They Are All Masterpieces!!

The Judges

* * *
Mercy, What has I done got mahself into wif' this high-falutin' Haiku thang?

Truly now, y'all's all sighin' wif' relief that ya' ain't gotta figger whose Haiku reigns supreme,
ain't ya'?

I does wanna thank ever'body fer the fun, frolickin', fabulous entries for this week's Haiku Monday. Folks outdid theyselves an' Aunty had a boatload of amusement. Uncle too.

Oh yes, Uncle Aloysius got a recital wif' his mornin' cawfee. While he ain't the final word, I did allow him to thumbs up the one he heard that he liked real good. That narrowed the field some.

An' it also did one other thang--it impressed on me the truth that poetry
read an' poetry heard are different altogether. Thar's some lovely/ ironical/ funny moments observed in all these entries. Yet, lemme invite y'all to read them aloud an' see if the Haiku heard takes on a little different feel/ vision?

Poet Robert Pinsky said that poems have their "...culmination in the audience's body."

In some of yore entries, thar's an added dimension in the sounds of the words used to express the "moment" or vision that the Haiku intends to communicate. The sounds reflect the meaning of the words in some obvious or subtle manner.

An example:

The first line of the first entry in the Combox:
curling wafting smoke
( Foam's)

I hope ya' hear what I mean
--the sound of the word "curling" is itself sorta of curly--that is, ya' mouth lingers over the word, your ear tarries on the word. It does not sound quick or short, an' the object it describes--smoke--ain't got the property of bein' quick or short. So the very sound ya' hear, not jes' the meanin' of the word, also communicates the property of the thang described. This is a subtle feature of word choice in poetry that may come natcherly, not needin' any teachin', sort of intuitive to the writer. Iffin' ya wuz to write a poem about machine gun fire, wif'ouut even thinkin', youse gonna choose short sound syllables, to mimic the actual sound of the blasts. (The Japanese have "onji" which is one syllable short sound words that are also short when written)

The listener doan need to deconstruct sound and voice mechanics to appreciate that THIS word, but not THAT word, is more communicative of the subject--it is a grand ability that humans have to appreciate a a truth wif'out needin' to analyze it (as I jes' done). That is--important point--we somehow apprehend realities on a level beyond the laborious need to analyze to see IF it is so. We analyze after the fact to understand HOW it is so.

I reckon thas' somethin that makes poetry --any good art--art. It taps into that reservoir of unnerstandin' we humans have that is a "lightening apprehension" (not analysis) that Pinsky outlines.

Which point leads to mah next point. SIGNS.

Thar's a fancy word, (erudit-ish fer the Troll) Semiotics which is the study of signs. How we assign significance to a signifier (a sign) that ain't the than actual thang itself. (applied to Haiku, the idea is to communicate a definite, concrete moment in time and place--a poem snapshot, if you will. The successful Haiku locates the precise moment in such a way that the listener recognizes it--it is nearly experiential--that is, even though not thar' at that moment, hearin' the Haiku the listener can "be there" too.)

What is fascinatin' is that the virtual world is changin' the way we signify real or virtual. I'se no expert on any of this stuff, but I reckon that when Gutenberg turned the world upside down wif' his invention it made it possible for more folks to understand the signified world better.

Anyhoo--y'all doan wanna hear/ read all this....but it is important to keep in mind the SIGNS that are around us --to keep alert, folks. Thar's thangs to know if ya would jes' SEE.

A few final notes of appreciation. Thanky to everyone who wrote wif' regard to Granny Cracker. I'se touched. An' thanky too to y'all brown-noses that ALMOST got to Aunty wif' paeans to batiste or Composela. An special mention on them really good entries wif reference to Signs of the Ultimate Thangs.

And now, drum roll....

The winning Cracker-speak Haikus has a real an' direct sign, is in Cracker speak. The second Cracker -speak doan work as well, wif'out the visual, but in this case the visual is so strong!

The first conveys a Cracker (of lower order) craftiness. The information in 17 syllables evokes eggsactly how a certain Cracker folks might stand lookin' at a sign an' find the work-around. Thus, a specific moment in time is "seen" when ya hear this Haiku.

The first winner be,

Pam OKC wif'


The Second Cracker-Speak winnin' entry locates a precise moment wif' a physical sign an' follows the Japanese classical form of relating to nature.

The winner is BuzzK wif'

Foragin' fer food.
They wuz Deer Woods long ago.
Stompin' ground garden.

The winning Haiku wuz much harder to judge an' I still doan wanna settle fer one--so many good ones. If ya re-read over them, an especially read out loud, I think you'll find several very strong entries that put ya squarely thar'--makes you feel part of what is conveyed. An' mercy, it is hard to select jes' one. In the end, thar' were three neck an' neck, an jes' wish all could be first-place.

Sigh..so. Keepin' the ones Uncle gave thumbs up to, I narrowed the field again by resortin' to the classical Japanese format that requires some reference to nature. This means that to keep the "sign" theme, an' a nature component, an to locate a precise moment in time, an' to sound good when read out loud, the winnin' entry had to hit a lot of markers, includin' the 5-7-5- format, which nosed out Master Banana Tree 's otherwise wonderful entry of 3-5-5 (dern-- them English speakin' judges!)

The winner be:

Foam, wif'

tumultuous rain
undulating bulbs stretch high..
heralds of springtime

Mayhap I'se captivated by "undulating," cause Foam's flippant late entry is hilarious, a moment one can quickly visualize...unless ya' need a dictionary first.

ululating roars
undulating ungulates
unguligrade run

Congratulations to all!

Winners, please send me yore mailin' particulars by email so I can dispatch your prizes forthwith!


Anonymous said...

The "no tresspassing" haiku is a quote from another Guthrie song lyric.

moi said...

Well done, Aunty. Tough, no?

Congrats to Foam, who is a haiku crackerjack. I actually liked her ode to cigarette smoke best, but concur that this one is the winner due to it's splendid handling of the nature theme.

As to Anon's point above, Pam made it clear when she submitted that it was nicked.

I also had Buzz for the Cracker Speak win. I tried many times and, like Chickory, just couldn't make it work. Double kudos to you, Aunty, for the way that you do.

And for yet another wonderful overview of the theme. I would consider it a most awesome thing to one day sit down with you in conversation . . . (notice I'm brown-nosing after the fact :o) )

Master Basho's Ghost said...

Aunty has a good understanding of Haiku for a gaijin. The remarks about sound/verbal/hearing were especially eruditish.

I actually banked more Yen from reading my Haiku aloud than from published writings. And, of course, I had my acolytes read theirs aloud in order to help them develop. Something I'm trying to get the Troll to do consistently too.

I offer a hearty "BANZAI!" to Foam for winning and to Buzz and Pam for writing in uber-gaijin.

Anonymous said...

yay foamer. so sorry she is in this game if shes gonna win them all. grrrrrhahahahah (not really foamy) great job!

i loved that bit about semiotics and hope you write more about it someday.

congrats all

Jenny said...

Yay to Foam! And big yay to Aunty for working through a great collection of Haikus. I really loved the theme of "signs".

I think Buzz did a great job with the Cracker-speak too. Me? I didn't even really try. Counting is just too hard.

fishy said...

I love the "masterpieces" of your visual. Howling funny. Congrats on this awesomely fun hailku theme, it clearly inspired!

I agree it is a challenge to get the judging done and it tickled me some to read you invited Uncle to participate with the wee codicil the final choosing would be yours, not his. Sounds familiar.

Congratulations to Foamy's undulations, Buzz's tracking and Pam's nod to Guthrie!

Pam said...

Yep, anonymous is right. Both mine relate directly to song lyrics I know. Have been rightly admonished by The Kymster to STOP such things ... but inspiration is inspiration and just wanted to put up an entry! Please forgive.

Pam said...

BTW, congrats to Foamy for the wonderful haiku -- especially timely with the signs of spring coming to life this time of year. well done!

darkfoam said...

wow! i'll be....
thank you!
what a surprise.
there were so many awesome entries.

this is really a great write up, auntie. i'm in awe of your
ability to explain all things writerly in such a superb crackerly way. anything you write is a joy to read.

darkfoam said...

and congrats to the cracker haiku winners. i actually got a real kick out of all of them. i even tried my hand at haiku cracker speak, but, alas my 50% mississippiness just weren't enuf..

Sharon Rudd said...

Excellent job by all haiku writers - cracka and non :) And superb analysis by Aunty!

Buzz Kill said...

Wait, Florida Cracker and South Jersey Piney are the same? Bwahahaha

Loved your write up Aunty. I don't understand everything you're saying but I like the way you say it. Congrats to Foam with her undulating bulbs. And to Pam who beat me by cribbing Guthrie - again. Bwahahaha

Aunty Belle said...

really? Hmmn...well, reckon that shows music ain't mah shinin' talent. Sorry. But, well, looky--it's jes' a bag of Pork Rinds--no harm? Let's give PamOKC
credit fer choosin the lyric that really do fit what a Cracker mighta thought about "signs."


Oh Sweet Pea, do I admire yore past judgin' gigs. Whoo-whee, this were tougher than I 'spected. I also liked the cigarette smoke--hence the photo of the "judges" at the top of the post--heh.

An' on Buzz? Well, Karl's wuz a pretty fair entry along similar lines, Cracker and nature, But Buzz's graphic visual put him over!

AN thanky so much fer the overview compliment--the fine ones youse written is an intimidation factor!

Master Basho,
why how gallant of ya'! May I say, Sir, that while he ain't an esteemed Nipponese, Mr. Pinsky has enlightened me on how to "hear" and "listen." Fascinatin' stuff.


oooh oooh, Pup. Be careful what ya wish fer--Semiotics may show up soon on a screen afore ya knows it. Think youse prolly read some of Walker Percy's books. He were a physician, a writer an' of course, a Southerner. His book of essays, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE takes a look at semiotics--ana hold on to yore seat, Pup: He says that the post-modern malaise of Existential Man is due to the fact that he cain't read the signs no more.

It's disconnection from signs as the natural ciphers for the deeper truths, that give rise to a cultural meme of alienation. An' the advent of TV --especially folks watchin' 3-5 hours of TV per day, makes them passive in thought, and expectant in real life.

IF all problems of yore favorite TV characters are resolved in an hour, an ya see 35-40 resolutions per week, how can ya NOT think, "life is supposed to be this way"? Supposed to resolve itself. An' when real life doan turn out thataway? Anger/ alienation/ sense of entitlements not given....they develop a kind of distaste for reality, and demand the a "new reality" be created for them.

But the heart of the matter is that their consciousness is lackin' the awareness of the "signs" that are ever'whar'--the signs that show objective reality to them, but they won't/cain't see 'em.

Not so incidentally, those who "see" find that specific signs have apparently been deliberately hidden in plain view in many popular art forms --precisely for those who will "see" to see. Though I do not agree 100 %, I think it stretches use of semiotics a bit thin, a popular illustration of this is the Comic book, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Oh mercy--I'se off on a far thin branch now. Better inch back toward the trunk. : )

Aunty Belle said...


Aw...thanky. Yores wuz real close too--really the same idea-spring spring' forth. I luved "Gloom interrupted" --what a grand phrase.

So happy that ya liked the SIGNS theme--pretty open, an note how many different insights we had. (judgin' is way too nerve wrackin' fer poor Aunty B).

Pam OKC,
well, I ain't got mah feathers ruffled too much by it--see above the response to Anon. Besides which, it's jes a bag of Pork Rinds. Enjoy!


Take a bow--an' I ain't real shure what the procedure be--I'll ask Troll. I does know ya send to Chickory/ K9 for the Haiku Icon to post on yore side bar if ya like--an mebbe ya will wanna host/ judge--or give that back to Troll--but I does think ya git to choose the theme. Hooray fer Foam!! (an...c'mon, ya coulda written in Cracker too--I'se Mississippi born too, ya know.)


Thanky Sugar Pie--but next week, PLEASE come play wif us.


Whoo-hoo to ya! Uncle --of course--had a hand in yores, did ya figger that? He said he could bribed even if Fishy's Batiste gowns flappin' in the wind wouldn't buy me, he could be bought. I say, deer tracks is a sign that says what ya said. Kool.

An' on cribbin' edgin' ya out again--well, I plain doan know many songs, an youse mah victim. Sorry. But--the prize is the same!!

Folks, whar' can I sign on fer a quick course on popular music 1960--2000? (yep, essentially I'se been music challenged the whole of mah life)

Karl said...

Good evening Aunty Belle,

Congratulations Foam!

Thank you for hosting. Sorry I missed fun.

Aunty Belle said...


I'se been wonderin' about ya'! Hope all is well, jes' busy.

Yore Red sky cracker haiku wuz real real good--truth be, Uncle give the visual of deer tracks the edge--

Is it cold up yonder? We's shoverin' today--in MARCH??

sparringK9 said...

wow. great comment. i love that bit about passive mind and expectant in real life. i hope this is the topic for back porch as it is extremely important and interesting. the signs tole me to git to the country and chill the hell out. lay low . be quiet.