John Daleiden's Choice "vegetable" Haiku



Vegetables Impact the Senses


Thirty-three poets from eleven countries have contributed one hundred-seventy-two Haiku to the July / August 31, 2012-43 "vegetable(s)" Haiku Thread. Biologically, a vegetable is an edible plant or part of a plant, usually excluding seeds and most sweet fruit. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant. However, a non-biological definition of a vegetable is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Therefore, the application of the word vegetable is somewhat arbitrary, based on cultural and/or personal views. In this Haiku Thread there are many seed crops and fruits in the botanical sense, that are used as vegetables.

One of the most important qualities of a vegetable is "freshness", a trait Pravat Padhy associates with his mother's "smiles" in a unique juxtaposition:

green vegetables
my mother smiles with
morning freshness

# 18. Pravat Kumar Padhy, India

Padhy's association of the images of "vegetables" and a "mother's smiles" suggests nurturing--an important role in the life of all developing flora on earth.

Cooks throughout the world use vegetables as staples in many tasty dishes served in various ways; on distinctive root crop vegetable might selected to enhance the flavor of a stew:

slicing and dicing
parsnips for the beef stew
morning dew

# 17. John Daleiden, US

In addition to a "stew" dish which might be served as a main course for an evening meal, different vegetables are used for a simple noon pick-me up:

winter mist
another bowl
of veggie soup

# 14. Chen-ou Liu, Canada

For some less fortunate people in the world, such as the homeless, this may be their only hot meal of the day:

vegetable soup day
the cold homeless queue
tasting the steam

# 100. Karin Anderson, AU

Nutritious vegetables included in tasty dishes are as diverse as the delicious stem shoots of spring asparagus or the flowering buds of cauliflower and broccoli served either in a cooked disk or served as nibbling finger foods:

the last broccoli
from my garden
summer's end

# 06. Máire Morrissey-Cummins, IR

The strong scent of a vegetable often causes an immediate human reaction:

the fragrant first cut
into a red onion

# 07. Štefanija Ludvig, CR

The memorable scent associated with a specific vegetable may be associated with a human being:

veggie dumplings...
I wrap myself
in her scent

# 72. Chen-ou Liu, Canada

The abrasiveness of cutting into an onion is reflected in Marg Beverland's haiku through this memorable juxtaposition with an external sound:

slicing onions
the whine
of a concrete cutter

# 154. Marg Beverland, New Zealand

Occasionally, the memorable taste of a vegetable is unique and stimulates a subsequent human reaction:

two slightly bitter
olives in the dish...
he looks away

# 03. Vania Stefanova, BG

Sometimes, the taste associated with a vegetable is "hot":

picking hot peppers—
from those tiny white flowers
so much sharpness?

# 131. Djurdja Vukelic Rozic, Croatia

The visual sight or shape of one particular vegetable can cause individuals to associate that shape with another aspect of the natural environment.

yellow melon
in the sky—
an old moon

# 89. Vania Stefanova, BG

The tactile sense, the sense of touch is often associated with vegetables:

picking tomatoes
off the leafy vines
her painted nails

# 22. Rachel Sutcliffe, UK

Vegetables are often associated with random and uncommon pairings of an edible vegetable with a remote and unexpected association through juxtaposition:

cabbage patch
on the compost heap
my old doll

# 38. Tracy Davidson, UK

farmer’s market
a ladybug crawls
out of the lettuce

# 53. Cara Holman, US

The physical effect of a transformed vegetable can have a giddy and humorous effect on overindulging humans:

beet wine
grandma’s giggles dance
in my heart

# 91. Karen O'Leary, US

Vegetables can also impact the creative and imaginative and creative realm of human endeavors:"

pumpkins everywhere
no dearth of carriages
for Cinderella

# 147. Sandra Martyres, IN

Plainly, the vegetable crops raised all over the world are valuable commodities; they need protection form invasion and destruction:

behind the scarecrow
a murder of crows
ganging up

# 83. Bernard Gieske, US

The haiku selected for this Choice focus on the relationship of vegetables to vairous human senses:  taste, scent, sight and shape, tactile, associations, transformations, creativeness and the need for protection.

Each of the haiku selected are superior compositions that demonstrate many of the following qualities of haiku:

  • contains syllable counts of no more than 575 but more frequently fewer syllables; in Japanese sound units were counted and clearly linguists have told us that Japanese onji sound units do not equal the longer sound of English syllables (between 17 - 12 English syllables).

  • constructed with 3 images arranged in a two line phrase and a one line fragment (see Jane Richold's fragment and phrase theory).

  • contains a kigo  and / or are written to express a commonly selected theme, ie. "vegetables".

  • constructed with an expressly stated kirejiemploying punctuation, and / or a clear break (written or unwritten) between the fragment and phrase.

  • utilizes common haiku techniques such as: comparison, contrast, association, word-plays, puns, riddle, sense-switching (synesthesia, narrowing focus,  juxtaposition (as an expression of metaphor and simile), Shiki's Shasei, double entendre, close linkage, leap linkage, sabi, wabi, Yūgen, paradox, humor, literary allusion, finding the Divine in the Common.  Reference: Lesson Ten Haiku Techniques: Bare Bones School of Haiku by Jane Reichhold.

  • are written in the present tense so the reader has the feeling that the observed event is happening right now.

  • uses verbs that carry an emotional impact; a minimal use of the gerund form.

  • contains some element of nature (the natural world elementsas opposed to an exclusive focus on the humanity element).

  • results in an aha moment for the reader.










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