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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 19, 2006

haiku from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:02 pm

VCBFLogo  The inaugural Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has just announced the
winners and highly recommended poems in its Haiku Invitational 2006 contest.
VCBF invited “the ‘poet in everyone’ from British Columbia and around the world
to submit up to two unpublished English-language haiku in honour of the cherry

I encourage you to wander through the collection of
winning and commended poems, where you will find
many new ways to think about cherry blossoms (also,
see the interesting comments by the judges). Pink
Alert: if your eyes are sensitive to excessive amounts
of the color pink, you may want to put on your sunglasses
before heading to the VCBF website.

Six of f/k/a’s Honored Guest Poets had haiku that were selected by the VCBF
judges for special recognition. Three of the haijin had both of his or her submitted
poems selected: w.f. owen, roberta beary, and ed markowski. The haiku are pre-
sented below, for your enjoyment (and, if you’re still in a deep-freeze, for your

cherriesSmG Winning Poems by f/k/a “family members” (alphabetically):

blossoms . . .
I dust off the last
jar of cherries

alice frampton

cherry blossoms
a street vendor hums
the Ode to Joy

peggy willis lyles

distant thunder
a few cherry blossoms
float to earth

w.f. owen

a shortcut
to the sanitarium —
cherry blossoms

andrew riutta

cherriesSmN Highly Commended Haiku – Adult (alphabetically)

cherry blossoms
the tug tug tug
of baby’s hand



morning mist
a bent back sweeps
yesterday’s blossoms


roberta beary




VancouverTreePoole   orig. here


cherry blossoms free fall
into the pond . . .
baby’s first steps



cherry blossoms
the one that falls
on mother’s headstone


ed markowski 


just blossoming
we meet under
the cherry tree

w.f. owen


VCBFLogo   Having invited the public to submit haiku, the VCBF website

has a nice little introduction and quick primer on the basics of writing haiku.

Four particularly helpful and important points:

A haiku is a poem that captures a scene or experience in just a

few words, suggesting the depth and intensity of the moment.

Haiku use concrete images to capture this moment of intuition.

Above all, haiku try to imply the emotion of the poet?s experience

without stating it.

Haiku differ from other types of poems. Haiku are plain-speaking

poems. Try to avoid using abstract or conceptual words. Also try to

avoid using simile, metaphor, rhyme, or language that is too ?poetic.?

Use sensory images to convey experience. If you are writing a general

statement about life without any sights, sounds, smells, or tastes,

you are likely writing something other than a haiku.




A few haiku poets writing in English do follow the 5-7-5 pattern with

wonderful results, but the great majority of published haiku poets writing

in English view the haiku as a poem in three lines of 17 or fewer syllables.

In a haiku, every word must count. If you can omit a word or phrase without

losing any key meaning or the natural flow of language, do so.

Most haiku create the English equivalent of the kireji, which in Japanese

haiku is a word that cuts the poem into two parts. In the West, poets use

punctuation marks (e.g., dashes, commas, or colons) or spacing (extra

spaces between words, or line breaks) to divide their poem. The purpose

of having two parts is to create tension and resolution, or an unstated rela-

tionship between two images.

canjapSBC update (March 2008):  For more cherry blossom haiku see our VCBF 2008 posting and our 2007 post.


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