Belched Christmas | Holidays senryu poem example | 122508

Seagulls picked at
plastic bags. We belched
Christmas turkey.

Ken Wagner on Haiku Habits

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6 thoughts on “Belched Christmas | Holidays senryu poem example | 122508

  1. Pingback: Via Negativa

  2. Thanks for the comment, Peter.

    I’d love to hear what you liked about the poem. I am still learning haiku and appreciate any suggestions for continued practice/improvement.

    Dave – Thanks much for the trackback!

  3. Ken, I think the implied association of the haiku’s two images grabbed me — poverty vs. excess. There’s also something sandwichy about the poem, beginning and ending as it does with names of birds and then stuffed with something mundane (plastic bags, belched). (The alliteration helps the sandwich’s middle congeal, I think.)

    The association going on during this sandwich isn’t too preachy or overwhelming, which I like.

    There’s more to the contrasting images that pleases. Both images involve eating, of course, and there’s even a progression, a role reversal, and a contrast. The progression is the movement from eating to digesting. As far as the role reversal goes, the eating bird becomes an eaten bird. The contrast is on the foraging bird vs. the feasting Christmas revelers. (Well, I guess I’m back to talking about poverty vs. excess again.)

    What this all leads to is hard to describe, which I guess is what haikus aim for. I found something cyclical and sick, and yet something natural, in it. I’m in no position to help anyone with a haiku, really, but I liked where this poem took me. Maybe I felt a moral twinge from having too much Christmas lasagna in my stomach when I read the poem. (Maybe the moral twinge was just indigestion . . .)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your reactions, Peter.

    I’m trying to land in that space where western poetry, the haiku form, and my own psychology as a reader/writer meet.

    Meanwhile, I belch forth . . .

  5. What Peter said, but something more. We, head meat eaters (well, some of us) leave the wildlife to pick over our rubbish. It’s the way we modern humans relate to our fellow earthlings and the planet itself. What we take as pleasure (and necessity) leaves the environment trashed. Our fundamental human flaw in an age of consumer capitalism.

    A simple, yet complex image. Brilliant.

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