Watch for deer, part two

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 16, 2006

To the Editor:

My letter “Watch for deer while driving” published in the STJ on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2006, needs a couple of corrections. First, my bad, I capitalized haiku and it does not appear to be such a word.

Perhaps it was because I respect the poetry form so much.

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Secondly, your paper butchered the haiku I sent you.

The poems were stuck together as one long poem. I submitted

five separate poems of

three lines.

These were numbered #1, # 2, #3, #4, and #5 in the way Richard Wright numbered the thousands of haiku he wrote. My poetic and compliance nature could not let this go. Perhaps it was a spacing thing where the newspaper column would not allow the spaces.

Nevertheless, I do not want the good people who read the STJ to be unaware of what a haiku is.

The Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia defines haiku as a “Japanese verse form, notable for its compression and suggestiveness.

It consists of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.”

I adhered to the three lines and the proper number of syllables per line.

However, a couple of my haiku had rhyming words and I misplaced the ? in #1.

Here are two of the deer haiku for you to better understand!


What do you think me

Deer by the side of the road,

Gracefully poised there?


Deer on the roadside

Standing near the river bridge,

STAY THERE, Standing Deer!

You should try writing a haiku or two. It is a challenge to express something in this short and designated way.

Hope you don’t mind this poetry lesson.

I just couldn’t let Mrs. Gussie Collins think I did not learn proper form in her classes, nor, as the Class Poet of A.G. Parrish, Class of 1965, could I let this matter go! Drive carefully … the deer seem to be coming out younger and younger with and without their moms.

Gail Box Ingram

Valley Grande