Thursday, May 13, 2010

Award winning Haiku - Rare Kimono

HaikuNow! 2010 International Contest Organised by the Haiku Foundation
based in the United States. The following are the winners in the Traditional Haiku Category

First Prize

war memorial
the shine on a bronze soldier
from so many hands

—Cherie Hunter Day

Runners Up

the rare kimono
our eyes roll over its hills
flowers and mountains

—John Tiong Chung Hoo

vernal equinox:
sharing a branch an orange
and orange blossom

—Victor Ortiz

the leaf blower man—
when he turns and walks away
the leaves follow him

—Madeleine Findlay

The morning is here—
Orange Juice in a Flintstones glass.
What should I do next?

—Cory Ryant

Judge’s Comments

I found so many of the haiku entries not only nicely poised but arresting. I chose the one about the war memorial because it allowed a small observation (the shiny bronze) to ripple out to a very heavy subject indeed, the kind of ponderous subject that haiku is usually too small to contain. The one featuring the surprising appearance of a Flintstones glass showed the American side of haiku; plus the clueless speaker appears to be in a perfectly empty-headed haiku state of mind. The kimono poem made me slightly dizzy in the way it rolled over the landscape which was both real and fabricated, in this case, made of fabric. The leaf blower man made me laugh out loud, which is the preferred reaction to a haiku that is really not trying to be “funny;” I love its odd mix of absurdity and empathy. It was the sheer “obviousness” of the orange haiku that got me: imagine an orange and an orange blossom on the same tree, a true haiku eye-opener!

—Billy Collins

Billy Collins (born March 22, 1941) is an American poet. Collins served two terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. In his home state, Collins has been recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004-2006. He is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute in Winter Park, Florida. He remains a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York.

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