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Alone, the vivid
red Cardinal sings seeking
his mate's company.

CJ Herlihy

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The following comments are for "The Cardinal"
by CJHerlihy

That is very peaceful and pretty...nice way to end my night...

( Posted by: arc [Member] On: August 3, 2004 )

Pretty image, CJ!
Hi, CJ! This is such a pretty image; I love cardinals. I think that they may just be my favorite species of bird. Did you know that they mate for life and if one dies they rarely,if ever, take on another?

Now comes the hard part. *cringe*

This is lovely, but it really isn't haiku. I've read a few of your other lovely images and they are all a single sentence broken into three lines. This is not how haiku is written.

As you have already demonstrated, haiku *is* about nature; this scene from nature should be presented in such a way as to define a contrast between the ongoing and the ephemeral. In other words, it should show a scene that is either constant or recurring, then juxtapose a situation describing something, or some aspect of that ongoing circumstance which is extremely fleeting: something here and suddenly gone.

The entire scene should be presented in such a way as to create rensho in the reader. Rensho can be translated as 'lucidity', or perhaps, 'epiphany'. It is a sudden awareness of an encompassing truth, a sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something, or a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.
An "Aha!" moment. That's the goal of the haiku: much like the Zen koan , it is used in hope of triggering a flash of insight.

This is accomplished by writing two descriptive lines of an image which, together, become a phrase-- almost in a reportive-like manner.
This phrase is of a concrete, ongoing scene and is then juxtaposed with a separate fragment-- that ephemeral/fleeting moment, which serves to support, and or emphasize the phrase, thereby creating the rensho/aha! moment.

Again, I love the images you present, but as written, they really don't make a haiku. Thanks, CJ, I hope you don't mind my 'taking the podium'...

Regards and respect,


( Posted by: Serenem [Member] On: August 4, 2004 )

rewrite on cardinal Melinda
I wonder, if CJ didn't mind Melinda, if a rewrite of this Haiku, wouldn't help everyone get a better picture of what you said, so well. Sometimes I find an example (using my poem) helps me get 'it'. An aha!? anyway, maybe not. Just thought of it and decided I'd ask. Since, so many here are getting keen on this form of expression, and have indicated they want to learn and try. huni.

Cj, I like this run on the cardinal, very good Haiku image. Aren't we blessed with so many good teachers on this site.

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: August 4, 2004 )

ahhhhhhh serenem....
thanks so much for climbing up on to the podium. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. I wonder if i might request that you peruse my next 2 haiku and see if i am getting any closer to the "rensho/aha" moment. i did some tweaking on them and i hope i tweaked them correctly, if not then it is off to the notebook once again for another rewrite...

( Posted by: CJHerlihy [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

CJ, thank you...

for your grace... the last thing I would want to do is offend you, (or anyone else!)with my attempts to explain a form of poetry that I've come to love so much. I've been studying for about six months, now and can pass on to others what I've learned, but I am still struggling with achieving the ideal, myself! I will help anyone as much as I can, as a matter of fact, it would be my pleasure-- that way, we can learn together.

Huni, thank you for your post and for your question. With respects to CJ and a reminder that I'm still struggling with this, myself, I'll try a rewrite to show what I'm trying to say about haiku.

If I stick to the 5-7-5 pattern-- hmmmmmm, let's see...

vivid flash of red
sweet notes of beckoning song
cardinal alone

That's kind of off-the-cuff, (and not perfect!)but maybe it shows you what I mean. It is left for the reader to make the connecting leap that he is singing for his mate and when they succeed, it should bring the 'aha' moment. You want your reader to think. You give him the two line, report of what you see with the phrase, then add the fragment that supports/ explains... leave it up to them to discover the 'aha!' of it. In other words the best haiku doesn't 'spell it all out' as the sentence broken up into three lines does.



( Posted by: Serenem [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

thanks so much serenem
i will attempt to play some more with haiku....must log off for now....but my brain is forever.... comtemplating,considering,meditating,mulling over and lastly,scrutinizing. Take care, and please look for my two new ones One Soul & Rain Day I am interested in your opinion...

( Posted by: cjherlihy [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

which comment?

Just let me know which comment of the two you want deleted and I'll be happy to take care of it for you.


( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

Thanks Bartelby!
Either one of the double posted 'CJ, thank you' posts... it's the long drawn out one about haiku...

and the perhaps my 'whooops' post?

Thank you, Bart!!!


( Posted by: Serenem [Member] On: August 5, 2004 )

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