“Dog rescued from sea at home on saviors’ ship” (Neal Whitman)

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missing dog…
my neighbors eyes
at the fence
blinking

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Headlines:

“Dog rescued from sea at home on saviors’ ship” (Monterey Herald)

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Poem by Neal Whitman (see poet biographies). Read more by this poet.

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^ 3 Comments...

  1. Chen-ou Liu

    “my neighbors eyes”

    A typo?

    Neal, generally speaking, tanka can have a pentafid form without adhering to a fixed form of five lines. However, in my view, there are only four “poetic phrases” in your poem.

    But nonetheless, it’s a good poem. I like the concluding imagery.

    Chen-ou

  2. Neal Whitman

    Chen-ou,

    Thank you for the tanka lesson. I do not write tanka. I tried and an editor told me it was no good. So, some day, learning tanka is on my “to do” list. This was not a tanks, but haiku in a non-traditional form using 4 rather than 3 lines. Trying 4 rather than 3 lines was a suggestion of the editors. I am glad you still think it is a good poem, though it might be that breaking the rules threw you off and was a distraction.

    And, yes, there should have been an apostrophe for the possessive.

    In any case, I am glad you read the poem. If it is not read, the poem is not done.

    Peace,

    Neal

  3. Editor

    Hey guys,

    Yeah, I see it as a four line haiku as well – or perhaps even a middle form – a four image form, for instance. I have always wondered about this. There are one-line haiku, obviously, and two image (through juxtaposition) and then the three line poem (with three images). Then there is a three line poem with two images (and so on).

    The thing is, in Japanese they are all on one line anyway. And Chen-ou is right – it then comes down to the combination of images. But I disagree that this has four images. I see only three : “missing dog,” “my neighbour’s eyes at the fence” and “blinking”. So it seems to clearly be a haiku, in that sense, or even a haiku-senryu blend.

    Also – I will change the typo – sorry about that.

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