haiku, history

Motion in Haiku: Another Surprise

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Like still photos, many haiku capture a moment in time.  My first foray into capturing motion in haiku yielded 2 surprises.  Here comes another, in time for the centennial on 11-11 of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I.

Let’s start by summarizing the older surprises that I posted in response to a CDHK episode.  Credits for the images below are at the end of this post for readability.

The first surprise was that that so much motion could fit in a haiku:

Redemptive Trickle
|A shell exploded!
|Water slowly filled the hole
|and held the whole sky.

Of course, my haiku that is like a movie was inspired by this classic World War I haiku that is like a still photo:

© Maurice Betz
|A shell hole
|In its water
|Held the whole sky.

The second surprise was that I did not have a stable preference between these haiku.  Like someone viewing the classic ambiguous image that can be seen as a duck facing one way or as a rabbit facing the other, I flip-flopped between the still photo by Betz and the movie by me.  So did at least 2 readers of my old post.

Here is the new third surprise.  After writing yet another shell hole haiku, I finally have a stable preference.  My preferred haiku is like a movie that starts after the explosion:

Healing Trickle
|Water slowly filled
|the shell blast’s muddy crater.
|It held the whole sky.

Image Sources

Unable to find appropriate and affordable period images, I used contemporary images: a generic explosion and a puddle that looks much like the water-filled shell hole.  The puddle photo has been cropped to be more nearly square.

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6 thoughts on “Motion in Haiku: Another Surprise

  1. I, too, prefer the third haiku.  It seems to me more emotionally complex than either of the others.  It is peaceful and immeasurably sad, regretful but accepting.  The first’s exclamatory noise and objective description seem less subtle.  The second’s held-at-a-distance, unacknowledged pain has — I think — only one note with a strong appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

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