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Opening Lines: Sometimes the clock strikes thirteen

Started by AlanSummers, January 19, 2015, 05:21:21 PM

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AlanSummers

Thanks Rebecca,

Quote from: whitedove on May 07, 2015, 05:12:24 PM
Hi, Alan  I was late noticing this post so, don't know if my response will catch your eye but here are a few of mine with unusual opening lines.

eyes of the ancestors
the twinkle
in winter stars

Publication credits: NeverEndingStory, February 2013

time travel...
the ancient music
just wind in the oaks

Publication credits:  World Haiku Review, March 2013

another dawn
I ask dad if he remembers
being Japanese

Publication credits:  Frogpond 37.1 winter issue

I have another with an unusual first line that will be published in Frogpond in their summer 2015 issue.  Good luck with your project.  Rebecca Drouilhet

Ah, yes, I particularly like time travel, and eyes of the ancestors, make great lines! :-)

Look forward to your Frogpond line being posted too. :-)

warm regards,

Alan
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

whitedove

As soon as Frogpond comes out, I'll share it.  Rebecca Drouilhet

AlanSummers

Hi Rebecca,

Did your Frogpond haiku come out yet? :-)

Quote from: whitedove on May 07, 2015, 11:53:45 PM
As soon as Frogpond comes out, I'll share it.  Rebecca Drouilhet
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

Jan Benson

#18
Alan, I will splat a few.
Use or lose, as Chen-ou says

----------

This was edited by the publisher with no caps. Without the caps, it reads very differently than intended. Adobe Walls is
1. A major battle during the Indian wars on the great Plains, Has a Wiki page regarding the famous battle.
2. Is now an historical landmark.

Without the caps, a reader not familiar with the event could read it without any inclination that there is historical significance.

All of that said, dos gatos press did give it a
Push Cart Nomination.

It was written before i went brain dead.


Adobe Walls at dusk
crickets knit the names
of the lost


2015 Texas Poetry Calendar
Published Summer 2014
Dos Gatos Press

---------------------

hibiscus unfurl
along the neches river
bees crescendo


1st pub
Blue Hole magazine (anthology of the 2015 Georgetown Poetry Festival)

2nd and 3rd pub with this revision:


hibiscus unfurl
along the river bend
bees crescendo


2.
2016 Spring Anthology
Dallas Community Poets

3. Will appear Summer 2016 in Chen-ou Liu's ebook,
"Butterfly Dreams"
(Granted, line two can be a pivot, which some purists say makes a haiku mute.
Not sure where you stand on this argument).
--------------------

pencil patterns
in the cigar box bottom
winter ivy


Presence, October 2015

--------------------
(A two line opener, so may not be what you are looking for)

impromptu picnic
at Japanese Gardens
herbal tea and zen


Poetry Society of Texas
1st Prize, May 2014
Published 2015 in
PST Book of the Year

--------------------

raspberries
grandbabe's first
opinion


Senryu, page 8
Cattails, September 2015

--------------------
(Another two line opener)

half notes
in a duet
the iamb of twins


Third Place, contest prompt: Twins
Galaxy of Verse, Fall/Winter 2015
(Only first place we're published)

-------------------

between us
what has not been revealed
spring snow


Accepted, pending publication, 
2016 Wild Plum (Spring/Summer Ed.)
--------------------

Jan Benson

---1st Prize_The Italian Matsuo Basho Award 2016 (Int'l Foreign Language)
---A Pushcart Nominated Poet, (haiku "adobe walls").
---"The poet is accessible, the poet is for everyone." Maya Angelou

AlanSummers

Thanks Jan,

And how odd that editorial decisions are so different.  I had a haiku turned down many times because editors thought it was poetic license.   The original opening line was far north queensland.  One editor trusted me and also suggested CAPS so it became:


Far North Queensland
a dingo's call picked up-
the moonless night

Publications credits: Modern Haiku (199-)

But that's Bob Spiess, he was in a league of his own and very special.  I was lucky as he supported me and hundreds of others during his time at Modern Haiku.

Alas I don't have the copy and it missed being recorded on Charles Trumbull's database.  I think I was still in Queensland and couldn't physically carry every haiku and poetry publication I'd bought over the years.

Congrats on the Pushcart nomination.

I'd be interested in knowing more about this haiku for WPthw. ;-)

Adobe Walls at dusk
crickets knit the names
of the lost


And it looks better in CAPS than what it appeared as?

adobe walls at dusk
crickets knit the names
of the lost

I'd assume that it was the type of house wall in Mexico and other parts if it was lowercase.  So I'd love to anthologise this, and in CAPS, if you are interested.

warm regards,

Alan



Quote from: Jan in Texas on February 10, 2016, 07:53:19 PM
Alan, I will splat a few.
Use or lose, as Chen-ou says

----------

This was edited by the publisher with no caps. I was upset, because without the caps, it reads very differently than intended. Adobe Walls is
1. A major battle during the Indian wars on the great Plains, Has a Wiki page regarding the famous battle.
2. Is now an historical landmark.

Without the caps, a reader not familiar with the event could read it without any inclination that there is historical significance.

All of that said, dos gatos press did give it a
Push Cart Nomination.

It was written before i went brain dead.


Adobe Walls at dusk
crickets knit the names
of the lost


2015 Texas Poetry Calendar
Published Summer 2014
Dos Gatos Press

---------------------

hibiscus unfurl
along the neches river
bees crescendo


1st pub
Blue Hole magazine (anthology of the 2015 Georgetown Poetry Festival)

2nd and 3rd pub with this revision:


hibiscus unfurl
along the river bend
bees crescendo


2.
2016 Spring Anthology
Dallas Community Poets

3. Will appear Summer 2016 in Chen-ou Liu's ebook,
"Butterfly Dreams"
(Granted, line two can be a pivot, which some purists say makes a haiku mute.
Not sure where you stand on this argument).
--------------------

pencil patterns
in the cigar box bottom
winter ivy


Presence, October 2015

--------------------
(A two line opener, so may not be what you are looking for)

impromptu picnic
at Japanese Gardens
herbal tea and zen


Poetry Society of Texas
1st Prize, May 2014
Published 2015 in
PST Book of the Year

--------------------

raspberries
grandbabe's first
opinion


Senryu, page 8
Cattails, September 2015

--------------------
(Another two line opener)

half notes
in a duet
the iamb of twins


Third Place, contest prompt: Twins
Galaxy of Verse, Fall/Winter 2015
(Only first place we're published)

-------------------

between us
what has not been revealed
spring snow


Accepted, pending publication, 
2016 Wild Plum (Spring/Summer Ed.)
--------------------

Jan Benson
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

AgnesEvaS

Hi,
I think I can find some of my published ones which may exhibit the dynamic first line/opening line effect. Here's the first:

first kick
birds resume
chirping   

Modern Haiku   
Volume 35.3
Autumn   
2004

As an opening line, it conjures up a lot of possibilities, depending on the reader. The first kick in a line dance, a ball game, a fight, and the intended fetus in a belly. The succinctness of the words illustrates the effect; the rhythm of the words being like a definite kick. Then the L2-3 phrase opens it up even further, yet doesn't discount any of the possibilities opened up by the first line. I like that the first line kind of makes the imagination soar to fill in the space left by the abruptness of the two short words before the reader goes on to L2-3 to the juxtaposition. It's almost like... the first line drop kicks the reader's mind into the air, to make connections and stir up associations and personal connotations to experienced kicks. There's a suspended moment where the invisible ball hangs in the air, and there's silence... and then the birds resume chirping and you're back in the words of the poem.
-Runner Up, 2016 Golden Triangle haiku Contest
-Distinguished Poet, International Matsuo Bashō Award 4th Edition, 2016

AgnesEvaS

Before I did up any more, I should ask, are you still looking for examples? I just noticed this was posted a year ago.
-Runner Up, 2016 Golden Triangle haiku Contest
-Distinguished Poet, International Matsuo Bashō Award 4th Edition, 2016

AlanSummers

Hi Agnes,

Well the post does two things: It's a useful topic for THF readers to look at over the years, and not be a short-term post; Secondly, yes, a year ago, but the book has been part on hold part being improved upon.

So do please post more examples. :-)

I do like your explanation, so it's quite possible the haiku could be in the book under this topic.  May I use it for the book Writing Poetry: the haiku way?

warm regards,

Alan

Quote from: AgnesEvaS on February 11, 2016, 04:44:15 PM
Before I did up any more, I should ask, are you still looking for examples? I just noticed this was posted a year ago.


Quote from: AgnesEvaS on February 11, 2016, 04:42:19 PM
Hi,
I think I can find some of my published ones which may exhibit the dynamic first line/opening line effect. Here's the first:

first kick
birds resume
chirping   

Modern Haiku   
Volume 35.3
Autumn   
2004

As an opening line, it conjures up a lot of possibilities, depending on the reader. The first kick in a line dance, a ball game, a fight, and the intended fetus in a belly. The succinctness of the words illustrates the effect; the rhythm of the words being like a definite kick. Then the L2-3 phrase opens it up even further, yet doesn't discount any of the possibilities opened up by the first line. I like that the first line kind of makes the imagination soar to fill in the space left by the abruptness of the two short words before the reader goes on to L2-3 to the juxtaposition. It's almost like... the first line drop kicks the reader's mind into the air, to make connections and stir up associations and personal connotations to experienced kicks. There's a suspended moment where the invisible ball hangs in the air, and there's silence... and then the birds resume chirping and you're back in the words of the poem.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

AgnesEvaS

Of course! I'd be thrilled if you use anything in the book :)

The post definitely has educational value beyond the specific request! I'll see what else I have.
-Runner Up, 2016 Golden Triangle haiku Contest
-Distinguished Poet, International Matsuo Bashō Award 4th Edition, 2016

AgnesEvaS

quitting time
snowflakes blend
with the crowd   

The Heron's Nest   
Volume VI, Number 8: September, 2004

I like this opening line because it conjures up the tired feelings of a long day at work, and that relief when it's over, stress melting away. It contrasts with the next two lines, coming back to the realm of people with the word crowd.


cicada song
the sleeping bag's 
long zipper

The Heron's Nest   
Volume VII, Number 3: September, 2005


I like the iambs in this opening line, making a kind of song themselves, mimicking the rise & fall of cicada sound too. I like that two words can instantly conjure up a season and a feeling. The endless zip sound of the sleeping bag feels like the most natural juxtaposition to that.
-Runner Up, 2016 Golden Triangle haiku Contest
-Distinguished Poet, International Matsuo Bashō Award 4th Edition, 2016

cactus

#25
The phrase in the subject of this thread "sometimes the clock strikes 13" puts me in mind of the kind of haiku where the first line is surreal or seeming nonsensical or impossible and then the rest of the haiku explains (or at least gives a clue to) how the seemingly impossible is actually a normal part of every day life. How about this example from Fay Aoyagi's book Chrysanthemum Love:

tangerine pyramids
his beeper vibrates
again

Taken by itself the phrase "tangerine pyramids" is striking (almost psychedelic) but it doesn't give us enough to construct a satisfying meaning ... the first line makes us want to read the rest of the haiku in the hope that it will provide some kind of explaination. Here are some of the ideas that suggest themselves to me after I've read the whole haiku:
- on a date with a man who has an important job, possibly a doctor
- the man with the important job is distracted, his heart isn't in the date
- we might be up to the dessert stage of the meal as the beeper is going "again"
- the "tangerine pyramids" might be what the dessert at this fancy restaurant looks like? (I could be drawing a long bow here)
- as the man with the important job attends to his beeper the author looks at the vividly coloured dessert and thinks of ancient tombs in the desert (the pyramids) being painted a vivid colour by the sunset in a far away country ... and this sets off another whole string of associations ...

AlanSummers

Hi C,

Ah, yes, tangerine pyramids, a familiar sight for those either working in a goods store or old enough to remember them.

From Abigail Child:

Artificial Memory
(Belladonna Press, 2001)
A two volume chapbook containing nine parts of a long poem: a portrait of Russia after the break-up of the USSR. "This phenomenon consisted of a hallucination. Try to break yourself against a sphere. I remember at the beginning of our acquaintance a passage feints. There is more than one direction.
At the beginning of our acquaintance a kind of delight which pluralizes meaning by gesture and without conjunction. Hero chandelier. What began as a heroic search for a historical shortcut is truncated. Nation made to walk on its hands. Nation feints. Two raisin cakes and tea set out, tea and crackers, tea and bread, tea and jam, real cigarettes. Resources of repetition, variation and control. We memorize your staying and send you our ideal."
—from Artificial Memory.
http://abigailchild.com/index.php?/about/

Abigail Child explores history, memory, and cultural experiences—the politics of place and identity, and so does Fay Aoyagi.  For whatever reason we don't fit in, race, culture, refugee, immigrant, the same color skin but we still look different - I can relate only too well to that last one.

We witness Cuba on
her side, isle in a TV
sitcom, grapefruit in snow, tangerine pyramids opposite Disney stickems. There's a certain
level of frustration blemished by glaring failure. Improvising rentals between legs of contradiction. Evidence of a 'real' pre-existence.
Artificial Memory by
Abigail Child
BELLADONNA BOOKS • FALL 2001

Or Martin Kemp, of Spandau Ballet pop fame, who at the age of 13, became an expert at building tangerine pyramids at a local grocery store.

With Fay this could be a companion piece to her hole in the sweater:

a hole in my sweater

I ask him one more time

what he meant

Fay Aoyagi
In Borrowed Shoes
Blue Willow Press, 2006

Read about the symbolism of holes:

Something with Wings:
Fay Aoyagi's Haiku of Inner Landscape

by David G. Lanoue
http://www.modernhaiku.org/essays/Lanoue-FayAoyagiHaiku.html

The man with the beeper, many of us had them at our trouser belts, either wearing them round our waist, or the trousers and beeper around our ankles.   Whichever combination, always on the job however inappropriate.

Quote from: cactus on October 07, 2016, 09:39:30 PM
The phrase in the subject of this thread "sometimes the clock strikes 13" puts me in mind of the kind of haiku where the first line is surreal or seeming nonsensical or impossible and then the rest of the haiku explains (or at least gives a clue to) how the seemingly impossible is actually a normal part of every day life. How about this example from Fay Aoyagi's book Chrysanthemum Love:

tangerine pyramids
his beeper vibrates
again

Taken by itself the phrase "tangerine pyramids" is striking (almost psychedelic) but it doesn't give us enough to construct a satisfying meaning ... the first line makes us want to read the rest of the haiku in the hope that it will provide some kind of explaination. Here are some of the ideas that suggest themselves to me after I've read the whole haiku:
- on a date with a man who has an important job, possibly a doctor
- the man with the important job is distracted, his heart isn't in the date
- we might be up to the dessert stage of the meal as the beeper is going "again"
- the "tangerine pyramids" might be what the dessert at this fancy restaurant looks like? (I could be drawing a long bow here)
- as the man with the important job attends to his beeper the author looks at the vividly coloured dessert and thinks of ancient tombs in the desert (the pyramids) being painted a vivid colour by the sunset in a far away country ... and this sets off another whole string of associations ...

So in actual fact tangerine pyramids are very much grounded imagery, whether a floor manager of a store, innocently pacing the sales floor with his beeper on full charge, or in the stockroom taking count...

Perhaps the beeper is a euphemism...

The clock striking thirteen may or may not be another reality, but is that other reality any less real?   Some of us live in a sideways world where lateral narrative always breathes.

Great post C!

warm regards,

Alan
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

Rick Hurst

Paraphrasing Diane Arbus (1923-1971) Photographer: "I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn't (write haiku about) them."

cactus

Well ... I must say I feel a bit embarrassed about my extended flight-of-fantasy interpretation now that you've explained that to me! *blush*

I guess this speaks to the difficulty of interpreting even the most mundane of details in short enigmatic poems across even very similar cultures. I assume that Tangerine Pyramids are a North American thing? But Spandau Ballet are a U.K. group ... at any rate Tangerine Pyramids are completely unknown here in Melbourne Australia. And even if I'd googled "Tangerine Pyramids" and come up with images like justlikeyou has posted I don't think I would have guess that was what Fay was referencing.

Thanks for your patient explainations. I'll step carefully in future ...

AlanSummers

Hi C,

Ah, but that is only my interpretation. :)

I see mention of tangerine pyramids in Australian supermarket promotional material too, and we've all witnessed stacked food from tins to chocolate bars, to fruit or household materials.   We've perhaps wondered what would happen if... :)


Behemoth the cat swipes tangerines from a pyramid display, and we have all wondered what would happen if we took an article from such stacked displays.

See also:
The Final Adventure of Koroviev and Behemoth
(The Master and Margarita
by Mikhail Bulgakov)
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Margarita-Mikhail-Bulgakov/dp/0679760806

I think now that fruit is in such abundance, since the late 1960s, that they are just displayed in rack displays, but the idea of something perfectly displayed that could be tumbled, perhaps by an mischievous version of Andersen's child a la The Emperor's Clothes? :)

Quote from: cactus on October 08, 2016, 02:16:05 AM
Well ... I must say I feel a bit embarrassed about my extended flight-of-fantasy interpretation now that you've explained that to me! *blush*

I guess this speaks to the difficulty of interpreting even the most mundane of details in short enigmatic poems across even very similar cultures. I assume that Tangerine Pyramids are a North American thing? But Spandau Ballet are a U.K. group ... at any rate Tangerine Pyramids are completely unknown here in Melbourne Australia. And even if I'd googled "Tangerine Pyramids" and come up with images like justlikeyou has posted I don't think I would have guess that was what Fay was referencing.

Thanks for your patient explainations. I'll step carefully in future ...
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

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