Sunday, August 7, 2011

Extracting staring fluttering and welling

For today's haiku, let's try another poem formed by extracting lines from three different haiku, scrambling them, and creating something new and serendipitous.

(For more about the technique and the inspiration behind it, you can check out my earlier post here.)

staring hard
fluttering yellow
my welling anger

As usual, I'm surprised (and delighted) at how readily you can make sense of something created in this randomized way. And at the same time it has fresh disjunctions that I wouldn't have thought to put in if I were creating this poem from scratch.

One disappointment for me is that the resulting haiku has a gerund in each line. Using "-ing" gerunds to give your poem a sense of immediacy and action can be a sort of crutch when writing haiku. It's not a bad practice in and of itself, but it can become formulaic and grating when it happens over and over again in a manuscript, or in a batch of submissions. So I'm disappointed to see that in 3 randomly selected lines from 3 randomly selected haiku posted on my blog, they all use that same trick.

Ah well -- doing it 3 times in one haiku -- now that's how to be effective.

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