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Deborah Guzzi writes fulltime. When not writing she’s reading. She travels for inspiration. Her new book The Hurricane is available now through Prolific Press. Her poetry appears in: Existere - Journal of Arts and Literature in Canada, Tincture in Australia, Cha: Asian Literary Review, Hong Kong, China, Eunoia in Singapore, Vine Leaves Literary Journal in Greece, and Ribbons: Tanka Society of America’s Journal, Sounding Review, Kyso Flash, The Aurorean, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Liquid Imagination, Concis, The Tishman Review, Page & Spine and others in the USA. 

Help Me

Blog Posted:5/17/2014 12:40:00 PM

Please read the following verse and

A. tell me what they are

B. tell me why you think they are [x]

C. tell me if you felt they were good [1 - 7]

D. tell me what to say to the person who wrote these to help them


After Birth Death #1

Blushing trees shiver
raging against their demise
as after births Falls.

colored leaves
move with the breeze:
grandmother's scarf

Aloft #2

Wailing Winter's wind
raged air lofting sparrow flocks
like angry arrows.

the arrow
misses the target:
lofted sparrow

strong winter wind
lofts the flock of sparrows:
full birdfeeder

Beginnings Without End #3,4,5

Brazen summer leaves
falling on autumnal snow
sliding to Winter.

dry brown leaves
fall upon an early snow:
frozen collards

Rising to Spring sun
blooming to ripest glow
looming to amber

Albino wet wind
welcomes crocus in
blazing sun begins.

sleet hits
the south side of the shed:
green spears the ground


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Date: 5/19/2014 10:47:00 PM
Not only are titles a focal point, and we only want the meat of the poem to be the object of concentration, but they also are a way of extending the number of syllables allowed in a haiku. It is sort of like a cheat sheet. It is fine to title a haiku string (group of similar haiku). Capitalization is not used basically because there are no sentences in haiku, only long and short phrases. The same reasoning applies to why no periods afterward at the ends of the phrases. The cut marker is there to cause one to pause, reflect the previous thought, and move on to the displacement, or expansion of that thought, by the next phrase.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 5/19/2014 10:54:00 PM
The only reason haiku are titled on the soup is because the nature of saving our poems demands a title. So, what I do is copy the first line as the title. That way I gain no use of added syllables.
Date: 5/19/2014 7:38:00 PM
what shall we tell this poet about why a title is not used & why capitalization is not used? Suz has told them why no adjectives & adverbs & personification or metaphor
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Date: 5/19/2014 8:15:00 AM
sparrows arrow// against the wind// autumn sky darkens
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Date: 5/19/2014 7:04:00 AM
Craig I agree with you regarding the sparrow verse. Yet we can keep it & make a haiku of it. You want the implied metaphor of the likeness between the flight of arrows and the flock of birds SO I would ask you to start your haiku [have the 2 joined lines be about the flight of arrows try again please] let's see if we can get it to do what you want get the reader to SEE the similarity without telling them.
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Date: 5/19/2014 4:39:00 AM
It does help to sleep on it - somehow the examples rang a bell. I would "classify" them as elliptical poetry (see comments re "red" below:
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/19/2014 7:05:00 AM
thanks Suz!
Date: 5/19/2014 2:26:00 AM
As an aside: I have posted an article here on PS today which might give some insight into metaphors, simile, idioms, etc. Love, Su
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Date: 5/19/2014 2:19:00 AM on a bare branch/a crow has stopped/autumn dusk: IF you used gerunds, adjectives, adverbs, etc, it would not have the same simplistic impact than this haiku by Basho – the choice of words and the sequence makes the world of difference. Eg:- a crow is alighting on a bare branch – dusk is settling in
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Date: 5/19/2014 12:19:00 AM
murmuration of sparrows overhead - full bird feeder [Having fun with no 2]
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Richards Avatar
Suzette Richards
Date: 5/19/2014 8:10:00 AM
I have seen swallows and terns behave in that way. I would love to see your skies in autumn - not to mention the forests! :-)
Date: 5/18/2014 12:27:00 PM
The first one breaks after line one. I don't agree with the two capitalizations. (meaningless!!) Would be much more powerful to break after line 2, and leave out the word "as". The second one breaks after line 2 and does contain two parts. The third breaks after line 2 and does have two parts. Is also good haiku. The capitals and periods are clouding the issue and not letting the mind flow to haiku style. If left out, the poems could be understood better. Graceguts does a good job of featuring fine haiku and these seem to be no exception. but I would have had exception because of the capitals and periods.
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Charles Henderson
Date: 5/19/2014 1:25:00 AM
Titles are used as a focal point and haiku concentrates on words and phrases which demand all the readers attention. That, I am told is why poetic devices sometimes distract from the main focal of a haiku. A title preconceives expectation which may or may not be present. The haiku should stand on it's own merit by only its presentation.
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 3:04:00 PM
what about the titles Chas
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 2:59:00 PM
the poet said the topic was the trees birth and death Chas - the proposed rewrite is above
Date: 5/18/2014 7:02:00 AM
IF it was intended as free verse, I would reword no 1 (the only one that grabs my attention out of the ones posted here) – chop it up anyway you see fit: Blushing trees shiver, raging against the loss of their crowns, red like afterbirths in the Fall.
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Richards Avatar
Suzette Richards
Date: 5/19/2014 12:07:00 AM
It also dawned on me that it is not necessary to mention "red"- after I posted this comment. "Raging" also = red. [I have limited Internet time and only sign in when time permits.]
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 3:01:00 PM
yes it is a better free verse than a haiku in its present form in my opinion
Date: 5/18/2014 6:52:00 AM
Interesting Suz I have just written a triptych [ a verse in 3 columns] but I would not thing of a haiku that way I must go read it!
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Suzette Richards
Date: 5/18/2014 6:54:00 AM
Date: 5/18/2014 6:32:00 AM
#3, 4 and 5: same as below> With your permission, I will share a post which I recently wrote on Let's Talk Poetry & Prose. Maybe it will be of some aid to someone. Luv, Su
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Suzette Richards
Date: 5/18/2014 6:39:00 AM
I have posted it under Articles here on PS for all to read: HAIKU IS LIKE TRIPTYCH. It is currently "pending" and will be available soon.
Date: 5/18/2014 6:29:00 AM
No 2: Sparrows do not flock, to my knowledge. They are at most found in small groups of two or three. Again, drop the gerunds and do not lead the reader by using simile and adjectives. State it as it is: just the bare bones of WHAT, WHERE, WHEN. This is a start. Punctuation and capital letters are not used. The juxtaposition of the two phrases are self-evident and, therefore, no mark is necessary to distinguish it. sparrows circle/ the single tree/ feathers ruffle in wind/
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Suzette Richards
Date: 5/18/2014 6:53:00 AM
"-ing" is called a gerund.
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 6:50:00 AM
ohhh explain what a GERUND is please [I often see flocks of sparrows] BUT you make a GREAT point if haiku they [for me & to be traditional should be FACTUAL - something factual is OBJECTIVE. Folks are having as I did lots of trouble TELLING what they THINK things LOOK like? haiku is not about analyticall thought or your SUBJECTIVE/opinion
Date: 5/18/2014 6:19:00 AM
No 1: As it stands, it does not conform to the myriad haiku-like forms which I am aware of. Drop adjectives and gerunds from the verse and you are well on your way to writing an interesting haiku. Personification does not make for good haiku, unless you equate nature to human emotions and symbolism is subtle. Also, it is not advisable to lead the reader as to what he must make of the scene. Acer trees shake/ off the last of their leaves - / drenched leaves pile up/
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 6:45:00 AM
they have received the Graceguts checklist Suz & yes I do believe you are right on the money IF the poet wishes them to be haiku IF free verse is the intent they are fine just without the capitals & make sure the rest of the punctuation is correct. IF haiku I would always advice using a cur marker [:, ... , & -- emdash are most common]
Date: 5/18/2014 3:19:00 AM
#1 stands out Debbie,full of enigma a good imagist verse.I would delete the word 'as' & 's' in 'births' and make 'Falls' lower case in the the last line.Neverless it is a great imagist example, which is why it pleases me most I guess.Rgds Brian
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 3:03:00 PM
Blushing trees shiver, raging against their demise after birth falls. hmmm pretty vivid!
Date: 5/18/2014 2:40:00 AM
I concur with some of the comments but disagree with the content, they are trying to be haiku but lacking thought on capitals and image i.e. 5, in UK crocus are spring flowers so no blazing sun, 4, spring sun does not bring ripest glow and it has rhyme, 3, makes no sense 2, I like, 1, good image of winter but none of them have a 'stand alone' in them...
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 6:41:00 AM
yes the author thought it looked pretty to capitalize and yes I agree David they would be 'ok so what?' haiku no surprises here
Date: 5/17/2014 11:26:00 PM
the first two are great ideas. The people who wrote them need to just make them into short free verse poems and not try to do limiting haiku with them.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 6:39:00 AM
[nod] I too believe them to be more free verse than haiku
Date: 5/17/2014 11:25:00 PM
Thinking about Poem 5 , it just needs to lose the word "in" and replace with "as" But to make it more like a haiku, I'd say: wet wind/ welcomes crocus/ sun begins to blaze. Haiku is not supposed to make assumptions , like saying wind welcomes anything, but I see some modern haiku poets writing this way and I rather like it.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 6:38:00 AM
ahhhh that's good input
Date: 5/17/2014 11:21:00 PM
To be frank, I find only one that is like a haiku for me , but it's the unconventional type haiku, which I don't mind, because I enjoy that kind. It uses a descriptive word "brazen" (which is ok in my book) and personification, sliding to Winter. I really like what the poet is "saying" with that poem. Maybe it is not "true" haiku, but whatever it is, I love it. Last two are not bad, but they are not haiku for me. they are nice descriptions of nature. I would call them short poems. I don't know why any of them are using capital letters if they are trying to be haiku. But if they are short poems, then it's ok to do that way.
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 5/18/2014 6:37:00 AM
yes Andie the poets thought they were writing haiku :)
Date: 5/17/2014 10:06:00 PM
Hey Jimbo but you didn't answer the questions?
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Date: 5/17/2014 4:07:00 PM
Thanks Craig what if #1 had been laid out in 1 line [Blushing trees shiver raging against their demise as after births Falls.] hmmm or [Blushing trees shiver raging against their death as after birth falls.] then what would you think it was? Are poet devices being used? if so to show us what?
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