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Rajandeep Garg — Touchstone Award for Individual Poems Winner 2017

Rajandeep Garg is a recipient of a Touchstone Award for Individual Poems for 2017 for his poem

prairie sky
the depth
of a sigh

It first appeared in Modern Haiku 48.3.

Commentary from the Panel:

“The wide open space of the prairie and its never-ending sky, with our awe captured in a deep sigh. The alliterative repeating “i” sounds create a resounding echo that inspires the reader to experience the haiku moment along with the poet.”

“Only a haiku can capture the depth of such a moment. And this haiku does it very well as the ‘sigh.’”

“Such wide and expansive imagery is focused down to a deep sigh and we are left wondering whom, or what has created this emotion. Haiku such as these can be a journey to our own thoughts and impressions on the vastness of life.”

See the complete list of past winners of both Individual Poem Awards and Distinguished Books Awards in the Touchstone Archives.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. .
    .
    prairie sky
    the depth
    of a sigh
    .
    Rajandeep Garg
    Modern Haiku 48.3
    .
    .
    Opening lines, for me, are as important if not more important than the last line. Here we have an expansive opener of a prairie sky, already emotive for me, as it is reminiscent of b&w Westerns, and made more astonishing when seen in a cinematic movie in color.
    .
    .
    I looked up praires in regard to India, and there are crop prairies, and I bet the skies (as I’ve visited India many times) are stunning.
    .
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    Oddly I didn’t notice the rhyme until it was pointed out. I’ve spotted other haiku writers overlooking rhyme in their haiku.
    .
    .
    I can only say that the middle line’s last word ‘depth’ worked for me, to reduce the end rhymes across lines one and two.
    .
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    Could it have been written differently?
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    Synonyms for sigh
    verb breathe out heavily
    .
    .

    cry
    exhale
    gasp
    groan
    howl
    moan
    murmur
    sob
    whisper
    whistle
    blow
    complain
    grieve
    lament
    pant
    respire
    roar
    sorrow
    sough
    suspire

    .
    etc…
    .

    Possibly.
    .
    .

    Do I like it as it is? Yes. It keeps resonating with me, and I blame the author, and Paul Miller (editor, Modern Haiku). 🙂

  2. I tend to agree here with Gabriel Rosenstock. The rhyme in this instance is very loud! Of course, Robert Spiess, for one, wrote numerous quite charming haiku which skilfully featured rhyme.

    I’m a bit more bugged by the commentary. The repeating “i’ sounds cannot be described as “alliteration”. Perhaps the writer meant “assonance”, a more correct term, though even that is not quite right as what we are talking about is not internally repeating vowel sounds but plain old rhyming.

    Another commentator says “Only a haiku can capture the depth of such a moment”. Really? It is true that haiku typically focus on one moment in a way that allows it great space. In this, haiku
    may be said to be unique. However, one may find instances, in the work of Lorine Niedecker, or
    of Emily Dickinson, or others, where the depth of such moments is quite evident, only presented differently.

    Maybe I’m over-reacting. Probably the writer is in love with haiku ( a good thing indeed) but not, I hope, putting him or her on the same sofa with those who feel haiku the need to be defended against the hordes of blow-hard self serving poets.

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