October 5 (The compost pile)

apples in the compost pile —
giving sweetness another chance


(Edited 10/6/10)

I think Alegria was right. The first line wasn’t quite there. She suggested getting rid of the apples altogether, just leaving the compost pile, but I’m not ready to do that.

For one thing, I’m using the apples as a fall kigo (Midwestern version), for another, just “compost pile” doesn’t conjure up a strong enough image in my mind for me to find the ku wholly satisfying. I need the image of those half-rotten apples atop the compost to make the ku vivid and complete to me.

I’ll definitely entertain other suggestions for how to make this better, though!

11 thoughts on “October 5 (The compost pile)

  1. I like it! I like how the lines ‘leap’.

    Maybe ‘full of apples’ can be used for another haiku. I understand why you want it there because of ‘sweetness’. I think though that ‘compost pile’ would stand–in it ‘sweetness’ and all the other ‘rotten things’ will be juiced ‘to give sweetness’ another life.

    To borrow from you just now:

    full of apples
    the scent of her breath
    a haiku

    Thanks, Melissa!

    • Thanks, Alegria. Nice comment and great ku.

      How about “(the) apples in the compost pile”? Less wordy and awkward, but leaves the concrete image of those apples in there … I find I am more likely to value and enjoy a ku the more specific the image is for me. Also, I like the resonance of apples for a fall ku …

      Interesting to contemplate these options.

  2. here’s my thought nickle:

    apples AND compost pile are both concrete. the ku really doesnt need two concrete elements when one works with the 2nd chance at “sweetness”. apples modify the compost pile but dont really change it – the compost pile is still a compost pile, the reader now knows what is in it rather than exploring that possibility on their own.

    i do see how apple becomes kigo. and if kigo is critical then that’s a point for apples.

    (and yeah, cool on both haiku)

    new life
    in the compost pile
    a thousand worms

    • Oh well. This may be one of those “I don’t care what everyone else on the planet thinks, I like it this way!” situations. Which basically describes my entire life. Which may account for why I have so many regrets about so many choices I have made. 🙂

      Some day I’ll grow up and start taking other people’s advice. Then you’ll know it’s time to start digging my grave. 🙂

        • Oh … wow.
          This is the kind of insight I need so badly as a haiku poet.
          Thanks so much for this, Alegria. I might even end up taking your advice! 😉

          • the immediacy of moment in your suggestion Alegria Imperial is outstanding.

            i’m not convinced growing up is the solution as much as remaining ungrown-up and paying attention to life that way. cheers on forever young-spirited even when we oops. okay, okay, it would be nice not to oops quite so much.

            • I think you need to find a balance between being childlike and retaining a sense of wonder and being grownup enough to have acquired a modicum of wisdom from your own and other peoples’ experiences … and to realize, the more you know, how little you know. 🙂

              I can clearly remember being three years old and thinking that I couldn’t figure out what else there was to know that I didn’t know. (I can clearly remember a lot of things I thought when I was three, including that the whole Santa Claus thing was the most preposterous lie the grownups had ever come up with. I have always had an overdeveloped sense of skepticism.) I mean, I could read, I could count to, what, a hundred or something, and … well, I’m not sure what else it was I thought I knew, but I thought it was everything. Now, of course, I know I’m a blooming idiot and always will be. That kind of perspective is important, I think. 🙂

  3. If I may barge in:
    “apples joining compost –
    sweetness has another chance”

    as it occurred to me, I smelled the apples rotting.

    • Nice suggestion, Paul. (I’m glad somebody thinks the apples might have a place here!) And how cool that you got that strong of a sensory impression from this.

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