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authorial comment

Started by Grace, September 25, 2011, 09:04:21 AM

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Grace

I don't understand the frowning on authorial comment when I read many haiku employing this method. Here are just two examples I have read, published online. Can anyone comment on this, please?

Plovers tickle
the ocean's
slipping tides.

Dandelion
crushed by an oaf
bleeds saffron tears.
Grace



When the music plays, I hope you dance

AlanSummers

Hi Grace,

It's worth bringing this question up again as it's one of the main stumbling blocks for people new to haiku, or stuck on just doing a syllable count verse.

When you say you have two examples you have read, which are published online, are these your's, and also what magazines?

You may feel loathe to quote the magazines, but we usually always publish/add at least the first publication credit of a haiku.

re example one:

Plovers tickle
the ocean's
slipping tides.

If this was written in a manner that basically said/stated:

plovers tickle oceans and tides slip


It would be an authorial statement in that you not keeping anything back and enforcing your opinion on a reader, and not giving them a chance to have their own take on things.  There would be nowhere for the reader to go, and it would be simply a flat statement whether factionally true or not.

Also if you stretch out the verse into one line it would read as a statement and sentence:

Plovers tickle the ocean's slipping tides.

I actually like this as a one line, and don't even mind the endstop aka period/fullstop after tides.

It would not be a poem 99% of the time.



Dandelion
crushed by an oaf
bleeds saffron tears.

And as one line:
Dandelion crushed by an oaf bleeds saffron tears.

This confused me as saffron isn't from dandelions and a google check brings up someone called Saffron Craig.  Was this intentional?

oaf:
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/oaf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OAF

Dandelion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum

False Dandelions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taraxacum#False_dandelions

Saffron: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron

Saffron Craig:
http://saffroncraig.com/shop/fields-range/dandelions-yellow

It could be me but I couldn't make the leap


The term oaf to me is very authorial, where an enforced author's personal opinion about an individual gives no room for a reader.

all my very best,

Alan

Quote from: Grace on September 25, 2011, 09:04:21 AM
I don't understand the frowning on authorial comment when I read many haiku employing this method. Here are just two examples I have read, published online. Can anyone comment on this, please?

Plovers tickle
the ocean's
slipping tides.

Dandelion
crushed by an oaf
bleeds saffron tears.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

Don Baird

Hi Grace,

I believe one of the pitfalls is folks like to live in a black and white arena - where they can seek and keep clarity.  But, most of life is lived in the non-absolutes and therefore we dwell in the grey areas (mostly).  Each poem "is what it is" to you.  If you feel the author is imposing, then he is to you.

A basic principle of haiku is not to enforce an author's point of view onto everyone else through statement of "so called facts" (as you're noting).  Author judgements etc.  It all sounds great in a rule.  But applying it very often defies the black and white of things and spins us into the grey areas once again.

Enjoyed Alan's wisdom here as well.

Don
I write haiku because they're there to be written ...

storm drain
the vertical axis
of winter

Lorin

Quote from: Grace on September 25, 2011, 09:04:21 AM
I don't understand the frowning on authorial comment when I read many haiku employing this method. Here are just two examples I have read, published online. Can anyone comment on this, please?

Plovers tickle
the ocean's
slipping tides.

Dandelion
crushed by an oaf
bleeds saffron tears.

With Alan, Grace, I suggest that you supply the author's name and the publication details with each poem. (Yes, even if you found them on Facebook)

I'm loathe to comment on poems that you might've posted (and therefore published here, since I don't think these non-workshopping forums are private) without the authors' permissions, so I'll just make a general comment.

What I think people usually mean if they point out 'authorial comment' as a criticism of a haiku is that it reads as if the author were trying to impose their views or judgements on the reader. The thumb all too clearly is seen on the scales.

Consider, would a dandelion bleed the same sort of tears whether it was crushed by an oaf or a sweet little two-year-old princess or a horse's hoof? What work is 'oaf' actually doing in this ku? What does it tell you, as a reader? And there comes the old adage for good writing so applicable to haiku: show, don't tell.

I won't go into 'bleeds tears', but I don't have a huge problem with saffron. Sure, the herb/food dye saffron comes from crocuses, but the word has been used to denote a colour ( saffron yellow) for a long time.

(The less said about the fashion for naming baby girls Saffron in the late 60s, the better  ::)  )

- Lorin

sandra

Hello Grace,

I would suggest you pop over to the Montage section of THF and have a read there. All the poems have been published in reputable journals or are by haiku poets of standing. They range over quite a period of time and so are in a variety of styles, some of which have largely fallen by the wayside for whatever reason. In any case, you will see the poems there are written quite differently to the 2 examples you have offered.

There are plenty of "haiku" published on the net that come nowhere near being haiku except in the author's mind and plenty of sites that encourage all sorts of things to pose as haiku - beerku, for example! :)

As Alan says, by stating what it is that he/she thinks (making a judgement), the poet is leaving nothing for the reader to do ... except possibly close the book/switch off the screen and walk away. One of the first editors to publish my haiku was the late Bernie Gadd who tried very hard to explain that a haiku should be 50% author and 50% reader, ie, that there is room for the reader to make the moment their own.

And eventually I let go what I had learned from long-form poetry and became a haiku poet!

However, the poems you quote are not haiku not only because of their authorial comment, but that's only one of the problems. If these are poems that have been translated from another language that also may be contributing to the issue.

Look forward to reading more on this topic.



Grace

Hi, Alan, Don, Lorin and Sandra,

First, let me say how fascinating I have found all your replies.

I believe these are translations that I read on a site and I will try to find the link again and let you know the publication and the author as soon as  I can.

I meant no offence to the author, I was merely ignorant of the fact that I should have included these details,but just couldn't get the rules about authorial comment straight in my mind. I did not mean that I thought these were not 'correct' haiku, only that I was puzzled.

Sandra I will go over to the Montage section and read avidly. I am only just scratching the surface of this wonderful genre of poetry and have so much to learn, but I am becoming more passionate about the subject with every passing day. My only regret is that I came to haiku so late.
Grace



When the music plays, I hope you dance

Grace

Success,

I have found the link

http://www.lishanu.com/01/haiku/vallance.htm

The author is Richard Vallance of Canada and the haiku is translated from the French.
Grace



When the music plays, I hope you dance

AlanSummers

Yep, I googled the work and saw the author was the sole English-language translator.  Many haiku writers where English is their second language do exceptional work as they have a new slant on the English version, but some need a second person to help with translations.

Places on THF worthy of indepth study:
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/haiku-registry/
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/montage/
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/category/news/montage/
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/digital_library/
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/haiku-now-contest/
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/per-diem-daily-haiku/
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/thf-haiku-app/


Montage: the book (if still available) has many subjects and catagories within haiku:
http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/montage-the-book/

I can't expect others to do this, but in the first five years learning about haiku I read over a quarter of a million haiku (bad, good, exceptional) from webpages; websites; online magazines; and print collections and anthologies.

That was back in the early to mid 1990s when there wasn't as much quality readily available or easy to find.  Nowadays there are a number of exceptional online magazines and online resources.

re the two examples, I see they were way back in 2005, a long time ago for haiku development. ;-)

Haiku evolve rapidly both in Japan and outside Japan.  It's good to learn to discern what is good or exceptional for all three time catagories: Classic; Modern; and Contemporary.

re the two examples, always consider asking the author for permission to reproduce their work where possible, and always put the author's name, and first publication credit at least.

all my best, and keep asking these good questions! ;-)

Alan


Quote from: Grace on September 26, 2011, 08:24:23 AM
Success,

I have found the link

http://www.lishanu.com/01/haiku/vallance.htm

The author is Richard Vallance of Canada and the haiku is translated from the French.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

Grace

Thank you very much, Alan,

I will take good note of the courtesies due to author and not make the same mistake again. I was in no way denegrating the haiku. (If truth be told, I was struck by the imaginative flair of these two haiku, as I employed the same sort of gentle flamboyance to my own poetry) Unfortunately I had to 'unlearn' all that when I came to haiku, and made many, many mistakes in just this manner.

I have copied the links, Alan and will visit all of them and read avidly. I pproach some of these reference sites with trepidation, because many are written in a language which is far beyond my knowledge - but I am very willing to live and learn. :)
Grace



When the music plays, I hope you dance

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