - EASTER EGG HUNT - So far - - -
Date Posted: 3/30/2013 12:49:00 AM
Date Posted: 3/28/2013 12:26:00 AM

My Poems

Date PostedPoem TitleFormCategories
9/15/2014I HAD A DREAM ---Terzanelleabuse,
8/11/2014LIFE'S A CLICHECoupletlife,
7/28/2014COLLATERAL DAMAGERhymechild,children,death,
7/27/2014If God is walking by our sideCoupletdaughter,
7/25/2014FREE FROM MOOD Blitzintrospection,
7/24/2014Language, per se - LGTCoupletlanguage,
7/22/2014TimeSuzette Primedeath,life,philosophy,
7/6/2014IN THE FORESTVerseafrica,allegory,baby,natu
7/2/2014WHEN THE FINAL BELL TOLLS - Inspired by the RUBAIYAT, of Omar KhayyamRhymephilosophy,
6/7/2014SIJO meets COUNTRY and WESTERNSijolonely,longing,lost love,
5/25/2014moths flitMonokuanalogy,nature,
5/23/2014Not haikuSenryuanalogy,humor,humorous,
5/18/2014IN SILENCE LAYS THE ANSWERSonnetallegory,philosophy,poets
5/13/2014the cherry blossomHaikuspring,
5/13/2014BRIDGE TOO FARVersemythology,
5/11/2014HAPPY MOTHER'S DAYTankamothers day,
5/5/2014tears of this veldSijohero,longing,memory,natur
5/5/2014TO A NUNNERY, GOFree versemarriage,men,women,
5/5/2014scorpion Haikunature,
4/14/2014DESMOND MPILO TUTU - Itty Bitty poemClerihewhumorous,
3/31/2014SWEET TASTE OF LOVE In memory of Linda-marie Sweet-heartSuzette Primebereavement,death,dedicat
3/27/2014CHAOS - SUZETTE PRIMESuzette Primephilosophy,

My Photos

Fav Poems

Poem TitleFormCategories
As Raindrops FallLyriclife,love,philosophy,visi
The Shadow of MeFree verseintrospectionme,age,old,t
As Canvas WeepsTankaart
Through the Winter Cold he Rode Villanellelove,winter,
Seasons to wonderRhymenature,seasons,me,winter,
The Loss of WisdomQuaternintrospection,loss,people
Autumn LoveAcrosticlove,
PseudonymFree verseallegory,hope,introspecti
swarm of dragonfliesHaikuart,nature,
Dying RoseHaikudevotion,
Jokers LamentSenryufunny,life,
Distant Thunder - A Shan-zi PoemFree versenature,
Captive Bird - 12 Bars 12 DreamsRhymeanimals,
'Peace when needed'Free versefriendship,hope,life,lost
Wearied WanderlustRondeaulove,
The Allure of Your LipsQuaternpassion,romance,visionary
Invitation to the DanceFree verseallegory,
TUNES OF WAVESRhymemusic,nature,ocean,
Beauty of NatureHaikunature,
Do You RememberFree verselost lovetime,
Nette Onclaud, Princess to be QueenQuatrainhistory,people,places
DARE WEQuatrainfunny,me,
Wayward ChildPantoumage,dark,introspection,li
Ewmer Fudd and Buggs Bunny Paint the Town WedCoupletfunny,life,

Fav Poets

Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Ruben O. Argentina Flag Argentina Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Connie Marcum Wong United States Flag United States Read
Robert L. Hinshaw United States Flag United States Read
harry horsman United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Wilma Neels South Africa Flag South Africa Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
kash poet India Flag India Read
Robert Ludden United States Flag United States Read
Rhonda Johnson-Saunders United States Flag United States Read
Leonora Galinta Thailand Flag Thailand Read
Erich Goller United States Flag United States Read
Joann Grisetti United States Flag United States Read
Jenna-Nichole Conrad United States Flag United States Read
Terry O'Leary France Flag France Read
Vicky Tsiluma Kenya Flag Kenya Read
Irfana Ali Bhat India Flag India Read
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Sara Giroux United States Flag United States Read
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