Of Fire and Ash

Our Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is ASH
and the Word of the Day challenge is GLORIOUS

I’m never sure whether to call my verses haiku or senryu.
What do you think?

frowning honcho
shakes his head at the plan
tumbling cigar ash

fiery words
caustic ash drifts far
glorious war

28 thoughts on “Of Fire and Ash

  1. re:

    frowning honcho
    shakes his head at the plan
    tumbling cigar ash

    fiery words
    caustic ash drifts far
    glorious war

    I’d say first is a senryu, and perhaps is another type of micro verse?

    A good senryu test is located here:
    https://area17.blogspot.com/2018/06/being-human-ordinary-intensity-look-at.html

    And I also have an article about using articles (a, an, the) in haiku/senryu called
    “The definite and indefinite article – how a house passes along the train of haiku”

    We also run courses where people quickly pick up about haiku, and senryu (forthcoming)! 🙂

    warm regards,
    Alan
    Call of the Page

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Reading the Croatian war haiku is certainly an education, composed in real time as Yugoslavia broke up and snow was rarely white.

        re:

        fiery words
        caustic ash drifts far
        glorious war

        Setting aside whether this is haiku or senryu, I feel because of the two adjectives, that state ‘fiery’ and ‘glorious’ that I’m not sure if this internecine warfare or government imposed attacks from the West onto women and children, and men, in other countries?

        The term ‘caustic ash’ and substance can be used in food production, manicures, or nefarious activities:

        “Potassium hydroxide is an inorganic compound with the formula KOH, and is commonly called caustic potash. Along with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), this colorless solid is a prototypical strong base. It has many industrial and niche applications, most of which exploit its corrosive nature and its reactivity toward acids.”

        See also:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_hydroxide

        I wonder whether either connective words can be added, or make it a visual poem?

        e.g.

        fiery words
        caustic ash drifts far
        over a glorious war

        or

        electioneering
        the caustic ash drifts far
        across a glorious war

        etc…

        or

        fiery words
        ………..caustic ash drifts far
        glorious war

        or

        1. fiery words
        ………..caustic ash drifts far
        2. glorious war

        etc…

        ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My mind turned over various options re: harsh words igniting conflict. My original thought was:
        fiery words
        drifting ash ignites
        cannon flashes

        But then I tried to work in the prompt words ash & glorious. Thanks for your suggestion; I’d likely choose the first as closest to my thought.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s interesting is that pre-haiku, as written by Basho et al, was seasonal poems, more than being nature poems. They might be about a human society celebration, the coming of age of boys, children, or Matsuri (祭) which are holidays. They might be religious or farming events too.

      When haiku came about, in the 1890s, it was caught in the old medieval mindset, but on the edge of the 20th century, when trains and factories were starting to be built. So I think of haiku, which really came into its own just before WWII and post-WWII, reflecting the industrial revolution and huge changes in human society.

      Senryu verses were named after the nickname or pen-name of a poet who was famous for a particular verse in the group poetry writing activity called renga, and later, under Basho, the increasingly popular renku. Both renga and renku are the most complicated and intricate poems in the world, with more rules than you could shake a stick at! 🙂

      But also senryu verses were written to mock the growing haiku writers, and before haiku came about, the various haikai verse writers who wrote hokku.

      The intimate relationship with the seasons, partly obvious as it’s pre-Industrial Revolution, and they’d be super aware of the slightest shift into the next part of a season, meant that people would write little postcards with a seasonal reference, sometimes just a note or a hello, and not always poetry. But when haikai poetry came about, the common and popular and normal practice of mentioning the change in a season in conversation, gossip, or greeting cards, also became part of the tiny haikai poems.

      When haiku came about just before the 20th century they too used the seasonal ‘mention’ although post-WWII when the industrial revolution morphed into the various technological leaps in warfare and general manufacture, different topics would be added. And of course they moved into computer technology and robotics, these would be naturally added.

      So nature is often part of a haikai verse, in some aspect, or natural history, but it’s only part of the body of haikai poetry.

      Alan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is too informative to leave as only a comment. Would it be okay with you if I’d gather these informative comments and post them sometime soon as a proper “guest blog post” about haiku? Or if you’d rather put these thoughts in your comments together and e-mail them, I could post that?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. re:
        Christine Goodnough
        NOVEMBER 22, 2019 AT 7:24 AM
        “This is too informative to leave as only a comment. Would it be okay with you if I’d gather these informative comments and post them sometime soon as a proper “guest blog post” about haiku? Or if you’d rather put these thoughts in your comments together and e-mail them, I could post that?”

        It would be great to have a blog post about haiku and its pre-1890s haikai verse cousins. 🙂

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Most poets still maintain a rigid discipline alongside their free spirit, so that whether we call them rules or not, we adapt around them. There’s no pointing breaking a rule, but we can certainly use them! 🙂 Take for instance a rule no one can easily break, and that is of breathing. Sure, some people break that rule, although we are not designed to physically do so. Try holding your breath beyond two minutes! I think the longest I could avoid breathing was about two and a half minutes. I couldn’t or wouldn’t break the rule, but I adapted it, especially as I used doing swimming pool laps underwater and manage three or four full lengths before coming up for some air and go under again.

        Would I want to break the rule, if I could? I did go scuba diving which is a weird experience as you can forget to breathe, but not for too long, for various reasons. Rules are great! To paint on canvas you could break the rule and not have paint or a canvas, and it might work, but if Van Gogh broke those rules we would not have his incredible work to be inspired by.

        So rules are just devices that we can move techniques around, they are ‘presences’ and ‘machines’. Would we break the rule of filling a car with gas/fuel? How far would we get if we had a petrol/fuel car and decided to break the rule of filling it up with gas? But if we follow the rule of maintaining the tank with fuel, wow, can we have an adventure, and get places! 🙂

        Alan

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for your comment. What you’re saying is very true. Some famous writer said something about, You can break all the rules — at times — but first you have to know them. I think haiku poetry is so new to Western experience that the rules aren’t understood — and then so many have caught the 5-7-5 idea, so just break a sentence into three and call it haiku.

        Spelling is one good example of what you’re saying. I once read the idea that English spelling is such a mess we should switch to phonetic spelling, like way instead of weigh and hit instead of height. But then, along with the mix-up of homonyms, English-speakers in different parts of the world would spell words the way they’re pronounced by locals, and we’d have even more chaos. So even with the odd spellings, we do follow certain rules.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Although haiku is known in the West almost as long as the Japanese interestingly enough. When Shiki did his reformation of haiku and tanka, little changed for a decade or two, as it does, and then those society-changing world wars we all seem to love for some reason, shifted haiku into its own genre, away from the chains of the medieval hokku and earlier haikai verses penned by Basho et al.

        See:

        Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton 2013)
        ed. Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, Allan Burns; plus Introduction by Billy Collins
        https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393348873

        Remember that the Dutch stayed on in Japan when all other Westerners were expelled, and that the French were the very earliest to pen haiku very early on in the 20th Century.

        Yes, you are right, we actually have to know the rules to even consider breaking them! lol. And why break rules? Would we really want to break rules so that we smash our windows and doors in our apartment, go without food, decide to not use money, drink water, tea, coffee, breathe, see how long we can go without going to the ‘john’, or go outside naked, into a shopping mall?

        I think I’ll stick to a lot of rules myself. 🙂

        Yes, English is a funny language but incredibly flexible as it steals words from other cultures. Soap is an odd word, it seems, but it’s been successive (origin India). Pyjama in the singular is an outdoor pair of trousers in Hindi and Muslim culture, with the top being Kurta, which I’ve worn as it’s so practical. But pyjamas plural is bedtime wear in the USA and UK, and other European and Western cultures. 🙂

        Rules are useful guidance systems. A rule that is bad is probably not a rule but a form of dictatorship and bullying by those we foolishly put into power. Politicians are rule-breakers? If so, do we want to follow their example then? I think I’ll pass, thank you. 🙂

        Alan

        Liked by 1 person

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