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.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

companion piece

This tanka comes out of the same moment as the senryu posted under the heading "fourth." As polona's comment on that poem suggests, it may not be clear to all readers, and especially to readers outside the United States. A reminder: The fourth of July is Independence Day, which celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence: "America's birthday," as some say. Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May, is a Mexican national holiday, widely celebrated among Mexicans living in the United States.

Fourth of July
my Mexican neighbor
hands me a hamburger
Mexican food's fine, she says,
for Cinco de Mayo


Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I really like this one! It has a lot of hope and happiness.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Tikkis said...

Smacking with term hamburger.
A nice city, Hamburg, been there many times. Or has the word 'hamburger' anything to do with German Hamburg? Ham + burger?
Thanks not any food from Madrid ;)
(But Spaniards did their invasion more southwards than Mexico...)
Anyway, the spirit in Bills waka is a very beautiful one. Cheers!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, andrew. Yes, for me it is about hope, happiness, and what we mean by neighbor.

tikkis, hamburger has nothing to do with ham, and the word "burger" was formed whne people started doing variations on the classic hamburger. Hamburg is ground beef, and it is named after the city in Germany, which was associated, correctly or not, with ground meat. A hamburger is simply a sandwich consisting of this meat and a bun. But the "burger" part has taken on a life of its own. First, there were cheeseburgers, which simply meant cheese was added to what remained your basic hamburger. But now we have tuna-burgers, turkey-burgers, veggie-burgers, bison-burgers, and so on. A burger is now a sandwich consisting of a pattie, made from any one of a number of possible ingredients, and a bun, with or without cheese and other additions. The classic hamburger is, I believe, an American invention; at least, it has flourished here.

But, if you made a burger from ham, what would you call it?

11:45 AM  
Blogger polona said...

bill, i'm no expert, but in my opinion, this tanka is exquisite.

thank you also for the introduction, though i was familiar with the meaning of the fourth of july, and i had a basic idea what cinco de mayo stands for.

1:03 PM  
Blogger polona said...

i forgot to add in my previous comment - july 4 was a holiday (resistance day) in the former yugoslavia, too.

1:28 PM  
Blogger texas haijin said...


4:26 PM  
Blogger Tikkis said...

Bill: Your Essay about hamburger ought to link into wikipedias site! A good & all-out information. Old japanese and chinese waka&tanka - collections usual also have a background-part. I like them! Also Bill.s blog complys the same 'rule'. And it's sometimes OK. Some people perhaps disagree; a readers freedom of interpretation or something. Also agree with that idea. So, how to live correctly?

ham + burger? Öö. Call it Tikkis: I sometimes make me beacon between graham bread; and if the ice-box doesn't have beacon I accept slightly warmed ham! McDonalds may have one variation in their menus?

Still, your tanka is living, because of strong food?

11:54 PM  
Blogger Judy Kamilhor said...


Nicely done. You've captured the spirit of Queens (where I grew up) very well.


5:27 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

tikkis, all this talk of food is making me hungry.

Thanks for the information re: Resistance Day, polona.

Thanks kami. Queens is amazing.

Thanks dustin.

7:21 AM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

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

7:10 AM  

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