Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Rebuilding" Theme for Asahi Haikuist Network

     Just a few days before Christmas in 2011, a disastrous tropical storm hit the Philippines. It was heartbreaking seeing the aftermath of the floods and landslides. The first thing that came to my mind were the children. Wondering how the traumatized children were coping, I wrote this haiku for David McMurray's next issue.

after the typhoon...
a child runs after
her floating doll

                        Asahi Haikuist Network (March 16, 2012)    

     I've been told once that it's better to hold onto a haiku for some time to sort out what's best for it regarding word choice, line order, punctuation, etc. One day you may like your haiku so much. After submission, you may feel the opposite. I'm guilty of not taking this advice because a few times, I wish I had waited longer and had written some of my haiku differently. This haiku is one of them. Though it still is a good haiku, I wish I had written it this way--

after the typhoon
a child runs after
a floating doll

     This doesn't actually need an ellipsis. As for changing the third line, "a" makes a lot of difference to me. It evokes another level of piognancy. Here, the child loses all her possessions so she desperately runs after a stranger's doll. She finds comfort in whatever she has now.
     I think sometimes deadlines causes a poet to act impulsively. Do you agree? :-)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think we all learn and grow as we go along--as you know I've also had published haiku that I wish I had written differently after the fact.

    The published version of your haiku here is still very nice, but I do agree that "a floating doll" adds poignancy, and that the ellipsis probably wasn't necessary, but I think I like "typhoon" better. If you had gone with just a "storm," I don't think we'd get the intensity of the moment as much.

    And yes on deadlines causing poets to sometimes act impulsively. I think it's always a good idea to allow a bit of time before we decide which versions to send out. It allows us a bit more objectivity, and that is always a good thing!

    Gisele :)

  3. Thank you so much, Gisele, for commenting. I swear I'm not making mistakes anymore on this haiku. I thought I had made a correction already. hahahahaha. This made me really laugh. I didn't mean "after the storm" because all this time, I've been typing the first line as "after the typhoon." It was a typhoon that hit the Philippines. I don't know why I mentioned "after the storm" on my first comment, too, which I just deleted. I guess it's because I have another haiku with the same first line hahahaha
    To go back to you comment, yes, if I had used storm, it would not have the same impact. And "flash floods" won't work as well as in this version.

    flash floods...
    a child runs after
    a floating doll

    Other than allowing a bit more time to decide which versions to send out, I should also double check my posts on my blog to avoid confusion. lol

  4. nice idea.. thanks for posting..