Sunday, November 23, 2014

…"not even the rain…" e.e. cummings

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands. 
Such a beautiful line!

Here is the complete poem:

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

E. E. Cummings1894 - 1962
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
e.e. cummings

Misconceptions in writing haiku

Even in college, I was surprised (as well as frustrated by the arrogance of a published poetry professor) who insisted that haiku must be 17 syllables. Rigid adherence to the 5-7-5 rule!

This is such an entrenched belief, taught to students from elementary grades and beyond.

In Japanese, a haiku poem is usually divided into three groups/lines of syllables, the first and last with five syllables, the second with seven. However, be careful not to get stymied by strict adherence to the number of syllables and miss the essence of haiku. The 17 syllables is not an absolute rule. Most Japanese syllables are short, as in po-ta-to. English syllables can be long, and take up too much space in a haiku, so English haiku frequently have fewer than 17 syllables, sometimes as few as ten. (from: The History and Artistry of Haiku, Patricia Burleson)

Haiku is a moment in time, in the present.  An act of not thinking but being.  It is noticing. Seeing. It is elegance and brevity. Balance. It is all of you within that moment without the ego of you interfering. 

Haiku is not the creation of crunching an experience into a set of syllables for syllable's sake. 

Rain haiku

Saturday, November 8, 2014


snorts out its fear
its arrogance a cold cloak

i know what I know,
saw what i saw...

light emits
whispers rustle
blue trees bend, remaining silent.
voices float downstream
heavy moons, full,
hang above.

time is Time is 
missing, not lost
withheld in a floating orb.

i know what i know,
i saw what i saw. . .

march 2014/eugene