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Collage Haiku

Here is something I recently found and thought readers might be interested in reading and thinking about.

Others’ Lines (Second Series) by David Giannini is an e-book of Collage Haiku published in 2003 by Shearsmen Books on their website.

Click here to find Shearmen’s e-book catalogue.

Though the haiku were not “directly observed” by Giannini, readers can read them and, in essence, “directly observe” and experience the ku for themselves.

Giannini describes the work as: “A new, admittedly minor, form . . . utilizing—stealing—only first lines of poems. The lines used in each triad are placed in personal as well as collegial and historical juxtapositions. . . . A sense of mischief and mythship. . . .”

The 120 poets whose first lines he borrows are indexed at the back of the book.

The juxtapositions and jumps are indeed strong in some, offering plenty of room and space for our imaginations to explore—requiring us to not only piece the lines together in our minds and find how they connect and create meaning with one another, but also to find how the poems connect with our own minds, imaginations and experiences. The concept is fascinating, capable of much depth, and offers haiku writers, I think, interesting possibilities for haiku composition—both challenging and expanding our definition of what haiku is and can be. It won’t work for all readers, or be “acceptable,” but then what can one do with the technique to improve upon it or utilize it in other interesting and even more creative ways? Who doesn’t like a little experimentation and mischievousness?

Three examples:

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The lazy ocean in your body
The sea staves
Hidden in the blood

(13)
Your voice comes from a dark room
Not seen – yet

The white howl of March

(14)
Across the mountain I see you
Open the middle of the tree

Crows blown out of the snow

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. you’re quite welcome, David. I found the collection quite exciting and thought provoking. A really cool experiment I’ve had some fun of my own with (i’ve taken some of those lines from throughout the collection and re-attached them in different ways).

    This is not my own blog though, but The Haiku Foundation’s that I simply do my best at tugging the reigns of.

    A review of your AZ II (found on Don’s blog, as you mentioned) [http://lilliputreview.blogspot.com/2009/02/david-giannini-az-2-words-of-travel.html] sounds pretty cool as well, I especially liked:

    Wupatki

    At
    day’s
    end
    feel
    the
    ruin
    a-
    ban-
    don
    the
    site-
    seers.

  2. Dear Scott Metz!
    Here it is, December 11th, and I only just now found your review of my OTHERS’ LINES (Second Series) and I thank you for it! I found your blog by accident, or almost, because Google sends me notices when my name gets located. Amazing.
    The First and Second Series were published in 2007 for the first time together in a cheap-looking chapbook from Peter Ganick, as part of his “small chapbook project”.
    You may, as well, be interested in a review of my book AZ II to be found at Issa’s Hut (part of Liliput Review.)
    Best in your endeavors,
    David Giannini

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