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Zenshi ichimi

by Karzkin

A/N: These are an exercise in zenchi ichimi, the haiku equivalent of free verse. 5/7/5 can suck it. Also, yws wouldn't render the title in Japanese in the title box, but for some reason it does it fine just here. It was working for a while, but now it's not. Help?

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Aimless clouds pass by
driven only by the wind;
we too are dream-walkers.


Do sheep at the slaughter
miss their lambs?
I almost loved you once.

A sudden chill;
an old battlefield


A bronze wind-chime
entrances a ginger kitten -
so close, yet so far. 

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1314 Reviews

Points: 23411
Reviews: 1314

Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:56 am
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Hannah wrote a review...

I am on board with the first two. I heard from someone that haikus should do this thing where they give you an image, and then a twist, and your first two do that well and subtly. You don't give us whiplash, but you don't leave us thinking we're feeling in a straight line, either. I think the second almost steps over the line, but doesn't, as is the best of the bunch of its intensity there. I love just imagining what it could possibly mean, the images it gives me. The first is a little weaker because its imagery is a little weaker, but I like it just the same. I love the movement of clouds in the sky.

So now for the last two. I don't like the third because it is too linear. It feels logical that someone would get a chill at realizing the overgrown field before them once held a bloody battle. I don't see any twist there, and because there's no secretly packed punch, it can't even function as a short, straight-forward poem. It evokes nothing new.

The last falls prey to a similar fault, but I think there was success in the attempt here, however unmoving. Like, I get it: it's a cute kitty, and the "so close, yet so far" rings of a far-off, more epic battle. But I'm not engaged by the image in the first place. Is it because I'm a cat person? Because kittens in literary works are often used just to be cute and sympathetic? Whatever the reason, the cuteness of comparing a baby cat to an epic battle makes the last poem seem ridiculous. Of course, that's fine if you want a ridiculous poem, but I didn't like it after the two fulfilling ones at the top.

PM me if you have questions or comments.


Karzkin says...

Thank you, Green Knight.

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Points: 729
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Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:58 pm
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blackclaw1 says...

You seem to have the prose of the poem's reasonably well rounded, i would personally say that the content is the stumbling.The third work is the strongest of the four , the content seems to be the most unique,and thought provoking.The second is also chilling?Almost seeming like a threat,in a good way.

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806 Reviews

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Reviews: 806

Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:00 pm
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Aley wrote a review...

"Aimless clouds pass by / driven only by the wind; / we too are dream-walkers" For me, the last line seems strange. It doesn't quite seem to fit due to who 'we' are and why it matters that we are dream-walkers. I like the imagery of the first part of the poem.

"Do sheep at the slaughter / miss their lambs? / I almost loved you once." Similar to the first one, The last line seems a little out of place for me. I would expect a comment about the slaughtered sheep instead of some personal thing. It is a great question in the first part of the poem.

"A sudden chill; / an old battlefield / overgrown." I really like this one. It gives me a great image of the battlefield and a sense of the righteousness of nature overtaking it.

"A bronze wind-chime / entrances a ginger kitten - / so close, yet so far." This one seems well connected, but I don't quite understand why we need a kitten and a wind-chime in this poem. I don't like this one as much as the third one, but I can't really pinpoint why.

I hope these helped.

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416 Reviews

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Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:49 pm
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Nate says...

Hey Karzkin, send me the original text of the work to I'll take a look into why the Japanese characters aren't appearing. Thanks!

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