Thursday, 27 September 2018
Why is it that a gathering of haiku poets evokes such a deep sense of fellowship? Nine of us gathered at a favourite site – Bangalow weir – once an inland creek dammed to form the local swimming pool, and now a freed waterway in a parkland setting. Another Cloudcatcher joined us later, after attending a funeral, so there were ten for lunch at the adjacent Heritage House: a historical museum and café run by local volunteers.
Over the three previous ginko we had set themes for the sharing of participants’ haiku, read in turn, relative to the festive season (summer); the use of kigo (autumn); the use of rhythm to demonstrated how this can influence the mood or change of mood within a haiku (winter).
We are grateful to the Red Dragonflies for reporting their practice of using a ‘haiku bowl’, so this time we presented our haiku anonymously. The focus was on ‘concision’. Poets were requested to bring to the ginko haiku consisting of nine, eight and seven syllables, with a limit of three for each category, with no limit on the number of haiku of six syllables or less. There was pleasing co-operation in this challenge, and two who couldn’t attend sent contributions. Four labelled containers were provided for the four categories.
These boxes were passed around the table, and each one chose her most appealing haiku in each group, writing it down before the container was moved on. At the subsequent reading of the chosen haiku, comments were shared and the author was revealed.
As this took a little longer than the usual preamble, the period of silence was reduced to thirty rather than our usual fifty minutes. Then first drafts were read, and the remaining time was used in workshopping some of these by request, to the great advantage of the writer and the interest of all. The email Round Robin is currently under way.