Saturday, October 3, 2009

One Single Impression: Descent

I have three versions of this haiku and I don’t know which is clearer. Perhaps you can help. I don’t know which version is better haiku form. The tumbles version is the one I prefer, but I think the grammar may be incorrect without punctuation. And I realize that punctuation is frowned on in haiku (from what I have read).


To read more poetry, click the graphic or
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  1. I think I like the middle version. It reads well for me.

    holding on my breath

  2. This is good, Andrée. My vote also is for the middle. This makes the river action the subject of your poem. The first has the mill walls doing the act of watching as most important.
    I think the line break is sufficient, the dash is not needed.

    There could be words to use other than tumble(s) and dissolving but these are dynamic. Dissolve does away with the past. Erode, which is the true water action, only makes the past less prominent.

    I'm not much help. I do think your posted haiku tells it fine, especially the middle one.
    We will see what the English teachers have to say. I will peak in.

  3. (English teacher here!) The middle haiku works best! It holds a couple of interpretations well! Love the dramatic peeling away of images!

  4. i go with middle n too:)..loved the pic which it brought :)

  5. I couldn't take my eyes off that massive old wall when your post opened up. It seemed to me that the wall does watch and that is the magic here: that the built world stands still as the natural one moves on. So despite the strength of that wall, rocks remain, a river flows. The second one suggests to me this parallel reality.

  6. i go with the middle one too Andree.. its perfect haiku sense! :) well written!

    umm, please could u tell me if my mail with contribution for elusive prompt has been recd at OSI mailbox?

  7. all three poems are lovely -- especially the last lines about the river dissolving the past. I see the river wearing away at those ancient rocks, beating them into grains of sand and washing them to the ocean. But as a lover of dashes, I think I like the third one the best.

  8. Lovely Haiku, and the image is beautiful!

  9. wonderful dynamic poem
    so much movement and consequence in so few words.

  10. i too will agree with the 2nd being my preference because the river becomes the subject (as opposed to being the object in the first). this makes sense to me as the last line also speaks of the river. no matter which of the 3, you have written lovely words paired with equally lovely photos that make me long to actually hear the river tumbling!

  11. Lovely! I, too, go with the second.

  12. It just goes to show that I'm clearly not a judge: I preferred the first.

    Regardless, they all speak well of the subject.

  13. thank you for your sweet and kind encouraging words.

    You can try
    80% of all the themes are free and its much easier than photoshop.That is where i made mine.

    i am so sure, i wrote a comment here before but it does not show up..

  14. Andrée, I think I like the middle one also. It flowed better for me in the connection with your very nice photograph. Thanks for your input on the work in my blog. I noticed you taught mathematics and thought you might enjoy this. I am an engineer by education, so the work below speaks for itself. All in good fun.

    Two Dimensional

    I come from a two dimensional world
    Nothing but x’s and y’s, always bumping into something
    No looking up, or looking down
    Really strapped in and constrained
    The situation is actually quite graphical
    My life has gone from plain to planar
    If only I had a polar planimeter I would know my area
    Am I linear, exponential, or quadratic in nature?
    Or, asymptotic beyond a "hetero"-decimal perspective
    Certainly a Euclidian matter to infinitely ponder
    Beyond a reasonable number of significant digits
    Ah, if only the intellect of Newton, Gauss, or Archimedes
    However, a two dimensional world breeds two dimensional thinking
    So, I am always one dimension away from a great idea!

    Now; where's that slide rule?

  15. some like punctuation in haiku. because English doesn't have the cutting word that Japanese has, a dash is common, especially at the turning point between lines 2 and 3 when the contrasting idea comes.

    personification in haiku seems more dodgy than punctation so the old walls watching is a bit of a tsk. but if you made a double entendre with the sea/see you could suggest it.

    the line lengths aren't absolute more a maximum guide.

    I'd suggest something like this...

    river tumbles to sea
    the old mill walls --
    past dissolves

    more on haiku at


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