13 responses to “Solitude

  1. The tag ‘Workshopping’ invites anyone to comment freely about such issues as lineation of poem, positioning/size of text, degree of duplication of theme in poem and photo – altogether, to debate the form which marrying haiku and photos might take. Too long, short, close, far, clear, obscure, fully described, under-described … Your satisfaction, but your criticisms or reservations, too, most welcome!

    • I enjoyed this poem. It reminded me of some of Yeats’ poems on Irish lakes, especially in the first two lines, but the following two lines sound more like a Japanese haiku. I wonder if you could make the last two lines a bit stronger. As it stands now, the first two lines are so impressive that we do not get the sense of ‘solitude’ so much. Sosui (Nobuyuki Yuasa)

      • I thought about your comment. One possibility:

        wings flapping
        wavelets slapping
        into winter solitude

        It’s not quite what I felt at the place, but might that be a stronger end?

  2. The musical, almost singing, effect of the first three lines works well, in that it conveys the sense of harmony with the surroundings, and is juxtaposed to a great effect with the poet’s gratitude to his solitude, underscored in that resolute, affirmative last line.
    I thiink the haipho combo itself is a bit twee, too neat, a bit ‘postcardy’ if you know what I mean Stephen.

    • Great comment, Branko. Much appreciated. Yes, there is a danger of haipho looking contrived, rather like posters or postcards, too photogenic, too carefully designed. I wish to take all such fair criticisms on board. I took the photo in the same spot as I composed the poem, during the same 10-15 mins, but the poem was more important … and potentially will last a great deal longer.

  3. I like the idea that the sound of external objects in nature can elicit happiness during one’s time in solitude. I wonder if finding a way to balance the juxtaposition of these two states – (happiness/solitude) would be more effective in sharing that combined feeling, or sense of harmony, as Branko noted? As it is written now, I think the double (~ing) in the first two lines (waving/flapping) leads the poem too heavily toward a sing-songy mode of expression. Is this to be a lyrical haiku poem?

    Do you think your photo might be more expansive and create a greater sense of reflection if you place your poem in that dark mass of clouds on the right, just above the mountaintop?

    • I offer these two ideas based on my comments of 3/10.

      wings flapping
      and the sound of waves . . .
      my joy in this solitude

      wings flapping
      and the sound of waves . . .
      all this, in my solitude

      • Thanks, Gerald, but ‘sound of waves’ seems to me like the sea, rather than a pond. You know me: a lyrical haiku poem is fine, but I take the point that repeated participles moves it away from a uniquely haiku atmosphere. I like your ‘my joy in this solitude’ last line. See my latest comment in Nobuyuki’s stream below.
        It’s amazing what the ‘workshopping’ tag does for comments, eh? It’s like a serving plate of food placed on a table – everyone can dig in. I’m unsure at this point, though, whether anyone is going to be satisfied at the end of the meal!

  4. I read your new version, but I feel the last line is not yet strong enough. How do you feel about the following three trials of mine?
    wings flapping
    wavelets slapping —
    alone but happy

    wings flapping
    wavelets slapping —
    my heart filled with joy

    wings flapping
    wavelets slapping —
    cold solitude warming
    This poem is so beautiful that I hope you will come up with a better solution. Sosui (Nobuyuki Yuasa)

    • Thank you for your suggestions, Nobuyuki. Taking a bit of one of them, perhaps
      wings flapping
      wavelets slapping –
      solitude filled with joy
      I believe this kind of joyful solitude was what both Saigyo and Basho felt. No doubt Yeats, too. We’ve lost the winter reference, but as this is a haiku + photo, the latter gives us a fairly good seasonal hint.