This was a contest I started on deviantart a month ago.
The challenge was to write a haiku about nature: the idea, as always, was to get people writing. 51 people responded and so many did so much to get more people involved.
I know for a fact a few people learned a lot about haiku through this. I hope they’ll share their stories. I know I learned a lot, as I kept reading haiku by various deviants, kept up with my study of haiku by the masters, and wrote one or two myself.
I think everyone really stepped up and wrote memorable, worthwhile poems. I’m going to judge based on what impressed me and give out a bunch of honorable mentions:
High and low, the moon
drives the ocean’s ebb and flow,
the waves shape the land.
What I got out of it: “The moon” and tides give “high and low” the structure of vertical motion and also hierarchy. The erotic (one might attempt to distinguish between two goddesses of love, as one speaker tries in Plato’s Symposium) is not far away. Eros seems to “drive” something like time, change, the source of life or maybe just disorder itself; that whole process is the very ground we walk on.
Second place: SilverInkBlot’s “Dead Man’s Bells” – the image is simple and worthy of contemplation. The wordplay deserves a close look. A little bit of blue seems to show beneath some snow. Has it been crushed by snow or by people walking in the snow? Are the bluebells directly evocative of the “rites of spring?” Is human absence necessary for nature to grow again?
Third place: fackeltanz’s “towers” – nature’s best is held and preserved by human contrivance. And yet we can’t say that is wholly unnatural…
- adriannetu’s “Secret” – the personification of nature does seem to engage the spiritual.
- TwilightPoetess’ “Sleeping Sun” – yeah, crickets tend to be loud. But I find especial joy in thinking where the crickets are.
- HuntingforHappiness’ “May 15″ – solid. I wonder: the same problem as Frost’s “Design?”
- tollykit’s “Haiku 2″ – love the layout on this one. Little things I need to learn for my own poetry.
- EvelynTaliette’s “The Fleeting Season” – at least when I read it, less about summer and more about how we act in summer.
- Botkin’s “dog days” – a very striking statement about our romanticizing nature.
- KyeWriting’s “Lifegiver” – yeah, haiku can convey longing pretty well.
- a-nameless-one’s “a red path” – a noble attempt to use knowledge about Japanese culture to make haiku work.
- CDing93′s “Such Fragrance” – the smell of earth is intoxicating for some.
- Love-the-peace’s “Frolicking Doe in the Woods” – the original version of this poem was solid and merited comment and recognition. I like the modifications, too.
I can’t thank everyone enough for participating in this contest and promoting it. Two people especially come to mind for help promoting: raven-dust & kymira12. You both put a lot of effort into making sure everyone in this contest got recognized, as well as recruited many. I can’t thank you enough.
Prizes will be awarded soon. I do request shares and facebook likes for this post: the recognition you give each other, the recognition you find for each other is the most valuable gift that can be given, far more than the dA points I’ll hand out.