My esteemed former colleague from The Ithaca Journal, Roger DuPuis II, now an editor working from Scranton, has a beautiful way with Haikus. His comment was so arresting that I decided to put it up as a separate post. He blogs at arespectablesecond. Read on:
I was delighted to receive your request for haiku. I think a started working with the form out of a wry desire to use it as a filter with which to distill my own sardonic angst into little pools of pure, shimmering bile! Albeit drinkable bile ...
Rather than fall into the appalling Western tendency to caricature the form (see above; and I agree) I wanted to capture moments, people and ideas which were ordinary, yet sublime -- and sometimes really rather jarring -- and which had nothing to do with leaves or ducks or lily ponds.
The 5-7-5 pattern required me to work in a controlled fashion which prohibited my charateristic verbosity, to which you are right now being subjected! That said, here are a few untitled selections from recent months:
"Seated down the train:
Proud sister, your poise and grace
Somehow make me smile."
That ode was to an unidentified woman on a Philadelphia elevated train, whom I gazed upon bleary-eyed the morning after a particularly nasty row with my best friend. April 14, 2008. Happily we've moved on... But also from that day:
"E-mail is evil.
For it never quite conveys,
What you meant to say."
Unrelated from the next day, after I had my income taxes done:
"Well, that was painless!
Sometimes it's worth it to pay
Someone else to think."
Haiku about income taxes! How very bourgeois --not a lotus flower in sight!
Then there was this, written privately to a family member in July:
"All the little lies
Told so we can smooth the way ...
Deals with the Devil."
Such is life.-- R.
About FOOTPRINTS IN THE BAJRA (Cedar Books, New Delhi); By Nabina Das
"Fittingly for a poet, Nabina’s novel also has a strong lyrical core. 'Footprints in the Bajra' takes the homely image of the millet field as its central metaphor. ... But the novel is less a thriller about guerrilla action than a subtly colored character study of a fascinating group of individuals who intersect at various points in their lives ..." -- DEBRA CASTILLO, author, editor and distinguished professor (Cornell University, April 17, 2010).