Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Juliet's a Haiku Grumpy-Pants

Does it sound too grumpy if I just say that I really, really, don’t like haiku?

(I do, however, like the picture to the left. Note that the tagger didn't actually write a haiku.)

I’m not all that wild about any kind of poetry, actually, with the possible exception of the work of Pablo Neruda. A Freakin' Genius. Neruda makes my toes curl…in a good way…especially when his words are read aloud, by a low-timbered voice, in the original Spanish.

Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente
(I like you when you’re still; it’s as though you were absent)

Toes curling yet? You don’t catch Pablo writing 5-7-5 verse. His longer poetry might cross over the line towards prose, but it’s not three lines guided by syllables.

One thing I’ll say for Haiku – it’s democratic. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I know there aren’t even any rules about using subjects and nouns, or even meaning anything. Anyone can write with such a formula – I imagine that’s why it’s such a staple in elementary school classes, and amongst people like me who can’t (or won’t) write poetry except under duress.

So for all the grumpy-pants curmudgeonly cranks out there like me, I suggest going onto the Genuine Haiku generator. One click and you, too, can create an original cyberpseudopoetic masterpiece.

Such as:
wetly lame jailers
luxuriate, epic swift
defiant burglars


grayly, circus frowns
dizzily, cradle glistens
quickly, plowshare builds

All right, all right. If I have to write my own:

Ill-tempered poet
Prefers to write a novel
than simple Haiku

Ultimately, though, I think I’ll stick with Neruda:

Mariposa de sueño, te pareces a mi alma,
y te pareces a la palabra melancolía.
(Butterfly of my dream, you are like my soul, and you are like the word melancholy.)


P.S. Just to join in on the travelogue already posted by Rachael and Sophie, here’s a special pic of vampire-writer--and former Pens guest-- Mario Acevedo, being schooled by Jeanne Stein and Lori Armstrong in a barroom smack-down. Not sure why. But it made sense at the time. And yes, that’s the same bar in which Lori later wound up draped upon the pool table along with our very own Rachael Herron and Sophie Littlefield. I tell you what, being a writer’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it…

Oh...and Feliz Cinco de Mayo!!!


Rachael Herron said...

:) All of it, great.

Pamela Cayne said...

Goodness! It seems like somebody is channeling their inner Stella! Of course, given what happened in that bar, I'm hesitant to say anything other than great job, or else wind up at the wrong end of a pool cue myself!

But any day that starts with Pablo Neruda is a fabulous one, so thank you!

Juliet Blackwell said...

Thanks Pamela! Yes, it really was a Stella night, now that I think about it ;-)

Glad to hear from another Neruda fan. Be still my heart...

And Rachael: hahahahahahaha!

Sophie Littlefield said...

wow, that dude can whisper to me anytime. and i am having a quiet little laugh over the fact that the haiku generator inserted the word "plowshare" - ha ha ha ha ha

Neftali said...

Love your expression about Neruda making your toes curl! For the bestselling book of Pablo's poetry, a vivid documentary, and more, check out