You Again: The 400th Post Bash

Another anniversary, another celebration. I have to say, these parties keep getting better and better. More people. More poetry. More kinds of poetry! In addition to haiku and haiku sequences and haiku sonnets and tanka and haiga and small stones, we have haibun* this time! (That’s how you know you’ve got a really great party going on — when the haibun shows up.)

And because this is a technology-forward blog (um, right), we’ve got an exciting new party activity this time — I created a Scribd doc to showcase your poetry and embedded it here. This allowed me to format stuff nicely (I mean, as nicely as someone who is completely lacking in graphic design talent and experience can format things) so you aren’t stuck looking at my horrible blog formatting of your brilliant words. And look at all the cool stuff you can do with it! Full-screen it! Download it! Print it! (No, I am not being paid by Scribd. I just really like new toys.)

I’m not going to blather on anymore because I know you’ve already stopped reading this and you’re scrolling through the document looking for your own poetry, or your friends’, or your kid’s. I’m just standing here in front of the mike talking to myself. I’d like to thank all the little people who helped me get this far … no, wait, that’s my Oscar speech. Actually, I would like to thank all the people who helped me get this far, but none of you are little, you all loom impressively gigantic in my mind. (Of course, I’m really short, so most of you probably are gigantic compared to me. What? Were you imagining me as some kind of six-foot Amazon or something?)

They’re making neck-slashing motions backstage now. Okay. Thanks for reading, and commenting, and making me laugh and making me think, and sending me your poetry to read, and giving me the day off* from writing. See you again tomorrow.

*I have to admit I cheated a little bit. I wrote the haiku for my friend Alex’s haibun. But it’s okay, right? Right? Alex doesn’t write haiku, but I love her prose, and we’ve collaborated before and I wanted to do it again. I hope it isn’t too annoying to have to read my haiku on the day you were supposed to get off from me.

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Please note that this doc has been revised a few times since it was first posted, to add in a couple of late submitters and fix some formatting problems. So if you haven’t looked at it since right after I posted or if you downloaded an early version, you might want to take another look. (I apologize to those whose poems’ formatting was off for a while.)

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28 thoughts on “You Again: The 400th Post Bash

  1. This 400th anniversary thing is a great way to celebrate. I raise my hat to you enthusiasm! (I do wear a hat from time to time). I’m really happy and very entertained by reading about some of your thoughts about haiku and the never ending discussion about rules and regulations. I dove into it after I’ve just finished an article aimed at a Danish group of haijins and found that we think very much alike. Afterwards I was a little sad, that I hadn’t discovered all of your site before writing. I might not have felt so “alone” in defending every poets rights to use whatever rules or aesthetics and could have spoken more freely. But I’m sure that I’ll get “what’s coming” after my Danish article has been published. Then I can fight back with more confidence – I hope. In Denmark haiku isn’t very big and it has in no way undergone the same development as in USA or UK. I pray it will.

    • Thanks, Johannes. Oh, yes, here in the U.S. there is plenty of argumentation about haiku to go around, feel free to take some off to Denmark with you. 🙂 If you have an English translation of your article I’d like to see it sometime.

  2. Here with your hands and in your hands, Melissa, has materialized a “haikooyouniverse”! And with 400 constellations–if that were possible. If even just for a day, this was sighted by “haiku-astronomers”, imagine the buzz that won’t end soon after like most sky objects, this “-verse” shifts in its axis and fades out to reappear ever brighter! But for now, I relish I suppose like your readers today…

    stars
    bursting on seamless sky–
    on 400 pairs of eyes

    Congratulations all!

  3. Wow, that’s cool. I like the scribd thing. I had no idea of such a tool. I’ll have to explore that.

    So, I read this morning and the post had an increasing, cumulative, transporting effect and by the end I was left speechless. That’s no small task!

    Speechless!

    It’s very awesome. Thank you, again, Melissa!

    • Thanks, Steve. Oh yeah … I can see you having fun with Scribd. It’s incredibly easy to use, I was pleasantly surprised.

      And you … speechless? That’s almost as hard to believe as me being speechless. 🙂

  4. aloha and wow Melissa. yeah. you have a great readership – and you do a superb job of organizing and presenting. yeah, you do.

    your presentation is elegant. i like it. allowing each ku to breath and the reader to pause. …if we want to – what a rush reading them tho. clearly re-reading them over time is required…

    way cool on the Scribd too. i tried it full screen and it was great.

    you have 33 pages. in blurb i think the minimum for a book is 20 pages. add a title page and idex? and a blank page… you’re nearly ready to make your own book – hard back or soft cover. of course you could do a book of one year – the 200, 300 and 400 posts? or one year of haikuproject. i suppose permission to use in a book, after the contribution fact would be an issue that could be resolved easily enough by asking. or in future centuries, you could ask up front. ..just thinking out loud here. with blurb to use their stuff you’re required to purchase ONE (yeah – 1) book. the pricing depends on number of pages, covers, and a few other things. but low end it’s about $15-$20 if i remember right.

    okay. enough ramble. bwahahaha. thank you for all you do, Melissa. the ku world is richer for you being in it. aloha.

    • Thanks, Wrick. Yeah … I am a convert to Scribd now and I think I will definitely do something with it in terms of getting blog content out there … not sure what though. If I do I will be highly selective because most of what I post I don’t feel I need to inflict on the world more than just the once. 🙂

  5. Splendid, as always! I love your guest-poet sequences and the Scribd layout made it especially effective, so beautifully laid out with each piece given its own space to ripple outwards with no interruption. Everyone’s work is superb – delightful and thoughtful and deep and playful and all sorts of other adjectives that I can’t think of at almost-midnight 😉

  6. Enjoyed the selection! Great work, everyone! And kudos to you Melissa for putting it all together! 🙂

    I’d say a collaborative haibun is an excellent idea. I never cease to be amazed with what we can do with Japanese form poetry in general. 🙂

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