Friday, May 4, 2012

Results of the 1st Haiku My Photo Challenge

     I'm happy to announce the results of the 1st Haiku My Photo Challenge! 

 Judge's Comments:

     Thank you to all the entrants for sharing your haiku with me, and my thanks also to Chrissi, for inviting me to judge her Haiku My Photo Challenge. The three prizewinners are all haiku that stood up to multiple readings and continued to stand out from the crowd. I judged without knowledge of the authors of each haiku and without having previously seen the photo. And first prize goes to:

rippling the sky...
sometimes, I think of you

This haiku stood out for me from the first read through. I find so much to enjoy about it, every line and word choice works: alone as a haiku, and then together with the photo as a haiga. It takes me into the photo as well as transporting me to another place, moving me somewhere deeper. I fell for “leafdance” – what a beautiful image! It breathes new life into the leaves, gives them their spirit back. A few of the haiku entered played with the reflection of the sky on water. This poet achieved the effect flawlessly in line two with “rippling the sky”. The image created is not intrusive or forced: it sounds so natural that the “leafdance” would be “rippling the sky”, whether reflected on the water or not. The pause brought about from the ellipses gives the reader a little extra time than just the line break alone to delight in this experience. Then line three moves the reader along, with that addition of “sometimes” speaking volumes. The mystery, the 'other', is created by this final line and yet the journey for the reader, coupled with the photo too, has only just begun. Stunning work!

reflection …
the arresting music
of leaves

The first line, that one word “reflection”, works two ways: reflection on the water and reflection within ourselves. As in the above haiku, the ellipses worked for me here as it gave that extra pause, that silence in time for the reader to begin the reflection process, to start to sink deeper and think on where this haiku might be taking them within themselves, as well as within the haiga (whether the reader knew that this shift had begun happening or not – maybe most great examples of haiku do this without the reader knowing, at least at first). The final two lines again bring in the spirit of Nature with “the arresting music/ of leaves”. I found this powerful and loved it from my first read through. I imagined the sound, then felt the pull outdoors to listen for it first hand on a new journey of discovery and connection.

spring song
how it draws the heart
to reflection

I'm a fan of alliteration and loved the phrase “spring song” on first reading. It works with the photo and then immediately draws the reader to look outside the borders for further signs of spring. The poet here like the first two, has reminded the reader of Nature's song, of the life essence that is all around us and part of us. And also like the above two haiku, the auditory sense of the reader is engaged, which lifts the photo to another level. The final lines “how it draws the heart/ to reflection” worked to draw me deeply into the centre of the photo, and deeper into the experience as a whole.  

Kirsten Cliff

     I want to express my sincerest thanks to all the participants. This haiga contest would not have been a great turnout without your support and interest.  

     I'd also like to thank Kirsten for generously giving her time and effort. She did a terrific job!

     To find out more about her and what's going on in her haiku world, check out her blog Swimming in Lines of Haiku

       I hope to see you all again in the 2nd Haiku My Photo Challenge in June. Stay tuned for more details at the end of the month.


  1. Thanks a lot,Christine and Kirsten, for awarding the 1st place to my haiku. I am both honored and delighted!The credit goes to Chrissi in the first place for providing the inspiration with such a beautiful photo. And Kirsten, many thanks for this lovely and insightful commentary! Congrats to all the other winners as well.

  2. You're welcome, Sanjukta! You deserve to win. :-) I hope you join again next time.

  3. :) Yay! Congrats to everyone! :) I can imagine how difficult it was to choose from among many stunning 'ku!

    And thanks, dear Christine for promoting my contest! It will be ending soon--tonight!!

  4. My congratulations to all the prize winners! Yes, it certainly was a tough task, but exciting, too :) I look forward to participating myself next time!

  5. You're welcome, Kathy! I enjoyed reading all the entries.

    Kirsten, I love your photo. Really looks nice with the violet background.

    I'll let you all know when the next one will be. :-)

  6. Congratulations sanjukta & Alegria ! And thanks, Christine !

    - Angelo A.

  7. Congratulations to all ... this was a pleasure to come across.

  8. Thanks! I checked out your lovely blog and saw your haiga on NaHaiWrimo. Keep up the good work!

    I'll let you know when the next one will be in case you want to join us.

    Thanks for visiting! Have a blessed day...