Siren's Song by Heather Kuehl


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Post February 14, 2011, 11:44:51 AM

Siren's Song by Heather Kuehl

Did I comment about this one when it was originally published in Aphelion? I can't recall.

Anyway, based on what I've been told, this one may be wordier than what is preferred by many current composers of haiku in English, but I still like it a lot. There is some debate over the continued use of the 5-7-5 format, with certain corners of haiku-dom claiming English haiku with fewer than seventeen syllables more closely match the minimalism of Japanese haiku. However, I think whether or not a piece works is more important than the precise syllable count a piece possesses, and I think this piece works just fine as-is. I love the revelation that the siren is calling them in to end her loneliness. It gives the piece some emotional appeal. It gives it a heart (which is appropriate for Valentine's Day).
"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did. I'm going to recite poetry!"

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Post February 14, 2011, 10:58:21 PM

Re: Siren's Song by Heather Kuehl

It gets into whether we can call it Haiku or not.
Siren's Song is 5 7 6, and her newest one Apocalypse is 6 7 6.
Do we call that Haiku anymore? It's not so clear.
Are they good poems? Sure.

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Post February 20, 2011, 09:44:44 PM

Re: Siren's Song by Heather Kuehl

So many markets encourage authors to deviate from 5 7 5 now, at least that's how it seems. I try to keep the pattern similar (6 8 6 for example) but I don't stress on it. To me, it's about the story I'm telling not the number of syllables I use.

As to what to call it... I don't know. I call them haikus until someone tells me differently. :D
~Heather Kuehl~

Discover a world where dragons roam the skies and vampires own the night
http://www.heatherkuehl.com
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Post February 21, 2011, 11:58:59 AM

Re: Siren's Song by Heather Kuehl

So many markets encourage authors to deviate from 5 7 5 now, at least that's how it seems.


Indeed, many encourage a more minimalistic approach. I've had scifaiku/horrorku turned down for being "too wordy", although the very same market that did the rejecting had accepted and published "wordy" works of mine a year or so before that. The current trend seems to be for haiku and speculative haiku derivatives in English to be less than seventeen syllables.

Do we call this one a haiku, or not? Does it really matter?

Personally, I think whether or not the work works is more important than what to call it. I think the substance of the work is more important than it's label.

This work works. Some may call it a haiku, while others may not. Some may think it a proper haiku, while others may see it as being a bit improper. Does what it's called really change the fact that it works as-is? I don't think so.

In my eyes, this one certainly seems to be along the lines of a haiku. In my opinion, for the sake of categorization, it's closest to a haiku than to anything else. However, the gist of the piece is far more important than the category it's put into.


(For a somewhat outdated but still interesting take on scifaiku, and how scifaiku may deviate from 5-7-5, see the Scifaiku Manifesto:
http://www.scifaiku.com/what/
And a more recent re-evaluation of the Scifaiku Manifesto can be found here:
http://hooks-and-books.livejournal.com/4153.html)
"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did. I'm going to recite poetry!"

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