Monday, May 10, 2010

Haiku Inspired Frustration

L.G.C. Smith

Haiku froze my brain.
Creativity failed me.
I'm just frickin' miffed.

It's time for a rant. A small one, but a rant nonetheless. Not for the first time, anything I might possibly have to say about our subject has been said by the First Week Pens.

Oh, things start out fine. Maybe Sophie makes a little comment about something I might address. Oh, well. I think of something else. Then Rachael mentions something else I was thinking about. Back to the drawing board.

Then Juliet says something like "haiku makes me grumpy," and I get a little ruffled. Because it makes me a little grumpy sometimes, too, and I'd thought I could work with that. Kind of along the lines of how great poetry is so stunning but most of it is so meh, and what's up with that? Blah, blah, blah.

Something Japanese in honor of Haiku

I give all that up, and decide I will pursue creating haiku-limerick hybrids. What happens? Adrienne mentions limericks. I soldier on, but with my heart not in it, I manage a few erotic versions, and some spectacularly cheesy ones. They all suck. The insouciant bawdiness of the limerick eludes me. Drat.

Finally, I fall back on the old "Haiku is a form, the novel is a form, Vladimir Propp, folktales, yadda yadda yadda," and our lovely Friday guest, Lila Dare pretty much covers that angle. At this point, I wrote the Haiku at the top of the page.

Really, though, the problem isn't the topic. The problem is coming in the second week. Am I right, fellow second-weekers? Is it time for us to rise up and throw off this shackle?

Nah, I didn't think so. The main reason I'm not much into haiku this week is that I'm in the middle of reading the third volume of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" fantasy series. I started the first volume, "A Game of Thrones," ten days ago. It was 800+ pages. Each installment has gotten progressively longer. This is the novel taken about as far as it's possible to get from haiku. My head is in a space of sweeping sagas rather than that of a tight and tiny gem.

I love these novels: The length.The scores of characters. The names. The multiple plot lines that don't line up exactly chronologically. And so much ugly emotion. Desperation. Foolishness. Weakness. Cruelty. Fury. Avarice. All the bad stuff. Martin is a master of not sparing his characters a lick of pain. If it's possible to make them hurt more, he goes for it. I'm learning from that, even though more than once I've wanted to beg him to be nicer to them. But that's not his way. Neither is haiku his path, and I, for one, am most grateful.


Rachael Herron said...

I think you did great.

Sophie Littlefield said...

this was a GREAT post, you imp!! If you ever want to switch and be first, I'll trade with you :) - - but meanwhile I love seeing what you have to say about things, because it's always original. I loved the japanese vending machine too.

PS I've been smiling to myself all weekend because of the expression on your face know what I mean ;-)

Juliet Blackwell said...

Yes, I agree that our earlier posts just inspire you to even greater creative heights ;-) But I guess if you want, we could have a throw-down over our positions in the sequence...we should probably film it, put it on Utube, and increase our readership!

Unknown said...

I've just joined as the last contributer in each two week series at another blog--you've got me quaking in my boots :)

L.G.C. Smith said...

Sophie, I don't know what you mean. Honestly. Perhaps the moment I reluctantly accepted a certain book? I had a few other judgy moments, but I'm not sure you witnessed them.

Juliet, I don't really mind my spot in the line-up. It's a good thing I always wait until the last minute write my posts, though. And it is kind of funny to see how much some of us think alike. No wonder we like each other. :)

Mysti, what blog? I'll take a look!