Friday, October 7, 2016

The Cleave Hay(na)ku


I was talking via email recently with Eileen Tabios, inventor of the hay(na)ku form, about her new variation, the Rippled Mirror Hay(na)ku, and I wrote one in honor (or maybe in dishonor?) of our current presidential election.

Mirror

I'm
Donald Trump.
Best president ever.

Bust. President never.
Donald Trump.
Um . . .

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

As you can see, in the rippled mirror hay(na)ku, the reflection is vertical. The word "best" in line 3 is reflected in line 4 (in rippled fashion) by "bust." The word "I'm" in line 1 is ripple-reflected in line 6 by "Um." See here for more on this new variation.

Well, I wondered, could the reflection be horizontal rather than vertical? I was reminded of the Cleave poetic form. Basically, the cleave features a left side poem, a right side poem, and then a combined poem. This is most easily explained in columns:
A     a
B     b
C     c
If we imagine the letters above are lines in a cleave poem, the left side poem would be read down as A B C, the right side poem would be a b c, and then the combined poem would be read across as A a B b C c.


I'd like to propose a new variation then: the Cleave Hay(na)ku. I'll give you an example first; it might be clearer than a definition at this point. Please note: this is more of a demo than an actual poem.

Mycelia

mushrooms
live forever
like strange ghosts
      do
you know
that people eat

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Here are the three different poems that we can read:
left side
right side
combined      
mushrooms live forever like strange ghosts
do you know that people eat
mushrooms do live forever you know like strange ghosts that people eat
So there you go. The Cleave Hay(na)ku . . . two hay(na)ku side-by-side, where the hay(na)ku on the left is read as one poem, the hay(na)ku on the right is read as a second poem, and then both hay(na)ku are read as a third, combined poem, both first lines together, then the second lines, and finally both third lines.

I hope you'll give these two new forms a try. They're quite the poetic challenges. In fact, Eileen has issued a call for rippled mirror hay(na)ku and cleave hay(na)ku here, with a deadline of 15 November 2016.

In Eileen's hay(na)ku blog, there's a page documenting all the known variations of hay(na)ku. Check it out . . . there might be a form there you'd like to give a whirl.


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Ingat, everyone.   


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