Haiku and Tanka selection December 2019

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26 mins read

A total of 242 haiku from 92 authors and 48 tanka from 25 authors were submitted for this selection. The closing date for entries was October 15, 2019. I anonymized these texts before the selection began. Each member of the DHG has the option of naming a submission that should be published on the member's own page if the jury disregards it.

Can be submitted only previously unpublished texts (also applies to publications on blogs, forums, social media and workshops etc.).

Please preferably All Haiku / Tanka collected in one operation Enter yourself in the online form on the DHG website:

deutschehaikugesellschaft.de/haiku-und-tanka-die-wahl/

The next deadline for the Haiku / Tanka selection is January 15, 2020.

Each participant can submit up to five texts - three of which are haiku. With the submission the author gives that Consent for a possible publication

in the DHG's 2021 Agenda

as well as on http://www.zugetextet.com/

and the website of Haiku International Association (HIA)

Haiku selection from HTA

The jury consisted of Claudia Brefeld, Hildegard Dohrendorf and Martin Thomas. The members of the selection group did not submit their own texts. All selected texts - 39 haiku - are published in alphabetical order of the authors' names. Max. added two haiku per author. "A haiku that particularly appeals to me" - this is the motto for each jury member to choose up to three texts (still anonymized), to present and comment here.

Since the jury is made up of changing participants, I would like to cordially invite all interested DHG members to participate as a jury member in upcoming selection rounds.

Eleonore Nickolay

A haiku that particularly appeals to me

after the termination
the housekey
my secret

Anke Holtz

This haiku, with its simple intensity, cast a spell over me. The word mystery is wrapped in imagination, especially in childhood, and so it probably stands here in haiku too, although it seems almost incidental at first, in the last line, it seems to have a special pull effect there, especially since haiku the content of lines one and two is strongly reduced (seehibumi) ... yes, almost a little brittle. But that opens up a certain amount of space, and I immediately find myself in the story of an old house that I - I can't help but weave - with my own childhood. Smells, moods, changing light ... all of this is evoked and immediately seems very close again: the key becomes the house key of my childhood memories.

Thus, he is always a door opener to the past and anyone who reads the haiku, he will open a different room - his own memory room ... and keep it with all its secrets.

The term house key has several functions in haiku: as the main actor, it is centered in haiku and thus becomes the link between the demolished house and the memories, and at the same time it seems to be something precious, a keeper of the past, maybe some secrets, so that its existence must be protected - and itself becomes a secret.

It is the simple force with which the haiku says the unspeakable between the lines and becomes touched (aware) created by the text.

Bashō is said to have once asked: "Is there anything good about it when everything is said?"

Selected and commented by Claudia Brefeld

Deposit machine -
the empty look of the
Lady in front of me

Taiki Haijin

If you ask me why the haiku lacks youngsters in this country, but also in its home country of Japan, my thoughts always revolve around one term: reality of life, In my opinion, the haiku, especially in its traditional orientation, has lost its relation to reality. What was part of everyday life more than 400 years ago for Bashō (1644–1694) and his contemporaries and thus formed the basis of poetry differs significantly from the horizon of experience of today's people. For example, the haiku has to renew itself at the thematic level if it wants to have a future.

Fortunately, the German haiku landscape is nowhere near as conservative as the Japanese. This is due on the one hand to the different historical genesis of the genus and on the other hand to the overall quite free form, for example the discussion about a fixed syllable scheme has long since been shelved. In addition, hierarchical organizational structures, which in the past have repeatedly ensured that progressive currents were suppressed in Japan, are practically non-existent. So fertile ground to start a reform.

Numerous contributions to the current haiku selection from SOMMERGRAS have shown that this reform can be successful, which personally made me very happy. My favorite was the poem above. In contrast to other texts, which use a traditional nature motif, which often leads to the reader wondering whether he has already read something like this somewhere, I can safely say that this is the first haiku deals with a deposit machine that I consciously perceived. For me, however, the poem not only maintains its originality - an important point when it comes to the designation as a successful work - but due to this thematic reference it is also located in my real life reality and therefore speaks to me directly. For example, during an ordinary working week, I tend to stand in front of a deposit machine more often than to take a long walk in the forest or watch wild geese fly.

But not only that, the present haiku also presents itself on numerous other levels as an appealing poem. In addition to the concrete description of the situation, which is given in a concise form by the first line, I was particularly fascinated by the great freedom of interpretation. One inevitably wonders why the lady's gaze is described as "empty"? Can the reason for this be seen in the drab act of inserting the bottle? Is it because of the queue in front of her and the waiting time associated with it? Is her thoughts somewhere else because something happened? Or is it possibly an elderly woman who has collected bottles on the street and therefore certainly has other concerns, of which the author and reader have only a vague idea? Added to this is the semantic overlap that exists between the empty bottles that are thrown in and the empty gaze of the woman. The more I read the poem, the more this feeling of emptiness and trepidation is transferred to me, which is why I consider this haiku particularly worth mentioning.

Another example of the renewal of the haiku's content, which also shows that nature does not have to be left out even with modern topics, is the following poem:

rainy day
grins again on the screen
the final boss

Sebastian Salie

Anyone who has never played a video or computer game will find it difficult to access this text. However, for those who are not unfamiliar with this form of entertainment, a very interesting field of tension is revealed.

You invested hour after hour to end up facing the last opponent of the game. In most cases, however, this proves to be particularly difficult to defeat. This is also the case in the experience of the author who, in the situation described - indicated by the adjective again - does not make the first attempt to take on him. What a happy coincidence that the whole thing happens on a rainy day! So it doesn't matter if you try it over and over again and therefore don't set foot in front of the door. The rainy day outside and playing on the computer indoors complement each other extremely well.

Of course, one can argue whether the poems mentioned are really haiku or shouldn't be called Senryu. If you make the difference between the two genres abbreviated by the presence of a season word, it can be argued that there are no strictly prescribed season words in German, which in Japanese haiku often slow down the creativity of the author and have now deteriorated into purely empty phrases that no one understands without a seasonal dictionary. On the other hand, one could simply consider pawn machines and computer games as part of human nature, which describe the reality of life in a modern service society at least as well as animals and plants.

Accordingly, I would call the third haiku, which particularly appealed to me in the current selection, along with a few other poems, without hesitation. After all, this text also contains the frequently requested concreteness of the moment, paired with a surprising turn, packaged in a few words:

Candle-lit dinner
how tender he the words
typing on his smartphone

Eva Limbach

Selected and commented by Martin Thomas

The selection

in the garden bar
I sit down
to the sun

Christa Beau

retiree round
they help each other
when searching for words

Martin Berner

Mexico Beetle
we climb into the scent
the seventies

Christof Blumentrath

Rest and route planning.
The beetle on the map
hurries across country.

Reinhard Dellbrügge

Das Spinnennetz
between bike and wall - overnight
back there.

Reinhard Dellbrügge

Halloween
the pumpkin
give a soul

Frank Dietrich

a white sheet -
the rough tracks
of the eraser ...

Ruth Guggenmos-Walter

always empty -
the night sits on the train ...

Ruth Guggenmos-Walter

Deposit machine -
the empty look of the
Lady in front of me

Taiki Haijin

Backfischausflug -
the old sunflowers
look down

Taiki Haijin

Your rounding
is flattering in my hand -
first chestnut

Erika Hannig

last cornflower -
remained her dream
from the undulating sea

Claus Hansson

autumn Equinox
we dip our bread
in dripping

Gabriele Hartmann

After the demolition
the housekey
my secret

Anke Holtz

Herbstsee
forgotten in the deep
the backpack's swimwear

Anke Holtz

September morning -
we listen to the stork couple,
that no longer rattles.

Manfred Karlinger

Start your vacation
our navigation system
takes over the conversation

Elisabeth Kleineheismann

In the church
also the figure of Christ
verstaubt

Petra Klingl

Herb garden
when traveling through
his scents

Gerard Krebs

Evening ringing
the parental home
the abschließ

Eva Limbach

Candle-lit dinner
how tender he the words
typing on his smartphone

Eva Limbach

in a traffic jam
cross the interchange
clouds ships

Ramona Linke

Girlfriends selfie
smile slyly
two fold faces

Ingrid Meinerts

Termination
falls over the steep slope
my shadow

Ruth Karoline Mieger

at the lecture
immersed in dying
in my hand lines

Ruth Karoline Mieger

move
in tissue paper
the putty vase

Eleonore Nickolay

hospice
she dictates to him
their passwords

Eleonore Nickolay

The new backpack
The old luggage suddenly
Got heavier

Jonathan Perry

exam
the child coughs
and coughs

Sonja Raab

Living room
the old armchair
is always in the way

Sebastian Salie

rainy day
grins again on the screen
the final boss

Sebastian Salie

October sun
ride in the rain of leaves
from everyday life

Helga Schulz Blank

Birthday Tomorrow
Traces of crow's feet
not just in the snow

Brigitte ten Brink

Last year
this roadside sign
,New harvest'

Angela Hilde Timm

Your desk
who is now mine
displeases the unfinished business

Erika Uhlmann

Old people's home
in the next room
Nabucco

Friedrich winemaker

Fair trade
sweep the street for once
Grandma's plum jam

Friedrich winemaker

Calm -
in the hammock
swaying pine trees

Klaus-Dieter Wirth

unexpected
Inheritance - grandfather
grieving dog

Klaus-Dieter Wirth

Special contribution by René Possél

René Possél chose a haiku from all anonymized submissions that particularly appeals to him.

repair the wax angel
with the warmth
of my hands

Bernadette Duncan

The haiku idea is simple and obvious: a wax angel figure that "I" can work on with my hand warmth, "repair" it. The haiku gains a certain reverberation room from this situation.

Angels are currently experiencing an astonishing economy in the secular world. Interestingly, with the decline of traditional belief in God, the "messengers of transcendence, the higher" become more important. Many associate esoteric ideas with the word "angel" ...

The “wax angel” and its “per se” sensitivity are decisive for the associations. Wax is a soft material that can be easily damaged by knocks or falls. That seems to be the case with this concrete wax angel. If one combines the meaning of “angels” with the vulnerability of the wax angels, an attractive esoteric thought arises for some: The messengers of transcendence that are sent to us can easily be injured or destroyed.

The third (positive) thought also results from the material: "I" can use my human possibilities = "the warmth of my hands" to fix the "injured angel" (the message), "repair" it.

After so much meaning, a few sober handicraft tips.

The structure seems to me to be in need of improvement - in the sense of a clearer haiku structure. The first line here comprises eight syllables and begins with the first person (omitting the personal pronoun). In addition, it practically falls “with the door into the house”. Since the punch line starts from the word "repair", I would put this at the end and start slowly with the pictures: first the wax angel, then the warmth of the hands, finally the word "repair". Therefore I propose the following version (in addition to a meeting):

the wax angel
the warmth of my hands
repairs him

HTA tanka selection

Silvia Kempen and Peter Rudolf selected six tanka.

"A tanka that appeals to me particularly" - texts are presented and commented on under this motto.

A tanka that particularly appeals to me

after all this years
a message
from you
the return
the wild swans

Frank Dietrich

Why did someone disappear, leave here? That is not said, but the person who is now receiving a message has probably suffered a lot, waited, hoped. Was it the time of spring when the wild swans returned? Then the memories came back every year with the swans. And thus suffering and hope again.

In the fairy tale "The Wild Swans" by Hans Christian Andersen from 1838 I see an analogy to this tanka. I would like to give a brief summary of the content here:

A king lives in a kingdom with his daughter Elisa and his eleven sons. One day he decides to get married again. The stepmother turns the eleven princes into swans. Thanks to her pure heart, Elisa can resist the magic. But she has to flee.

She learns from a fairy godmother how to transform the brothers back: she is supposed to collect nettles in cemeteries and use them to weave shirts for her brothers. She can't say a word until the task is done; otherwise her brothers would die.

One day, at work, she meets a strange king who falls in love with her and takes her to his castle, where she continues her work. The archbishop considers her a witch and she is sentenced to death at the stake.

She weaves her shirts until the very end. At the stake, the brothers are flown to as swans. She throws their shirts on them and they turn back into people. Only the youngest brother keeps a swan wing because his shirt wasn't ready. Now Elisa could speak again and explain everything. The king marries her.

Ultimately, the fairy tale and probably also the tanka end well. The beginning has been made, a message has come - the uncertainty with the resulting suffering, waiting and hope is over. "Scars" will surely remain. In the fairy tale this is symbolized by the swan wing of the youngest brother. Perhaps allegations are made, there is talk, questions are asked that need to be answered and hopefully they can be forgiven and approached. Then the “scars” can shrink and become smaller.

Selected and commented by Silvia Kempen

colorful colors
strokes my brush
depending on your mood
the game begins
my leaf flies - wherever

Ute till tree

In simple words, pleasantly humble, the author describes something very everyday. With the first word it becomes clear which season occurs with this text. With the second word, the first line is already over, autumn is here. In the second line, the author confronts this with a lyrical self, a painter. This follows the painting in the next line "depending on your mood". With "the game begins" the text takes a turn, it opens up, the author looks for players for the lyrical ego. And who appears as a teammate?

Maybe the painter is holding the water glass with one hand and washing the brush with the other? - The wind, which belongs to autumn like the “colors”, “colorful” or a “sheet”, is driving in a moment, so maybe only in one stroke, but at least violent enough to kidnap the sheet of paper. The climax is thus reached twice: the autumn wind occurs without being mentioned, and instead of the usual leaves it takes a leaf that it does not own. So far the Tanka appeals.

Without the explicit question "where to" the text would have remained open. The reader, who gets involved with the lyrical ego, would have asked questions that were pushed aside by the one question "where". For example: Do I like autumn as it is? Can I accept the wind at this special moment as an autumn player? Do I wish I could turn it off for a while? Do I wish the wind? - How many more sequels are in there! At home it could be said: "Today I painted a true masterpiece - unfortunately the wind took it away!"

But what does the "where" with this text do without a question mark? - Did the author put a question mark that was lost on the way to SUMMER GRASS? - It won't be that way. But even without the question mark, this last word cannot hide the intended turn of the Tanka into the intellectual. It suddenly disturbs the autumn mood and ends it. Because now answers are required.

However, this does not mean that the "wherever" disturbs the tanka. Rather, one can assume that the author prefers this one question for her text, since she focuses on it: where does the wind take the sheet? - There would probably be many ways to give answers to this inviting question. For example, until you meet a beautiful, unknown person who is just catching the leaf or picking it up from the ground to bring it back.

Selected and commented by Peter Rudolf

The selection

after all this years
a message
from you
the return
the wild swans.

Frank Dietrich

around the dome
bats
from sacred walls
the dust
untouched ...

Ruth Guggenmos-Walter

colorful colors
strokes my brush
depending on your mood
the game begins
my leaf flies - wherever

Ute till tree

die kellnerin
yourself with a smile only
thanking
and my balsam bud heart
blossoms

Jonathan Perry

are indifferent to me
the fortunes of mankind
become -
I hear the blackbird singing in the evening
my heart dances with joy

Jonathan Perry

in front of his garden
ranks red wild wine
decorates the fir
it constricts his neck
the first Christmas alone

Helga Schulz Blank

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