haiku-usa

A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

alternates

I often revise haiku, but this is a rather different case. Here are two alternate versions of the "same" haiku. My subjective preference is for the first one. The second one, however, follows more closely the traditional haiku form, or at least the dominant form within the tradition. I don't intend to throw either one away.
#1
the old man on the bench
following the drift
of autumn leaves
#2
autumn leaves
the old man on a bench
following their drift

9 Comments:

Blogger floots said...

I like them both but, if I had to choose, I'd go for number two because I enjoy the wordplay on "drift" which seems clearer, or more deliberate, in this version.
Luckily, I don't have to choose anyway!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Good point, floots. To me, the word play is clearer in #1, because it's not clear until l.3 that the drift is literally of leaves. But I'm the writer, not the reader. Thanks.

7:04 PM  
Blogger shyloh said...

and all things are drafty. So it seems. Hello Bill.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Hello, shyloh. Glad you dropped in.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

I agree with floots. Like them both, but # 2 surprises me more.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks patri. #2 seems to be the people's choice.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Poet said...

How about:

autumn leaves
the old man on the bench
following their drift

??

7:08 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Interesting suggestion, anon. I was avoiding repetition and saw no reason to particularize the bench: I thought that to do so might even detract from the old man. But I could be wrong.
By the way, an old man is by definition a man who is older than I am.

8:22 PM  
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7:24 AM  

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