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Showing posts from September, 2017

haiku commentary: Ajaya Mahala

mosquito wings —
the colour of evening 
so thin

          — Ajaya Mahala (First Place, Shiki Monthly Kukai, May 2014)

It’s probably a default approach to use visual images when writing poetry and I know I consciously nudge myself now and then to consider the senses of smell, sound, touch and taste too. And, sometimes taking it a step further, to consider if synaesthesia ~ when the sensory stimulus from one sense is mixed up with another sense ~ might also be effective with the material I’m working with.
The use of metaphor, in any form of poetry, needs a light touch, and even more so in haiku where the minimal form has no space for a grandstanding author to hide. I want my haiku to encourage a reader to reflect on their own experiences, through the filter of mine, and not reflect on how clever with language I might think I am!
‘mosquito wings’ is written with an incredibly light touch, subtly using synaesthesia to blend visual and textural qualities. We automatically associate mosquitoes…

Review: cylymau tywod ~ knots of sands

cylymau tywod ~ knots of sand
John Rowlands

£12 from Alba Publishing

This week a friend on Facebook shared an old photograph of us, standing together on the shore of the Atlantic on Florida's east coast, and I felt homesick for the sensation of damp sand under my feet, for the scent of salt on the breeze.  
I was born next to the sea in South Wales. The beach and sand dunes were our playground as children. The sound of breaking waves became so familiar I had to focus intently to hear them at night before I fell asleep.
roaring sea tongues of foam silenced in sand (p.32)
The knots of sand in the title of Rowlands' haiku collection are the ropey-looking burrowings that lugworm leave on the surface of the sand. My dad used to dig for lugworm, to use as fishing bait, on the beach at low-tide. 
cylymau tywod in Welsh, my mother's first language, the language we were not taught growing up in Port Talbot (for outdated reasons about learning) but one that still formed a natural part of my …