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

My Photo
Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

wind chimes

winter rain
wind chimes glisten
I recently workshopped this haiku, and one reader, a good friend and a fine poet, questioned "silently" on grounds that the rain isn't silent. I honestly didn't find this objection cogent, and neither did any other participants, as far as I know. But I always pay attention to this person's comments, and I've been thinking. The result is what follows. I consider it an alternate version, perhaps an entirely independent haiku, because I don't intend to scrap the original. But I'd be glad to get responses.
wind chimes glisten
winter rain
the only sound
Jan. 29: And here, a few days later, is another version, suggested to me by Lorin Ford and Jane Reichhold (A friend once said, "Writing haiku means never having to say I'm finished.").
winter rain
wind chimes


Blogger Aurora said...

I prefer the first one. It's the glistening that is silent, not the rain that fell that caused the glistening. In fact, I like it a LOT.

12:48 PM  
Blogger floots said...

I agree with aurora.
If we wish to be pedantic, the fact is that, grammatically, the adverb refers to the preceding verb - glisten. Far more important though is the fact that the haiku feels right and the image is an implicit, emotional one. Grammar and/or the truth should never get in the way of a good story! Feeling beats analysis every time.
I prefer the first one if we are to consider them as two takes on one poem but, like you, I prefer to read, and enjoy it as an entirely independent haiku.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks aurora and floots. I think you've articulated the thoughts/feelings that led to the first version.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I experience two different sensations in two different haiku. The first one sets the mood with winter rain, I see the wind chimes glisten, I 'hear' the silence. In the second one, I see the wind chimes glisten, I hear a subdued, quiet sound (the exact sound depends on what the reader brings to the poem) . . . I think I see the first one more exactly, but I feel the second one more deeply. Something about ‘winter rain the only sound’ strikes a chord in my personal psyche.

5:46 AM  
Blogger Judy Kamilhor said...


The first version I saw was your second version, which I really like. The first version works for me, but not as well. A third version that you may consider would be:

winter rain
wind chimes glisten,

[ . . . since movement=sound for windchimes]


10:50 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, Eric and kami. Funny the way things go. I posted the second version at the workshop which had originally seen the first one. Unanimous judgment: first one's better. I also posted the second one at a site that hadn't seen the first; that's where you saw it, kami. Unanimous response: excellent haiku. Here, I posted the two simultaneously, and opinion is divided between them. Thanks for your suggestion, kami, and thanks, Eric, for articulating your response so sensitively.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Poet said...

I like the first one, too. I agree with Aurora's comments.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, anon. As you see, I've had varied responses.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

My personal opinion - the original version is the best. The silence of the chimes is the evocative note in this haiku. Without it, just a scenic.


7:19 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks for weighing in, denis. This process has been educational.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hi, I was looking through Yahoo haiku group pages and ended up here :) luckily!

my inexperienced take is this:

'winter rain
wind chimes glisten

winter - has a heaviness, so to my way of thinking the winter rain would be heavy enough to hear.

wind chimes glisten - is it possible with the winter rain (i.e. a dull day?) to see the chimes glisten? is the word 'glisten' compatible with 'winter'?

silently - do the words 'in silence' make a difference? i would have thought the silently related to both the rain and the chimes from its position.

'wind chimes glisten
winter rain
the only sound'

yes this one is different in that i feel the physical position of the wind chimes is hanging from a 'mostly' sheltered spot - if the only sound is rain.

there is emphasis on the image of the glistening wind chimes and on the sound of the rain.

'winter rain
wind chimes

now here i feel that the rain and the chimes both glisten. i also feel that this is a more cheerful winter rain because of the position of the word 'glisten'

in comparison, it is almost that the word 'silently' forces you to think the opposite of the wind chimes.

i'm looking forward to reading more of your haiku. thanks for sharing. :)

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Raquel said...

I enjoyed the read!

7:08 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thank you, Raquel. Glad you found your way to this.

10:29 AM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

thank's for sharing info,..!
Kerja Keras Adalah Energi Kita

7:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home