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Monthly Short Story Contest > July 2016 Haiku Challenge

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message 1: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
This challenge serves to teach us to be better writers as we practice creating one or two images with fewer words. Many of us ramble on in our writings, inserting commas or conjunctions in very wordy sentences. We want to learn how to create images with fewer words and less confusion. In haiku, the reader should be able to say a line in the time it takes to naturally exhale.

This challenge will be for learning - critiquing - sharing only. No voting again this month. Since no one posted for July, this will serve as the challenge.

For detailed explanation of haiku, go to http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-...

"The beauty of haiku often becomes the bane of impatient writers: capturing a single moment, movement, or experience in its entirety, in three lines totaling 17 syllables or less."

*Write in 3 to 6 lines. Some say to write using 10 to 17 syllables, but I'm going to say to use up to 6 words max per line. Haiku are usually not 17 syllables long in English.

*Try to include some reference to life through your five senses. Choose events that give you a moment of understanding or realization about the truth of things around you—but don’t explain them.

*To make your haiku more immediate, write in the present tense.

*Write from personal experience (memories are okay) rather than from imagination to produce haiku that are authentic and believable.

*Create an emotional response in the reader by presenting what caused your emotion rather than the emotion itself.

*Put two images together in the poem to create harmony or contrast, using words that are specific, common, and natural (avoid long or conceptual sorts of words).

*Avoid titles and rhyme (haiku virtually never have either) as well as metaphor, simile, and most other rhetorical devices (they are often too abstract or detours around the directness exhibited in most good haiku).

*Avoid awkward or unnatural line breaks and avoid dropping or adding words just to fit a syllable count (the poem should come across as perfectly natural and easy; anything that is choppy or unnatural will detract from the reader’s perception and enjoyment—make the words come across as so natural and easy-going that the reader doesn’t even notice them).

Here are some modern day examples of haiku:

Don Eulert (1933-)
quail excited
in dirt turned up
by a gopher
ground squirrel
balancing its tomato
on the garden fence

Richard Wright (1908-1960)
Whitecaps on the bay:
A broken signboard banging
In the April wind.

Robert Yehling (1959- )
A little boy sings
on a terrace, eyes aglow.
Ridge spills upward.

Older versions of haiku:

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)
Autumn moonlight –
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.
Old pond
a frog jumps
the sound of water

Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)
Autumn wind –
mountain’s shadow
wavers.
Don’t weep, insects –
Lovers, stars themselves,
Must part.


message 2: by Mirta (last edited Jul 10, 2016 05:48PM) (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Here is my version, Glenda. I hope this is what you have in mind. I cannot write enough about hummingbirds. During my visit to North Carolina, my great hosts had filled several feeders with the sugary stuff and that sight at 6 a.m. in the morning left a warm impression on me.

Hummingbirds bouncing
For a quick libation
Peaceful, glittering sight

(17 syllables) - CORRECTION: (Glenda's guidelines do not call for syllables - See her actual guidelines and comments below).


message 3: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
That is a good example, Mirta. That sounds and looks like the true spirit of haiku.

I didn't want to scare away writers from this challenge since we mostly write flash fiction. This challenge is based on real things that we take in using all of our senses. For those of us who don't write poetry and aren't into counting the syllables, I tried to simplify it by saying 6 words max on each line. I would like as many people as possible to participate and try to write naturally.


message 4: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Glenda, sorry I missed that part of the guidelines. I had written several variations of Haiku poems before and - in trying to pay attention to your new version - I confused one with the other. This is the way mine should have been posted:

Hummingbirds bouncing
For a quick libation
Peaceful, glittering sight


message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments I wanted to post my apologies for falling down on the job. I totally misunderstood about the June challenge. Glenda contacted me and I said I would get something posted, but we were hit by a small tornado earlier in the week, and my brain is a bit frazzled. Forgot!!! Again my apologies to you all.


message 6: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Glenda and all,

I like this exercise for saying what needs to be said in a minimum amount of words. Here is my attempt.

Fan motor running with air blowing
cools the space in one's knowing

--

Note: Rebecca, glad you are okay though I imagine a natural occurrence like a tornado can be quite emotionally exacting. Thoughts are with you!
David


message 7: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
Rebecca: No problem. I'm sorry that you had that mess to deal with after the tornado went by. I've seen some pictures on Facebook that you posted. Did your hubby have casts on each leg after that happened? (see the rest of the same comment in June's thread)

David: I like your haiku although the traditional haiku is not supposed to rhyme. Personally I like to read rhymes. The minimum line count is 3 also. It should be about nature or what is around you too.

Fan motor running with air blowing
cools my writer's space
overlooking palms and shrubs
longing for summer rain

What do you think of that? Critique the critique please.


message 8: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Glenda, is there a limit?

Golden leaves blown by the breeze
Bare tree branches longing for spring
Lovers carve their names and hearts
Sap tears drop down the bark

~~~~~~

A good soul: an animal lover
A loyal friend: an honest look
A giving person: heart of gold


message 9: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hello Glenda, Mirta and others,

First, if the 17 or 18 word/syllable combination is a hard fast rule, it's an easy one to surpass.

Glenda, I reworked your verse and here is my revision. Critique please.

Fan blades turning cool this writers' space
Bright colored flowers
add freshness to my place

Looking at your verse, the first line has six words and the two subsequent have four words each. As this is a new genre for me, does the word count fit prescribed pattern?

I liked it and can see how this helps reduce extra wordage.
David Russell


message 10: by Mirta (last edited Jul 11, 2016 08:18AM) (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments David, I used six words in each line of each stanza above just to discipline myself and use it as a challenge; however, based on Glenda's guidelines it should be six words max. Glenda will correct me if I am wrong.
PS. As Glenda stated, Haikus do not need to rhyme. The "bark" word at the end rhymed by accident. I could have used tree instead but it was the bark that suffered from the carvings while the tree had been stripped of its beautiful leaves. Some people truly believe that plants have feelings. Well, at least it sounds romantic. LOL


message 11: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Mirta and others,

Yes, it did sound romantic, preferred in the world in which we live today!

I found this little snippet about haiku at freelancewriters.com. I respect this resource and the former moderator - who produces a jobs newsletter.
It sounds like from this, haiku can fit more than one structured pattern. See below.

The traditional haiku referenced nature or a season and contained only three lines with 17 syllables in a 5-7-5 pattern (five syllables on line 1, seven on line 2 and five on line 3). The Japanese haiku has been mimicked by the English, but over time, the English version of the haiku has been altered to follow a number of different patterns, such as 3-5-3, 2-3-2, and so on. Some haiku writers use free-form and do not follow any type of structure.

Haiku do not generally have titles or rhyme. The goal of a haiku is to draw an image in the reader's mind of a subject, and then an image of an element of contrast to the subject. The relationship of the images is not always obvious at first; readers must come up with their own conclusions. See the example below:

Leaves falling
Darkness of night
Birds flutter.

In the example above, a 3-4-3 pattern was used, and three separate images drawn. Do you see the relationship between the images? Perhaps "Leaves falling" and "Birds flutter" sound the same, or "Birds flutter" cause "Leaves falling." Perhaps "Birds flutter" is heard in the "Darkness of night." Do you see how readers are left to their own conclusions?

David


message 12: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
David, thank you for the background on writing haiku and your example. The main reason that I posted this is to force us to use smaller and meaningful sentences. that's all I'll say about it right now since I'm driving home. but it looks like we're off to a good start in this thread.


message 13: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Glenda, I love the idea of using this to create smaller sentences and more concise writing. I sang the praises of this with one of my critique buds on the other forum!
David


message 14: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
majestic palm sways
sunset stills the buzzing bees
cat roams the yard

critique please

This is the exact picture of this early evening when I went out to trim my Pindo palm of the seed pods that continually branch out into fruit and seeds. In the early stages, it gets blooms on them as the bees buzz around. If left on the palm they become a branch of orange colored fruit the size of large grapes. To me they are not edible. And I let my orange and white cat, Opie in the yard for a short while since I have a privacy fence. Hopefully he doesn't eat a lizard.


message 15: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Glenda: A sweet Haiku describing what goes around your yard - pet included. Independent lines that link your view and appreciation of your surroundings. Spontaneous sentiment about nature's gifts to us.


message 16: by Todd (new)

Todd Folstad | 22 comments I'm finally back, if even for a short challenge. Life has been hectic as has my recent foray into the world of online dating, so my Haiku will be in that vein:

Love Is Difficult
Soulmates Never Found In Time
Loneliness Consumes Me


message 17: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Nice Haiku, Todd. Here is the other side of the coin... something to think about.

Love can be awesome
Soulmates arrive when it is time
Loneliness is better than bad company

Enjoy writing Haikus!


message 18: by J. (new)

J. Rene (jaydreamz) | 20 comments Hi all. I have been lurking. Working a lot on my own book so haven't participated in the longer monthly challenges. This is definitely a new concept for me. I'm used to the 5-7-5 style haiku, as that's what they teach in creative writing classes. I'll throw what I know out there, but if allowed, I may come back once I've mastered this more Western style.

Dawn breaks. Hot coffee,
Stirring until running cold.
Evening's haste is lost.

Basically how my writing goes on most days, haha.


message 19: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Rene and others,
Nice Haiku. The imagery is clear about dawn, coffee, evening. Happy Writing anytime of day.
David


message 20: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Nice Haiku, Rene. I am also used to the 5-7-5 plus other styles. Perhaps you can follow this month's guidelines "up to 6 words per line" within the 5-7-5 parameters - a greater challenge.


message 21: by David (new)

David (drussell52) OK, here is another attempt, practice will eventually make perfect.

The band played several old tunes
smiles shone bright as the stars
coffee sipped outside at tables
7-7-8.
parameters. :)
David


message 22: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
Todd wrote: "...my Haiku will be in that vein:

Love Is Difficult
Soulmates Never Found..."


I loved your haiku, but I feel sad for you at the same time. Who would've thought I'd meet my future husband in Ft. Lauderdale at a bikini contest through my father? I was straight out of bible college & felt very uncomfortable there. Match.com advertises a high success rate. Wishing you the best.


message 23: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
J. Rene wrote: "...Dawn breaks. Hot coffee,
Stirring until running cold.
Evening's haste is lost."


Sounds like my weekend; not much was accomplished. But at least I had some sweet hazelnut lattes.


message 24: by David (new)

David (drussell52) OK Rene, I am going to make my second pot of coffee, not hazelnut but do like that flavor! Monday has become my tend to the miscellaneous day, which of late has focused on writing a weekly blog, short story, comment here, something there. Cyber-wise join me for a cup of coffee-laden beverage if you care to.

Todd, better to wait for love then to end up with someone you'll later regret. There is a "fun" story on east of the web.com titled Death By Scrabble by one Charles Fish. It's what you don't want to end up happening in your life! Be patient, she's out here somewhere waiting for you too!

David


message 25: by J. (new)

J. Rene (jaydreamz) | 20 comments David, I am almost always drinking coffee, haha. I am one of those strange people who drinks hot coffee throughout the summer. Currently sipping on some right now, and probably will be if you read this later! xD


message 26: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Rene and others,

Yep, slurp, slurp, slurp, hahhhhhh.
Guilty of same.
David


message 27: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments David, Rene, I do coffee too...

Coffee is my motor
Faith is my reason for living
God is my daily guiding light


message 28: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Mirta and others,
Well said, was that intended as Haiku? :)
David


message 29: by Mirta (last edited Jul 21, 2016 01:16PM) (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Hi David,
Not the way I write Haikus, but it has the essence of the latter: it delivers a message (partially connected to your fascination for coffee and mine too). For the purpose of this challenge, it has no more than six words per line. Here is a descriptive one:

Cherry seeds either red or purple
Beans from Hawaii and tropic lands
Delightful coffee aroma from roasted beans


message 30: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Mirta and others,
I noted your pattern to be 7-9-12. Yes, six words per line. In my opinion, you achieved the goal of being concise. That's the neat treasure within this exercise!
Enjoy your day, and hope the home improvements are proceeding well or better than hoped.
David


message 31: by Lena (new)

Lena Pate (lena_m_pate) | 23 comments Branches bending, twisting, reaching
Drupelets of red and black
Ripening, tempting fate
Gathering handfuls
Juice blackens my fingers
Blackberries warmed by the sun


message 32: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
Lena wrote: "Branches bending, twisting, reaching
Drupelets of red and black
Ripening, tempting fate
Gathering handfuls
Juice blackens my fingers
Blackberries warmed by the sun"


Ms. Lena opted for the 6 line (allowed above) instead of the traditional 3. It is more like the modern version of the haiku, like an example I shared above. Very nice!

Ms. Mirta, loved your use of haiku for the coffee beans.


message 33: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Glenda, I had no choice but to delight David and Rene with a touch of coffee aroma. They are so much into it and so do I. This may be some exaggeration but I do not function without coffee, just twice a day does it. When I want to start a big project late in the evening, I prepare a fresh cup and minutes later my engines start in turbo mode.
David, I just added "either" to my last Haiku to have six words in all three lines. I am not following a syllable count as I have done in Linkedin's Poetry groups. Enjoy your CuppaJoe! Here is a Haiku from my book,

Red flowers blooming
The rain rushing its downpour
Clouds dry; then relax


message 34: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Lena and others,

I agree with Glenda, very nice. Welcome back!
David


message 35: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Hi David,
I forgot to answer about the work being done inside my house. Still a long ways to go, one thing leads to another and it seems it will never end. And I am doing some of the work. I have stopped editing my book. No inspiration to improve or recreate scenes. Oh well...


message 36: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 172 comments Thoughts of cool drinks
Heat gathers on my bed
Long wait for relief


message 37: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments I'm still trying to get my comment to print

Hummingbirds bouncing
For a quick libation
Peaceful, glittering sight

way back on Mirta's bouncing humming birds critique . . . really liked the haiku especially"quick libation", but "bouncing"bothers me to me, bouncing is an up and down motion where as the humming bird has a more fluid side motion. Really nice imagery .on it

Shelly


message 38: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments "Bare tree branches longing for spring" very nice!


message 39: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments So far so good I'll try one of mine and critique please

One of the directives was emoticon and current events have left me with sober thoughts and no way to express them and then this haiku came along and it gave a way that by the precise few words gave a powerful way to express ourselves.This is my first one


Bees stop buzzing
Breeze dies down
Bullets whizz by

I worked on this next one most of the day I wrote several but offer these two.

Sky aglow
Tires roll
Mosquito bursts

the count would be 3-3-3, but I thought it needed more of an explanation so added 'bursts' What do you think? would they get the reference to blood.?


This next one is 5-7-7 . I'm going to read the above comments again and see what you decided about syllables.

Tires in agony.
Forced to commit atrocities.
Perpetually imprinted


message 40: by Glenda (last edited Jul 22, 2016 11:24AM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1059 comments Mod
Shelly wrote:
"Bees stop buzzing
Breeze dies down
Bullets whizz by ..."


I caught that immediately before your explanation. I was going to say, "Too short," but I do say "up to 6 words per line". Also the Don Eulert example I posted uses fewer words per line. But it certainly paints a correct picture of current happenings. I'm glad that you are able to join us and post, Ms. Shelly.

Fred wrote:
Thoughts of cool drinks
Heat gathers on my bed
Long wait for relief


Amen to that! You've captured a scene that I can see in my head of finding refreshment from the heat of the summer.


message 41: by Mirta (last edited Jul 22, 2016 04:51PM) (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments "Hummingbirds bouncing
For a quick libation
Peaceful, glittering sight

way back on Mirta's bouncing humming birds critique . . . really liked the haiku especially"quick libation", but "bouncing"bothers me to me, bouncing is an up and down motion where as the humming bird has a more fluid side motion. Really nice imagery .on it. Shelly"
>>>>
Hi Shelly, thanks for commenting on my earlier Haiku. Years ago, I was a guest at my friends' cabin in N.C. The husband had hung several hummingbird feeders from the eaves in the front porch. As I woke up, there were several of these amazing hummers hovering around and bouncing off the feeders. I had never seen anything like it - it was an spectacular sight. I even wrote a poem about that unique experience:
PARADISE ON THE HILLS (By Mirta Oliva)
~~About North Carolinians' hospitality…
~~And the area's beautiful hummingbirds
|
In the Old North State,
Somewhere,
The hummingbirds filled the air
Hovering around with a buzzing sound
As they flew up and around.
|
Colored in green, red and silvery blues
A rainbow splash
In their glaring suits
To show their beauty with vibrant flair
To the grateful guests of Joe and Claire.
|
The radiant hummers loved to flutter
Where the sweet nectar lies
Swarming the feeders by sunrise
Up in the air, how they glitter
So full of luster, so oddly still….
|
Oh, why those enchanting days
Had to end so quick
As we drove away
From the colorful and tranquil
Paradise on the Hills.

Searching the net for "bouncing humingbirds," I came across the following:
http://www.colwellcedars.com/hummingb... (When the Hummingbirds Leave - Essay by Joseph Cowell - (c) 2014) . The beautiful essay read in part:

"As the days lengthen and nesting begins, I am entertained by dozens flitting, bouncing back and forth, jostling for feeder position." |
~*~
|


message 42: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Lovely tribute to the state as well as the birds. I had 5 pair off my bdrm deck that gave hours of pleasure to me as well.

However, I yield to you and Mr Cowell but I'm just not sure my hummingbirds bounce


message 43: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments Hi Shelly,
Thanks for your nice comments. I am not married to the word, and I did not use it in my poem above; however, I have this vision - over ten years later - that I saw these tiny things bouncing up and down to allow others get to the sugary stuff. I also loved to see how they hover in front of the feeders - staying in the same place just as helicopters do. There were more than a dozen, sort of, shoving each other to reach the libation well.


message 44: by Todd (new)

Todd Folstad | 22 comments David wrote: "OK Rene, I am going to make my second pot of coffee, not hazelnut but do like that flavor! Monday has become my tend to the miscellaneous day, which of late has focused on writing a weekly blog, sh..."

No Problem David - I'm actually a very upbeat and positive guy - this one just fell into place after thinking about a recent "blind date" scenario that I had - let's just say it wasn't as fun as it could have been, more on the "Stephen King" side of blind dates!


message 45: by Todd (new)

Todd Folstad | 22 comments here's a second effort:

cloud darkened sky
rain falls in percussive droplets
new growth begins today


message 46: by Christene (new)

Christene Britton-Jones | 201 comments Not sure about this ....its a 5-7-5 line stanza...is this okay?

Alas alack and all alone
Whistling west winds winding wild wiry webs
Midst morbid morose miserable moanings…………….(c)CBJ


message 47: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments TO ALL:
The beauty of Haikus is that inspiration is wild, yielding to concise, spontaneous and usually profound thoughts. I like what I see.


message 48: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Writers,
Christene, you have the gift for using alliteration.

Todd, like the rain haiku and images in each line. We need some rain here!

Shelly, I might use "mosquito bite" rather than "mosquito burst.. I like your Haiku where each line began with a "b" word.

Fred, good summertime observation. This morning on one of our local radio stations, the trivia question was, Annually, people generally consume 20,000 calories of what refreshment?
The answer, ice cream.

Mirta, I am trying to cut the coffee down to one-half pot, four cups, daily. While in the heat of July and August, increasing my consumption of drinking water during the p.m. hours. Will think of you, Rene and other coffee consumers - tomorrow. Yep, home projects are always ongoing.
Best To All,
David


message 49: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 376 comments So David, you are cutting down to four cups... Umm... I only drink two, always. In reality, the most I take are three, since a fourth one will be "taste-repelled" (I think I made up the term). Like eggs, since I remove three yolks out of four egg whites, I tend to repel the taste of so many egg whites. And I do not know why excesses do not agree with me, taste-wise for the most part. My best to you and all coffee drinkers in the group... or not.
Mirta


message 50: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hi Mirta and all,

OO two of my fave foods, eggs and of course coffee. I like eggs fried, yolk on the hard side, but also like scrambled eggs with the yolk slightly runny within the pan. The restaurant for whom I play piano for Sunday brunch, do an excellent job with the scrambled eggs and often get two plate-full. I feel a Haiku coming on..

sunday brunch eggs, roast, salad coffee
music, conversations, temporary draft, carpeted floor
money spent, tummy filled, nap ensues.

David


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