June 28, 2011

Haiku Sticky #103


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

I shouldn't have bothered to post this, but I thought you might like to see what a bad haiku looks like! This is one of those haiku that you read and then say, "So what?" I did have a point in writing it, but I completely missed expressing it! Next time I'll do better.

June 24, 2011

Poetry Friday--Getting Deep into Haiku with Keanu Reeves

Last week I came across several online articles with the title, "Keanu Reeves Plans Haiku Collection." All of the articles basically relayed the same information: Reeves, after the recent publication of his "comedy" book, Ode to Happiness, has decided to try his hand at haiku. (Read a short interview with the book's illustrator, Andrea Grant, here, and a more in-depth article about Reeves and the book, which seems to be the source of all the other short articles, here.)

Here's a memorable quote from Reeves,
I'm considering another idea I call Haikus of Hope. Basically like, 'I want to kill myself', and go from there. Going into such a dark place that you can somehow surprisingly find the light at the end of the tunnel – but a nice end of the tunnel. Not the end of the tunnel.
Wow, I can hardly wait for this sure-to-be-a-bestseller poetry book. Sounds "interesting," doesn't it? I wonder what's at the end of the tunnel? Or maybe Keanu's a little mixed-up, he's probably looking for the end of the rainbow--a nice little pot of gold. Hmmm, I have my doubts...

I give Reeves credit, though, he at least acknowledges that he is planning to read some traditional haiku. He says,
I'm gonna get deep into haiku, because oftentimes people construe that in English it's five-seven-five syllables, but that doesn't have to hold true, so I want to play with the traditional Basho form. I like that: Haikus of Hope.

I guess I'll have to wait for this next book to be researched, written, and published before I can review it. Until then, I'd suggest that everyone "get deep into haiku." At the very least, read some Basho poems. Here are three that were translated by R.H. Blyth and appear in Haiku selected and edited by Peter Washington, ("Everyman's Library Pocket Poets" series), Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.


From what flowering tree
I know not,
But ah, the fragrance!


The hanging bridge:
Creeping vines
Entwine our life.


How admirable,
He who thinks not, 'Life is fleeting,'
When he sees the lightning flash.

This week's Round-Up is at Carol's Corner.

Woodcut print of the traveller, Basho, courtesy Library of Congress.

June 21, 2011

June 19, 2011

June 17, 2011

Poetry Friday--Kids of the Homefront Army

I'm announcing a new blog today, Kids of the Homefront Army: Poems of World War II America by Diane Mayr (that's me).


For the complete story, click on the page called "About This Project." The condensed version is this, I started on a WW II homefront project back in 2001, over the years it morphed into a book of poems. I've decided that it's more important to me to share it than to continue to shop it around, so, twice a week I will be posting a poem. It should take about 10 months to get the complete book posted, so visit often, or better yet, subscribe to have the poems delivered to your inbox.

I'd appreciate your comments. Please share the blog with middle school social studies teachers, too!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted today at Check it Out.

June 14, 2011

June 12, 2011

June 10, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Soda Crackers"

At our library booksale I purchased a pristine copy of Garrison Keillor's collection of poetry titled Good Poems for Hard Times. It appears as though it had never been cracked open. Not once. Well, I cracked it open and came across a poem called "Soda Crackers" by Raymond Carver.


Soda Crackers

You soda crackers! I remember
when I arrived here in the rain,
whipped out and alone.
How we shared the aloneness
and quiet of this house.
And the doubt that held me
from fingers to toes
as I took you out
of your cellophane wrapping
and ate you, meditatively,
at the kitchen table
that first night with cheese,
and mushroom soup. Now,
a month later to the day,
an important part of us
is still here. I'm fine.
And you—I'm proud of you, too.
You're even getting remarked
on in print! Every soda cracker
should be so lucky.
We've done all right for
ourselves. Listen to me.
I never thought
I could go on like this
about soda crackers.
But I tell you
the clear sunshiny
days are here, at last.
Not a day later, I was in the grocery store with my daughter. A very famous cracker company is now packaging their soda crackers, a.k.a. saltines, in boxes with eight sleeves of crackers. Each sleeve supplies crackers enough to satisfy a cheese and cracker attack. It is so much better to package crackers in smaller sleeves because, in a larger package, inevitably, the leftovers go stale and end up in the trash.

This is the way my life goes, I get excited about soda cracker packaging. After I got over my excitement about the box, I told my daughter, "Hey, I just read a poem about soda crackers!" What a clear sunshiny day--crispy crackers and poetry--who can ask for anything more!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week is being held at Picture Book of the Day.

Photo by spacebarpark.

June 7, 2011

June 5, 2011

Happy Haiga Day!

Here's a haiga of a haiku that I originally posted as Haiku Sticky #97:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

June 3, 2011

Poetry Friday--"The Sand Altar"

Have you seen the movie with Kathleen Turner and Nicholas Cage, Peggy Sue Got Married? I happen to like it despite the horrible acting job by Mr. Cage (he's one actor who's overrated).

Peggy Sue, delightfully played by Turner, attends her high school reunion. An uncomfortable encounter causes her to faint and triggers a journey back to her high school self. It's a funny and poignant film, and has some great lines. One of which is spoken in Peggy Sue's math class. "I happen to know that in the future I will not have the slightest use for algebra, and I speak from experience."

Math always get a bad rap! And so, I have made this tenuous link to Poetry Friday!
The Sand Altar
by Amy Lowell

With a red grain and a blue grain, placed in precisely
    the proper positions, I made a beautiful god, with
    plumes of yard-long feathers and a swivel eye.

And with a red grain and a blue grain, placed in pre-
    cisely the proper positions, I made a dragon, with
    scaly wings and a curling, iniquitous tail.

Then I reflected:
    If, with the same materials, I can make both god and
    dragon, of what use is the higher mathematics?

Having said this, I went outdoors and stood under a tree
    and listened to the frogs singing their evening songs
    in the green darkness.

from Amy Lowell: Selected Poems, edited by Honor Moore [The Library of America, 2004]
I wonder if Amy Lowell would have liked Peggy Sue Got Married? I think Peggy Sue would have liked Amy Lowell.

Toby Speed is hosting this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up at The Writer's Armchair.