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Never would I have thought I would start
writing at 73 years of age. I have thoroughly enjoyed my voyage into the written spirituality of poetry and am thankful for the opportunity.  In my four years here I have met many new and wonderful persons. Having them accept me as a friend has been a moving experience.


Kudos For Catie

Blog Posted:11/7/2012 3:29:00 PM
The following haiku was written by Catie. Look at it carefully and learn what a real haiku looks like, feels like and tastes like. A work like this can not be by accident.

where no light plays
nor reflects upon my waters --
my heart is eclipsed

First of all she has immersed herself into the poem, so it is very subjective and modern sounding. It is also very abstract in the way it is presented and deals in concepts. It tells of her emotion when she is left out of the loop, so to speak, with no one wanting her opinions or good advice. It makes her feel unfulfilled as a person, and as a "want to be" friend.

"where no light plays" is a tremendous metaphor for - - - ignorance of circumstance, lack of sophistication, one way conversation, a place where there are no answers, aloneness, feeling of lonliness, little or no education, and depending on where your idividual interests lie, there are probably a couple more that each of you could name.

"nor reflects upon my waters" is a simple reaffirmation of the foregone conclusions above, with the added stipulation that : even if some of those things have been presented to her, for one reason or another, she has come up short.

"my heart is eclipsed"- - - - I am devastated, my goodness has been cut short, not accepted, belittled, muddied, tainted, I no longer feel a whole person as when circumstance was different.

Let your mind wander: take wings and stimulate your immagination. What else could this tremendous poem be saying. After all there are THREE WHOLE LINES OF INFORMATION, the longest being every bit of 
7 syllables. And she makes it look so easy. How does this poem speak of you personally?

I salute you madam poet.

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  1. Date: 11/8/2012 2:01:00 PM
    Su, not to dispute anything you have added as it is all worthy content. The original rendition has "upon my waters" making it subjective by injecting her presence into the piece.

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/9/2012 12:24:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I see it now :-)
  1. Date: 11/8/2012 7:53:00 AM

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  1. Date: 11/8/2012 12:25:00 AM
    (5) Additionally, the haiku traditionally employ "the technique of cutting"--i.e., a division in thought between the earlier and later portions of the poem. These two divisions must be able to stand independently from each other, but each one must also enrich the reader's understanding of the other section. In English translation, this division is often (but not always) indicated through punctuation marks such as a dash, colon, semicolon, or ellipsis. (6) Haiku poets often present the material under pseudonyms rather than using their true names. [I hope that you have found these notes and comments useful. If you are considering submitting your poetry for publication, it would be advisable to first check out the rules of that publisher. ~ Su]

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  1. Date: 11/8/2012 12:24:00 AM
    (4) It is striking a feature of the haiku that direct discussion of the poem's implications or "deeper meanings" is forbidden in the body of the poem. Likewise, symbolism or puns are discouraged in a manner alien to Western poetry. The poet describes her subject in an unusual manner without making explicit commentary or explicit moral judgment. The genre often relies upon allusions to earlier haiku or implies a comparison between the natural setting and something else. Simplicity is more valued than "cleverness." If the poet is being clever, using puns or symbols, or being too philosophical, the poem again is technically a senryu rather than a haiku.

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  1. Date: 11/8/2012 12:21:00 AM
    (3) The haiku is always set during a particular season or month as indicated by a kigo, or traditional season-word. This brief (and often subtle) reference to a season or an object or activity associated with that time of year establishes the predominant mood of the poem. These words place the haiku within a specific month or season, establishing an atmosphere for the poem while maintaining brevity. Japanese books of poetry are usually divided according to season, with the five Japanese seasons being Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and New Year's added as the fifth season to Europe's traditional four.

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/8/2012 12:23:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    The kigo can be an actual reference to the name of the season or a month, or it can be a traditional connotative word: cicadas, fireflies, flies, frogs, and mosquitoes are common kigo for summer haiku, for instance. Likewise, billowing clouds, summer storms, burning sunshine, fans, midday naps, parasols, and planters' songs are other kigo for summer. ETC
  1. Date: 11/8/2012 12:18:00 AM
    (2) The traditional subject matter of a haiku is a Zen description of natural phenomena, wildlife, common everyday occurrences, or particular locations. Insects and seasonal activities are particularly popular topics. If the subject matter is something besides a scene from nature, the poem is technically a senryu rather than a haiku. The point was that the imagery presents a "Zen snapshot" of the universe, setting aside logic and thought for a flash of intuitive insight. The haiku seeks to capture the qualities of experiencing the natural world uncluttered by "ideas." The haiku moment:--that split second when we first experience something but before we begin to think about it.

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  1. Date: 11/8/2012 12:16:00 AM
    Haiku follow several conventions: (1) The traditional Japanese haiku consists of three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven, and the last line five. In Japanese, the language further restricts the syllables in that each syllable must have no more than three sound units (sound-components formed of a consonant, a vowel, and another consonant). The three-unit rule is usually ignored in English haiku, since English syllables vary in size much more than in Japanese. Furthermore, in English translation, this 5/7/5 syllable count is occasionally modified to three lines containing 6/7/6 syllables respectively, since English is not as "compact" as Japanese.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 11:58:00 PM
    Within English-language haiku (ELH) the debate is becoming increasingly polarised with both editors and writers advocating either this style of writing or that. It is my belief that while we owe a massive debt to Japan, ELH should and must now grow into full maturity and no longer look over its shoulder. We could all continue to write pretty images about cherry trees or we could reach deeper into our own experience and produce works which are both authentic and relevant for a wider reading public and our literary peers.

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/8/2012 12:00:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    An extract from the editor at This is something which I welcome.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/7/2012 11:58:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I believe that if we do not do this then we are all in danger of settling for a comfort zone in ELH and will not develop into the fullness of what we can be as writers. Without being directive I will be advocating the advancement of the three Es of our mission.
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 11:08:00 PM
    I love this poem! It has an element of sharing a moment which we may all identify with. Just one question: The use of the personal noun in the haiku throws me somewhat. Punctuation (I feel) is redundant, when the use of the language is clearly defining the phase and the phrase. Suggestion: where no light plays/ nor reflects upon the waters/ a heart is eclipsed..... The use of "the" and "a" speaking directly to the reader, including him in the moment. It is to my mind unnecessary to use personal nouns in haiku (and not encouraged - what I have been led to understand), because it is by definition the poet's observation which he is sharing with you. The final phrase underscores the feeling of a loss felt

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    Henderson Avatar Charles Henderson Date: 11/8/2012 2:07:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    the difference is in what he shares outside of himselp vs. what he shares of himself, that determine whether the poem is objective or subjective. In the latter case, personal pronouns are helpful, if not imperative.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/7/2012 11:48:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Haiku is a worldwide phenomena. Here is a link which you might find useful:
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/7/2012 11:30:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Here our students at school level and higher are taught (we have a large eastern population) to write haiku and related styles, in order to train them to write concise observations and the value of argument. Ie A point made is usually more apparent when the "jux" is present. So, i s o using similie, the "jux" is used to great effect.
    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/7/2012 11:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Haiku is usually positive in conclusion and, therefore, the somber tone of this poem and the melancholy expressed (a personal expose) would perhaps make me lean more towards it being senryu.
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 6:50:00 PM
    *cont'd* -- I am unlearning my haiku habits, and for the sake of arguement, starting from scratch again. And in doing so, I am leaning towards a smoother transition into the juxtaposition, as exemplified by Catie's haiku above. I won't even be using a (--, etc) to indicate the kereji....I might use a comma here and there. The full-bodied, aromatic flow of a more subtle juxtaposition lends to a much more poetic haiku. Haiku is poetry, right? When one ends-up with a mechanical formula, which includes the *pow* in-your-face turn, devoid of poetic essence, of all possible emotion, of the very existentialist nature of haiku, one is left with un-poetic, mechanical haiku that is about as interesting to read as dare I use the cliche....watching paint dry.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 6:27:00 PM
    Catie's haiku is a great example of several things, including the difference between subjectively poetic haiku, when compared to dry, boring, overly-redundant objective haiku that reads like a line from a nature trail sign written by an epileptic. But aside from the deep metaphor and imagery, the thing which stands out the most, is how smoothly the haiku reads, yet it still lends to a more subtle, graceful 'cut'. The juxtaposition happens within a smooth flow -- the reader can still make a slight pause, yet read the haiku in one breath. The cut/juxtaposition isn't a blatant slap in the face....a *bam!* followed by a violent turn veering-off into juxtaposition la-la-land.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 6:19:00 PM
    *cont'd* -- Without putting words into your mouth, I believe that you are in agreement how there are many different styles of haiku. You aren't telling people exactly how to write their, moreso, you are simply stating that no matter how much one experiments and evolves, there need to be a certain amount of skeletal bones in the flesh of the lines, for the end result to have a haiku-body. Without any discipline, the form becomes spineless; formless. I even remember when you highlighted 'Sci-fi-ku'. That was very cool.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 6:14:00 PM
    Chas, your other blog has had me inadvertently writing haiku all day long(albeit first in my head while multi-tasking things I am supposed to be performing). This is probably the first time in 5 months that I have written haiku. I find that people have you pegged wrongly as a 'traditional' haiku writer. Traditional haiku was for the most part written in Japanese, pre-1940s. As you are aware of, Japanese, writing in Japanese(even including kigo, etc), are not even writing traditional haiku lol. There might be a Shinto monk in Hokkaido who is still writing purely traditional haiku. 99% of other people claiming to be writing traditional haiku are full of themselves in so many ways. Wot they might be doing, is attempting to mimic it. But mimicry is so blase.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 5:56:00 PM
    I wouls also like to add my plea for a regular column.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 5:51:00 PM
    I could interpret this also a little more literally: when the moon is in eclipse, there is no light, and there is no reflection,hence her heart is the moon (which is often the seat of love as is the heart) This could mean she is broken hearted, waiting for the eclipse to end, and find new light, new love.

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    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 11/7/2012 7:00:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry's in shadows!
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 4:57:00 PM
    Charles: Thanks for your efforts and dedication. I really appreciate these blogs... just because I want to learn how to write properly a haiku/senryu.

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  1. Date: 11/7/2012 4:44:00 PM
    Here's a golden star for you, Catie! : )

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    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 11/7/2012 4:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Thanks, Ruben! My first gold star! You do make me blush! Ha! Ha! hugs, catie :)
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 4:39:00 PM
    CHARLES!!! Awesome, awesome blog! Catie's haiku is touching and profound. I only have a minute. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THIS TYPE OF BLOG FROM YOU, WEEKLY! My idea: you could even contact poets (as you did with Catie) and ask if you could pick them as the haiku of the day!!! Then REPOST the haiku as SOUP HAIKU FOR THE DAY. You could highlight why the haiku works, the haiku elements it captures. I'm serious, here. This is excellent in every way possible. A 'positive' approach is a powerful teaching tool. Yup. I'm likin' the honey! MORE MORE. Hugs, grins, winks and 6 stars, Cyndi

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    Richards Avatar Suzette Richards Date: 11/7/2012 10:52:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I love this suggestion by you, Cyndi. It makes perfect sense to highlight what works and set an example which to strive for and a forum where we may question. The rule "Only say things nice" on a poem posted is limiting. (On another site, people openly tell you that your work sucks - without giving any reason or help to improve. It is liberating but unhelpful). X
    Edwards Avatar Tracie Edwards Date: 11/7/2012 5:30:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Good idea Cyndi.. xxx
    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 11/7/2012 4:46:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I agree with Cyndi on this one! What a fabulous idea! Positive reinforcement! yes! Thanks, cyndi. i know i would be reading THAT blog! hugs, catie
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 11/7/2012 4:45:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Mine is a golden one! : )
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 4:38:00 PM
    Yay Go Catie.. Go Catie.. xxx This is exactly why I keep my Ku to myself :D

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    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 11/7/2012 4:44:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Ha! Ha! Thanks Tracie! hugs, catie :)
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 4:26:00 PM
    hey Catie, I'll bow to Chas's superior knowledge on this one, I did tell you what I thought already but I write traditional [like] haiku not more modern ones where some subjectivity is allowed, my only question would be do you think you can consistantly write a traditional one now?

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    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 11/7/2012 4:44:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    consistently...well... I know it does take work, but i believe I CAN do it, not saying that it is always done well, but I believe i can do it. (I hope!) Although my preference is towards the more modern haiku. hugs, Catie :)
  1. Date: 11/7/2012 3:57:00 PM
    Thank you, Charles. :) Just want everyone to know that I gave Charles my permission to post this blog, so feel free to discuss my poem. hugs, Catie :)

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    Lindsey Avatar Catie Lindsey Date: 11/7/2012 4:41:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    LOL Oh Ruben, you are wonderful! You always make me laugh! Thanks for that! hugs, catie :)
    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 11/7/2012 4:37:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Dont play with fire, young Lady! LOL!

My Past Blog Posts

Expanding Deb's Blog
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Date Posted: 3/31/2014 11:22:00 PM
Calling All, Want To Be, Haiku Writers
Date Posted: 2/20/2014 3:46:00 PM
My Bear Story Retold
Date Posted: 2/5/2014 2:35:00 PM
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Date Posted: 11/4/2013 7:31:00 PM
The Elusive Monoku
Date Posted: 7/27/2013 11:20:00 PM
Computer Games
Date Posted: 7/12/2013 9:08:00 AM
Contest Winners and Bear String
Date Posted: 5/3/2013 11:47:00 PM
My Contest
Date Posted: 5/2/2013 2:01:00 PM
The Bear III
Date Posted: 4/1/2013 5:23:00 PM
Another Bear Story
Date Posted: 3/31/2013 10:23:00 PM
The no contest Contest
Date Posted: 3/30/2013 2:51:00 AM
Hanging Ten
Date Posted: 3/22/2013 10:59:00 AM
Feedback Wanted
Date Posted: 1/27/2013 1:06:00 PM
Wise Guys
Date Posted: 1/22/2013 9:28:00 AM
Mathematics of Success
Date Posted: 1/21/2013 7:36:00 PM
New Soup Rule
Date Posted: 1/20/2013 7:34:00 PM
Soup Problem Update
Date Posted: 1/20/2013 5:20:00 PM
More on the Gullah People (wikipedia)
Date Posted: 1/13/2013 3:21:00 PM
The Gullah People of South Carolina
Date Posted: 1/12/2013 7:23:00 PM
emergency email
Date Posted: 12/26/2012 2:25:00 PM
new law in Michigan
Date Posted: 12/11/2012 1:23:00 PM
A Nice Verse
Date Posted: 11/27/2012 7:30:00 PM
Mauve cotton Fields
Date Posted: 11/26/2012 10:15:00 PM
Results of the 101 haiku Contest
Date Posted: 11/23/2012 12:58:00 PM

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3/14/2015 gazing Haikuangst,
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3/12/2015 two kittens Haikunature,
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2/23/2015 eagles nest Haikucourage,
2/21/2015 alone Haikublue,
2/21/2015 haiku Haikubird,
2/6/2015 Innuendo Haikuconflict,people,word play
1/29/2015 on the beach Haikubeach,
12/22/2014 Aging Sonnetallegory,
12/14/2014 Last Rites Haikuangst,
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12/14/2014 a haiku string Haikuangst,
12/9/2014 the gnarly oak Haikuanalogy,
12/9/2014 A semi quasi pseudo sonnet Sonnetallegory,
9/30/2014 rarity Haikuphilosophy,
9/16/2014 Cold Winds Epigramage,
9/16/2014 A Mind Thing Prosedeath,
8/31/2014 The Tryst Rhymememory,
8/29/2014 night breeze Haikuculture,nature,
8/24/2014 The Cure Rhymecancer,
8/24/2014 among crocus Haikuanalogy,
8/3/2014 the tree Haikunature,
8/3/2014 the pond Haikugrowing up,
8/3/2014 talcum Haikubaby,
8/3/2014 her letter Haikuwife,
8/1/2014 stars Haikunature,
7/18/2014 the tern Haikunature,
7/18/2014 the bare branch Haikuphilosophy,
7/17/2014 how many worlds Haikuphilosophy,
7/17/2014 accoutrement Haikuappreciation,
7/17/2014 a single water drop Haikucreation,
7/14/2014 a child Haikulove,
7/14/2014 the ring Haikufamily,
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6/21/2014 Yeah, Right Free verseaddiction,
6/19/2014 A light in the Heavens Trioletenvironment,
6/18/2014 graduation day Haikugrowing up,
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6/18/2014 Heat Senryubreak up,feelings,
6/18/2014 thunderheads loom Haikubereavement,
6/18/2014 an argument ends Haikuchildren,
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2/23/2014 he led her Haikureligion,
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1/25/2014 Virgin's Lament Sonnetmarriage,
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