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.

Saturday, February 06, 2010


New Year's dawn
she tells me
I'm her first

[Shiki kukai, January 2010. The assigned kigo was first [of the year], a common Japanese kigo that is not generally recognized elsewhere. As a lark, I decided to make "first" a little more ambiguous. If I had been writing a straight haiku, I would not have included both "first" and "New Year's," since that would be a double kigo; not absolutely forbidden, but generally to be avoided. Scored a grand total of 3 points.]


Blogger Masago said...


7:25 PM  
Blogger Devika said...

for some reason this made me laugh, Bill

Reminds me of the movie in which a man asks his wife on their first-night if she had any lovers before ...offering her all freedom, most magnanimously -- the poor girl tells the truth and the scene that follows..............!!!

Do men get a high hearing that they are the first?? And do women ever care the history of their men ---


7:42 PM  
Blogger Devika said...

I just heard of snowfall in New York..and the city being closed....28 inches - By God, wonder how life is :)


7:50 PM  
Blogger John McDonald said...

well done Bill

1:09 AM  
Blogger Juhani Tikkanen said...

You have more snow over there than in Finland. I envy you. I'm afrait that this one remaining now will begin to melt away. (Your haiku is now in Finnish, too.)

A snowman
asked who was his
first snow

(Your haiku is now in Finnish, too.)

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Monika said...

Double kigo or not, I like it very much (and I imagine he must have liked it too ! :-)) !

7:29 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, Vaughn.

Devika, I never generalize about men.

About women on the other hand . . .

No snow fell in Manhattan or Queens, where I live, and the heavy snow was to the south of us.

Thanks, John.

9:14 AM  
Blogger TAKKE said...

Beautiful haiku I love it.

I was surprised that you know the traditional Japanese haiku rules very well.

From a native Japanese speaker's point of view, your usage of "first" is successful.

In Japanese, we don't say "You are my first." We usually say "You are my No.1." So, you avoided double kigo in this haiku.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

And thanks to you, Monika. Yours had not appeared when I posted last.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

I like your ku, tikkis, and I appreciate your translation. Could you post it here?

9:31 PM  
Blogger Kristin Riggs said...

The question is...did you believe her? ;)

Love this one, Bill.

One week from tomorrow I'll be in your corner of the world! :)

9:34 PM  
Blogger Juhani Tikkanen said...

A pasted copy from my Finnish blog:
new year's dawn / she tells me / I'm her first

uuden vuoren sarastus
nainen kertoo minulle
olevansa ensimmäisensä

Copyright BILL KENNEY Suom. J. T.

(3 pistettä)

Ongelmana taas suomenkielestä puuttuva sukupuolen paljastava "hän" sana, Leevi Lehto esitti siihen sanaa "hen" jota voisi kannattaa .-)
... Here I explain the difficulties in Finnish, "He" and "She" is the very same word (=hän), so I used here she = a woman, "nainen" .-) ...

Translator Leevi Lehto wondered whether to make a new Finnish word for "She", and he put it as "hen".

1:44 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thank you for that translation, tikkis.

7:56 PM  

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