All the World’s a Stage with Guest Editor Alex Fyffe
Welcome to this month’s performance of Haiku Dialogue! Tonight’s program will begin shortly. There will be a brief intermission between acts, and we ask that you stick around until the final curtain call to support the performers. We hope you enjoy the show!
That’s right: The inspiration for the next few weeks is going to come from theatrical terms. Although one might not associate haiku with theatricality, I think that terms like “intermission,” for example, can inspire a whole folio of ideas for haiku poets to explore.
prompt: curtain call
For our final act, we’ll be using the term “curtain call” for inspiration. In theater, this term refers to when the actors come back out to the stage after the performance has finished in order to bow and receive applause from the audience. The curtain call reveals the characters to have been actors all along – great performances can make us forget that! It allows the audience to show their appreciation for those whose efforts pulled them out of their own lives for a few hours and gave them laughter or some other cathartic experience. After a tragedy, the curtain call allows the dead to return to life and be celebrated by those who watched them die. After a comedy, it feels like an afterparty. The curtain call gives the audience time to readjust from one lived experience back to another – we applaud the lives we’ve seen play out, some of which we have probably deeply identified with, and prepare to turn back to the lives we’re currently playing out ourselves.
Write a haiku or senryu inspired by the term “curtain call,” however you interpret the term. You could write about an actual theatrical experience, or you might approach the topic more metaphorically, as wake or afterparty, celebration or transition.
The deadline is midnight Eastern Standard Time, Saturday January 27, 2024.
Please use the Haiku Dialogue submission form below to enter one or two original unpublished haiku inspired by the week’s theme, and then press Submit to send your entry. (The Submit button will not be available until the Name, Email, and Place of Residence fields are filled in.) With your poem, please include any special formatting requirements & your name & residence as you would like it to appear in the column. Please note that by submitting, you agree that your work may appear in the column – neither acknowledgment nor acceptance emails will be sent. All communication about the poems that are posted in the column will be added as blog comments.
Join us next week for Alex’s selection of poems on the topic of curtain call…
Guest Editor Alex Fyffe teaches high school English in the Houston area. His haiku and senryu have been published in various journals, including Frogpond, Modern Haiku, Failed Haiku, Akitsu Quarterly, and the Asahi Haikuist Network. Some of his favorite short form poets include Issa, whose work he discovered in the intermediate Japanese textbook he used while studying in Hikone, Japan, and Santoka, whose writing introduced him to the liberating concept of “freeform haiku.” Currently, Alex uses haiku in the classroom to ease students into poetry and build their confidence as readers and writers. Alex also posts haiku, including translations of contemporary Japanese haiku, on Twitter @AsurasHaiku.
Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.
Managing Editor Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019). Find her at: kjmunro1560.wordpress.com.
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Haiku Dialogue offers a triweekly prompt for practicing your haiku. Posts appear each Wednesday with a prompt or a selection of poems from a previous week.
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