Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A MONOKU -- Response to One Single Impression Prompt of 2-08-09

the bush burns sunlight through monarch wings

It was monarch "overwintering" season* here in sunny California a few weeks back, so this is a current monoku. I spotted this gorgeous bush at the beach overlook. It made my entire day.

A monoku (sometimes written mono-ku) is a one-line haiku, usually having less than 17 syllables, but still containing two distinct parts. The fun is if you can somehow make a word (often where the change between parts occurs) create an ambiguity in how it or the line is to be read. In this one, for instance, there's a vague sense that maybe the writer also intends: "the bush burns sunlight," in addition to the intended picture of sunlight through moving monarch wings making it look like the bush is burning. I'm not sure if this ambiguity is a requirement of the form, or just something to be worked in should a monoku clearly suggest it (the latter has been my approach). I'm looking forward to learning more about this fairly new haiku form as it develops.

If you are intrigued by or already writing monoku, Moonset Literary Newspaper is going to make their "Edge of the Moon" page of the spring issue all monoku. (One of my monoku has been accepted for it, and they've already published one of my scifaiku. Personal plug over. :-D) But even if you are not interested in monoku, you might want to check out the moonset site. Moonset Literary Newspaper is a fabulous haiku and other small eastern forms resource, chock full of illustrations, articles, resources, reviews, contests, etc., etc. and it's international.

Today's prompt at ONE SINGLE IMPRESSION is "movement." May I use the obvious image and suggest that you move your cursor right over the above link to check out others' delightful flights of imagination and creativity in response to this prompt.

[The above graphic is from Daily Mandala and is used by permission.]

*Google result for "monarch overwintering": "Ellwood Main - This is the premier site in southern California with close to 100,000 monarchs in good years. West of Santa Barbara in the town of Goleta (UCSB)...." Goleta, literally around the corner from UCSB (University of California at Santa Barbara), is where I live.

* * * *

‘til next time, keep dreaming,

**** [aka: Patricia Kelly] **** If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blogs: ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL and ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT, and Yahoo DREAMJIN: Group for Dreamku – Haiku-Like Dream Poems ****

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At 11:02 PM , Anonymous zoya gautam said...

..[wonderful to hear from u!]..
& for an enjoyably informative post..many thanks indeed..

At 11:04 PM , Blogger Amias said...

A very interesting take on movement.

At 11:06 PM , Blogger totomai said...

interesting form. looks challenging but i like it. thanks for the info, its my first time to hear it.

At 5:06 AM , Blogger SandyCarlson said...

I imagine that bush burning with life!

At 7:16 AM , Blogger Deborah Godin said...

I didn't know about mono-ku, but like the idea very much. Yours is a wonderful combination of verbal and pictoral images!

At 8:09 AM , Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Such bright colours!

Will try a monoku!


At 11:18 AM , Blogger Fledgling Poet said...

Your words evoke vivid imagery...lovely!

At 12:40 PM , Anonymous Pam said...

I like the alliteration in the beginning of the poem. This line is so very visual-- the sunlight and the color of the wings. Beautiful.

At 2:16 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

It's good to be back. Life got waaaay to busy and complicated for a while. Actually, it's not much different now, but I missed One Single Impression. :-)

At 2:22 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Hi Sandy, yes, me, too that's what I felt watching those monarch wings pumping.

At 2:26 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Hi totomai and Deborah,

Glad you liked it. It is truly an intriguing form to work within. I'm constantly amazed how the smaller the word-space I have to work in, the more a poem may open way out in range and implication. Doesn't always do it. As with haiku, I have a tendency to try to "stuff" too much into it. So the form becomes an exercise for me in letting go... hm ....

At 2:28 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Hi gautami tripathy,

If you do try monoku, I hope you share them with OSI and/or me. :-)

At 4:09 PM , Blogger Beth P. said...

that is fine poetry, Roswila--
ah, yes, that is indeed movement of the highest order.

Many thanks--

At 4:26 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Thanks, Beth. It was (pun intended) a very moving sight and experience.

At 7:30 PM , Blogger Jim said...

Well, I was just watching the bush burning the sunlight and was thinking that was a waste of the plentiful monarch wings.

My problem with haiku (I play with it) is that the conventional has departed. The original elements are not there. And of course it was in Japanese which translated does not do 5-7-5 at all. But our American versions do.
Oh well, guess the monoku will be perverted as well. I should join the crowd.

At 8:01 PM , Blogger Quiet Paths said...

the idea of butterflies right now is wonderful. Hey lady good to see you back in the circle.

At 8:20 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Hi Jim,

If you mean by "the conventional" [in haiku] has departed" that word play was not in classical haiku -- to my knowledge the classic haijin loved word play. And so do I. :-)

As to the "conventional." What is convention but one step along the way in learning and growing? A base from which to eventually, once we've learned the ropes and are so inclined, take off into new territory. Haiku grew out of a longer Japanese form originally, so even the classic form was something else to begin with.

Here's to innovation that respects what it takes off from. I'd like to think that's what I and other modern writers are doing with monoku and other haiku "derivatives."

At 8:22 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Thanks, Quiet Paths. It's good to be back.

Yes, butterflies in winter. I have a haiku in which I talk about newly sprouted grass and the last line is "winter in two months." :-) I'm soooo glad I moved from New York city to California.

At 10:11 PM , Blogger floreta said...

that's a lovely sentence and i appreciate the explanation.

At 7:23 AM , Anonymous one more believer said...

it is read just as you sed...the two entwined thoughts with a subtle ku so this form is a definite yes to know more!! the burning bush is big overhere in the inland northwest, northern idaho.... the picture draws one in speaking the ku...

At 10:09 AM , Blogger WillThink4Wine said...

A radiant light!

I dare not try a monoku - I am still trying to figure out haiku!

At 10:56 AM , Blogger Tumblewords: said...

I saw some of the multitudinous Monarchs on TV the other evening - they are fascinating. I lived in Carpinteria through the 70's and have fond memories of the exquisite landscape and tree forms as well as ocean rocks and beaches. Good to see your work again!

At 1:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, good to see you back! I have seen a couple of these on the poetry blogs, but didn't know what they were called. I am going to try one. Thanks for the information.

So, how is California??

At 2:16 PM , Blogger Regina Marie said...

This is beautiful..thanks for the link. This haiku is intriging to me..may be just what I need as I'm looking to narrow down my words-

At 2:21 PM , Blogger kitehorse said...

Thanks for explaining monoku. I will try a seventeen onji monoku. It is vertical to mimic Japanese. Since it is now Early Spring in Kyoto, I will use twittering as my kigo.
A colon indicates the kireji
The title is early spring


At 2:27 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Glad you appreciate the explanation, Floreta. I sometimes worry that I go on to long. But especially with this form, since it is relatively new to the haiku "scene," I thought I should at least share what I've learned to date about it. :-)

At 2:41 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Really nice, kitehorse! One of the reasons I love monoku, actually, is that it sort of mimics the verticality of haiku in kanji.... on its side, of course. :-)

Your 'ku has a breathlessness to it, a sense of suspension.

Thanks for sharing.

At 2:44 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Hi Regina Marie,

Me, too, narrow down my use of words in 'ku. I still tend to use too many. And the monoku form really doesn't allow much room for lots of words or too busy a moment. :-)

At 2:48 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

It's good to be back, tumblewords and fourwindshaiga. I may not be able to participate every week, but I sure will be showing up. It feels so good!

At 2:52 PM , Blogger Roswila said...

Hi willthink4wine,

LOL! Me, too. I sometimes think I'm trying to run (monoku) before I'm even walking (really writing haiku). But I'm discovering they're really not all that different, at least not in feel. As long as I stick to one moment something at least approximating either type of 'ku tends to eventually fall out of my "pen." :-)

At 10:47 AM , Blogger indicaspecies said...

Thank you for your post on Monoku, and good to read about the monarch overwintering season.


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