Hello and welcome to Episode 19 of The Haiku Chronicle Podcast. If you’ve not listened before, my name is Patricia and I started this Podcast to keep an account of my learning progress in the world of haiku and I thought that I would share what I was learning along the way with you. Who knows perhaps you can learn with me and share your thoughts and tips with me via the poetrypea website.

A warm welcome back to Giddy Nielson Sweep who we first meet on Episode 12. If you’ve not listened to that episode go back and hear her haiku, it is wonderful.

I have a haiku to share with you but first it’s back to articles. If you remember in last week’s show I talked about the definite and indefinite article. This week I want to do a follow up.

When I am looking for guidance on a topic, one of the places I go to is the blog of Alan Summers. When I was putting together the podcast for last week I had a look at the blog but couldn’t find anything, so I sent him an email.

He wrote a blogpost in response. In his piece Alan suggests that haiku are often “a bridge of nuance”. It’s a phrase he devised himself. I suggest you read the article for a full definition.

Alan sees articles as one of the potential building bricks of the haiku. A building block that can make or break these short poems, a building block that is often left out when they should remain in.

Here are a few versions of a haiku that Alan uses in his piece.
sunlit brick
the house passes
along a train

sunlit brick
a house passes
along a train

sunlit brick
each house passes
along the train

Which one of them works best for you?
Do you know why?

Have a read of the article, Alan will explain the process and, I hope tell you why you like the one you do.

Next this haiku from Alan:

night of small colour
a part of the underworld

becomes one heron

What do you think of his use of the article?

I really recommend that you read his explanation of this haiku. It certainly made me think.

I’d like to end this part of the podcast by quoting from Alan again:

“Use articles sparingly, and know when they are really needed, and engage with the fluidity of a line, as sometimes neglecting our articles we might sound like an Orc (The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien) or a Dalek (Dr Who) or even Yoda (Star Wars) and it might sound fun for a short time, but it will start to grate. Don’t Exterminate! articles, love them, they are your little friends in the land of haiku.” (1)

What have I been writing this week?

Living as I do in a landlocked country, I sometimes miss the sea. Last week I was lucky enough to be beside the sea for work and took a few walks along the beach front. The wind was strong and the sea was crashing to the shore but in a quiet sheltered spot I came across this scene.

an inlet
in the mirror
a seagull

I hope it brings you the sense of peace it brought me.

Guest haiku featuring Giddy Nielson Sweep:

Giddy comes from Australia. Despite having MS she amazes me with her output of Haiku and the projects she has on the go. She is developing a book of photos and haiku with her friend Dawn (more of that in another episode) and writing a book about her childhood growing up on a farm in the Australian bush.

Her haiku:

crested pigeons
must be given their seed
breakfast delayed

This haiku resonated with me because pigeons have moved into our neighbour hood. It’s been a hard winter, lots of snow (as you know if you’ve been listening to me) and the pigeons have cottoned onto the three sets of bird feeders in the gardens in my immediate vicinity. They have pushed out the smaller birds and strut about the place as if they owned it. I can well imagine the sight in Giddy’s garden.

Thanks so much Giddy for your haiku and your support and inspiration.

I have a request for you. I am asking for haiku submissions on the topic of “a typical breakfast where I live” Submissions open 26th March to the 6th April.

Why this topic? Well I was watching tourists from another continent eat breakfast in my hotel and they had very interesting combinations on their plate. I realised that I had probably done the same when visiting other continents and I got to wondering about what a typical breakfast would look like in other parts of the world. Looking forward to reading your breakfast inspired haiku…

No podcast next week, it’s Easter and I’ve got the family home. If you celebrate Easter may it be a happy one…

Recommended reading:
1 http://area17.blogspot.com

Week 19: The Haiku Chronicle Podcast – Heron, Seagull, Pigeon