The Doctor Says

Hello Everyone,

I’ve been dealing with a minor but annoying skin infection this week, but am determined to start off this new month with regular posts on my blog. Thankfully my problem isn’t as serious as this haiku suggests but I’ve been here once upon a time, too, and penned this in memory:

“the doctor says”
words like a scalpel
slice through our lives

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These last few days I’ve been occupied with gathering my best-liked haiku & senryu. I’ve chosen a few dozen — and may add a few other short verses to the mix. What do you advise? A collection of only haiku, senryu, + some tanka — or a collection of mini all-sorts? I find that choosing a title and sub-title for this collection is also a challenge!

Our weather is staying cold, with frosty nights in the minus 20-something range and frigid winds, but the sun has some power these days. We can start to believe that spring is on the way.

16 thoughts on “The Doctor Says

  1. I like the idea of a collection. Variety, you know–spice of life and all that 🙂

    Hope your infection clears up. I will be SO glad when it warms up. I’ve been dealing with a nagging cough, sore throat, and major post-nasal drip since before Christmas, and I’m about worn out with it. Come on, Spring!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for you comment. I’m on the second kind of antibiotic, so hope this works!

      Would you like to give some input on the title? After studying the books and e-books on Amazon so I don’t duplicate a name, I’m working around the word Gathering… or Gathering in… Gathering of Verses? Gathering Sunshine? I’ve several flowery cover choices to go with this.

      There are many titles with “Collection”, so I started with “Gathering…my best-liked haiku” But hubby thought that sounded kind of flat. Dozens of books titled “Haiku” or Haiku something” that I didn’t want to use that word in the title.

      Dither dither. The book may never get done for lack of a title! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. A Gathering of Poetic Bouquets?

        Not much good at titles, myself. On my Bible study blog, I usually just use a word of phrase from the passage. On “Just Writing,” sometimes it takes me forever to come up with a title. If I get an inspiration, I’ll let you know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I thought of tying this one in to Silver Morning Song somehow. Golden Gathering or something like that, but it may be too “cute.”
        Maybe something Biblical will come to me — or to you and you can tell me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What about:

    “the doctor says”
    words like a scalpel
    slice through me

    ORIGINAL:

    “the doctor says”
    words like a scalpel
    slice through our lives

    Re title, you mentioned “Gathering Sunshine” but what about making it more haiku, earthy, such as:

    “Muddied Sunshine”
    or
    “Mud and Sunshine”
    ?

    Your scalpel verse reminded me of this one, when Queensland was riding a heatwave, and the doctor’s office air con wasn’t working, so it was probably even hotter than 110F. I’m amazed I didn’t get an infection, but I was fine, thankfully.

    hot january
    sweat drips
    from a scalpel

    Alan Summers
    Publication credits: Vrabac/Sparrow, Autumn/Winter 94-Spring/Summer 95 (Croatia)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments and suggestions. In my original verse, the Dr’s diagnosis could be told by anyone repeating bad news. Your change makes it quite personal — works great also. I might take the quotation marks out then.

      Your experience sounds sizzling! Sweat likely dripped in that office but I hope he didn’t have to “scalp” you right there. 😉
      I thought of the time my doctor called to say my blood tests showed I had leukemia. Totally blew me away! I had no idea there were different kinds and just thought, “I’m going to die in a month or two.”

      Re: title. Earthy is a great idea, maybe something prairie/froggy, like “When Spring Peepers Sing”? Or “gathering snowflakes.” 🙂 And then, to use Caps or all lowercase? So many options, and I’m indecisive by nature!

      I thought of using the last line from my most-liked ever haiku: “A Rain of Seasons.” https://christinegoodnough.com/2019/01/04/life/
      What do you think? Hubby rather liked it but I got a “meh” from one non-poetic friend. Right now I’m favouring the double play of “Gathering in Season.” Nothing exactly like it on Amazon. Plus I have these lovely flower pictures. I may insert a few cover choices in a later post and ask reader opinions.

      Like

      1. Oh no, he did do the small operation in his office, with his sweat running down the scalpel, but that’s aussies for you, we don’t do things the posh way. 🙂

        re titles, it’s too tempting to make them cute. “A Rain of Seasons” is okay, and caps are fine for the title. But if your hubby isn’t brutal as my wife is to me, then pay attention to a non-poetic friend, who wants a straight title.

        re:
        “Gathering in Season.”
        It seems awkward without an article between ‘in’ and ‘Season’. Why not “Gathering in the Seasons”? Then you have the whole kigo/seasonal aspect of haiku, and a play on words of gathering in the (seasonal) poems/haiku?

        re titles,
        I tend to do a Google search for any of my proposed titles, not just as a title search, but if the phrase is common or hopefully not. 🙂

        re cover art, yes, I’ve given feedback when people do that on a blog, and even if everyone says something different and conflicting and contradictory, it’s still useful feedback!

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

      2. re:
        “Thanks for your comments and suggestions. In my original verse, the Dr’s diagnosis could be told by anyone repeating bad news. Your change makes it quite personal — works great also. I might take the quotation marks out then.”

        I think the original sits just outside being haiku though, more of a general comment. I can see that dispensing with the quotation marks is a good idea as a reader might not work out what’s been said. So no speech marks is best.

        earlier suggestion (Alan):

        “the doctor says”
        words like a scalpel
        slice through me

        ORIGINAL:

        “the doctor says”
        words like a scalpel
        slice through our lives

        Without speech or quotation marks:

        the doctor says
        words like a scalpel
        slice through me

        the doctor says
        words like a scalpel
        slice through our lives

        or even:

        the doctor says
        words like a scalpel
        slice through

        or

        the doctor says…
        words like a scalpel
        slice through

        Like

  3. I bet you are itching to get rid of your skin thing!

    I’m the last person to get advice from regarding anything to do with poetry. I did knock out a book of short stories a few years ago which sold a few copies (mostly to me!). I called it The Stranger and other Short Stories. Not very inspiring I know! Then I self-published a compilation of stories about my friend Rosey. I came up with a brilliant title for that….wait for it…My Friend Rosey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Keith. I didn’t know you published a book about Rosie. Great idea! (Does she know? Is she suing you for character defamation? ; ) Perfect title, though. I mean, what else?

      I’m afraid this is true of a lot of books: we sell a few to ourselves but few other readers have heard of us—yet. I told my friend from England he might have a hard time, being a first-time author, but I admire his confidence and the effort he’s putting forth to promote. He has the connections. (I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t slip an ad for my own book in the back of his. 😉 )

      I’ve scrolled through the haiku books offered on Amazon to see what names others have used. Found this very interesting, some unique titles but many are just “Haiku.” One poet who has published dozens of “books” (with one to ten verses in each) has called some of them Haiku 1, Haiku 2, Haiku 3, etc. (Eye roll here).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A bloke I met in a Brisbane cafe spent a whole year promoting his book, by himself, in cafes, bars, and clubs, and sold a 1000 copies, by doing that every day for a year. It is possible to sell a lot, and word of mouth will catch up, and probably did, by him meeting so many people.

        Another author, this time a best-selling suspense writer, did a book launch on a train (and selling them, unlike someone else I came across on a train).

        It’s all possible, but we have to drop the inspiration idea and act on perspiration. 🙂

        re:
        “I’ve scrolled through the haiku books offered on Amazon to see what names others have used.”

        Back in the 1990s Amazon was really useful to see what was out there regarding haiku, but now so much drivel is tagged with ‘haiku’ that it’s almost a complete waste of time. I try to post mini-reviews so no one gets cheated, as ‘poets’ now know ‘haiku’ can sell.

        The ones who have ‘published’ a dozen or even more books of ‘haiku’ aren’t even writing good micropoetry in general. Thankfully I can keep track of genuine and authentic haiku collections elsewhere, and can check for someone before they waste their money.

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A whole year devoted to promotion and only sold 1000 copies? Hmm…I really hope people did get enthused and buy more of his books. Maybe it depends on what genre; fiction writers wouldn’t be too impressed.

        I agree with your last thought. Just read a book supposedly haiku, but really modern poetry written in the 5-7-5 form. Some verses every line rhymed.

        Would you mind if I’d e-mail you several of my cover design ideas and you could tell me what you think of them? You’re right about doing things “cute” and I don’t want my book to have a “cute and girly” cover, either.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. re:
        “A whole year devoted to promotion and only sold 1000 copies? Hmm…I really hope people did get enthused and buy more of his books. Maybe it depends on what genre; fiction writers wouldn’t be too impressed.”

        I believe he was a performance poet, and it was way back in the mid-1990s. Simon Armitage only sold 200 copies back in 2001 for one of his recent collections. In fact many famous poets, but not populist, are lucky to sell up to 200 copies. Of course Instagram haiku poets regularly sell and shift 100,000 copies and Machi Tawara sold around 2 million copies.

        “I agree with your last thought. Just read a book supposedly haiku, but really modern poetry written in the 5-7-5 form. Some verses every line rhymed.”

        Modern poetry? Not perhaps pseudo-19th century? 😉

        “Would you mind if I’d e-mail you several of my cover design ideas and you could tell me what you think of them? You’re right about doing things “cute” and I don’t want my book to have a “cute and girly” cover, either.”

        I don’t mind if you post them on your blog, but my manager would have to charge you if emailed. 🙂

        Nothing wrong with girly, feminine, or one type of gender bias, but saccharine undermines, whereas grounded, honest, authentic, can only be good.

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

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