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Montage #43


Montage #43,
presented by Allan Burns,
is now up
on The Haiku Foundation website.

“Winter (II)”, the forty-third and final gallery in the Montage series, features more winter-themed haiku—by Martin Shea, Jack Barry, and THF’s founder, Jim Kacian. My thanks go out to Jim for the opportunity to create Montage, to web master Dave Russo for all his help, and to THF for hosting the series; I also thank everyone for reading and for all the valuable feedback, public and private. I’ve greatly enjoyed it, but it’s time to hoist my burdens and get on down the road. Best wishes for the New Year!

the long night
of the mannequins—
snow falling
— Martin Shea

                                                                                New Year's dawn
                                                                                light first gathers
                                                                                   in the icicles
                                                                                — Jim Kacian

looking back
after crossing
thin ice
— Jack Barry

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Somehow, this time of year gets to me just like this one of Jim Kacian’s:

    in the sleeping bag
    of butterflies

    Wonder if it’s the cold that seeps into the bones… Thanks for this one. I didn’t see how it was connected with winter…till this cold snap arrived. I realize that there is the connection with the famous man dreaming he’s a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he’s a man…but this cold this day…makes it difficult to wake up from the dream…

    Still fluttering around… Happy New Year every one. And I hope the New Year brings Allan many opportunities to share the
    insights he possesses.

  2. Bravo Maestro Burns!

    You have conducted your orchestra of poets and haiku with care and skill. Great selection, arranging, and writing. The result is an asset that should be archived and referenced in perpetuity. – Paul

  3. A nice end to a wonderful series. I’ll echo everyone else’s gratitude for the effort to put it together, and the great results. I especially like Martin Shea’s ‘long night…’ Very eerie!

  4. Allan,

    Just adding a little more wind to that sail. I’m impressed by and very grateful for what you have created with “Montage.” I will buy the book the moment there is one!


  5. Yes, “the long night” brings back many memories of NYC during this time of year…the store fronts…the mannequins in the windows and those glancing a them…parallel universes…instances that only poetry can hold.
    There’s also that “black pond” that startled me in an echo of Mary Oliver’s “Herons in Winter in the Frozen Marsh”.
    And the sense of sudden realized loss in Jim Kacian’s
    “silent dawn”… (We’ll all feel that when Montage closes.) But it’s also part of the total breaking of winter…
    And Jack Barry’s haiku: “passing headlights” leads me to think about this one as I sense things that are not easily understood or expressed.

  6. Montage has been the segment of THF that has lured me back week after week. I’m sorry to see it go, but you have ended with one of my all time favorites: Martin Shea’s “the long night”. Thanks for this inspired series, Allan.


  7. Thanks so much to everyone who has commented. I am deeply touched by the warmth and generosity of your words.

    I will say that the subject of a book has been broached. Your comments will no doubt put more wind in that sail. You’ll also understand that I can’t say more than that or make any promises at present.

    And Lorin—thank you for mentioning John Huston’s masterful film version of “The Dead”. A cinematic reference is entirely appropriate here, as Montage has been, of course, inspired in part by my love of film.

  8. There are times when someone/thing comes into our lives and opens doors, fills the rooms with light, shares the secrets of gardens and small creatures…and then is gone. The space left can never be filled quite the same way again. And yet the gift has been given us that has changed us in some way … a little wiser? a filled with a little more wonder? understanding who we are and the world around us a little better?
    Thanks, Allan. It’s been good. I think everyone here will say with me that we are all in your debt. In gratitude, Merrill

  9. Montage has been an extraordinary read. I quickly became addicted. Wonderful poets, exciting examples showing the broad range of haiku possibility. What a treat it has been. I plan to refer to it often. Highly inspiring. Thank you!
    (And yes, count me in on the book form.)

  10. I am grateful, too, Allan, and sad to see this superb series come to an end. Surely the 43 Montages form one of the finest projects ever to focus on English-language haiku. As others have said, they merit ongoing study. I have already recommended the feature to many readers, some haiku enthusiasts, others unfamiliar with the genre, and I will continue to do so. Let’s hope teachers at all levels recognize the fine possibilites for student writing that individual segments suggest. I share Kirsty’s hope for a book and add my own wish that, after a break, Allan might return for an encore.

  11. Allan, what a great closer! Many thanks to you for your dedicated work in producing these forty-three weeks of Montages. I know I’ll be coming back to the whole series again and again.

    I have to say I am very moved by your choice of the extract from Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ for the introduction of this end-of-the-series issue. It’s a personal favourite of mine, perhaps the work where his rendering of ‘epiphany’ is gentlest, clearest and most pervasive. It is the perfect frame for the superb haiku you have chosen, and how it dances with the complete series, the collection of Montages! Now I think I have a glimpse of the ‘soul’ of your concept of montage and how it illuminates the relationships between all haiku written and read.

    I’m remembering John Houston’s beautiful film adaptation of ‘The Dead’, too.


  12. I can honestly say that I have found every single issue of Montage to be excellent, captivating, and informative. The introductory paragraphs have been imaginative and expertly conceived. In simple fact, Allan has outdone himself, and his readers have truly benefited from all his work.

    I am glad that he brought this series to an end before collapse, though it will be missed.

    Kirsty…who is hoping for a book

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