Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Haiku Mondays: VACATION Winner

Here's what I loved about this week's contest: it brought out so many variations on the theme. There were trips down memory lane, both good (Karl, Fleur, Fishy) and bad (also Fleur and Fishy—we'd love to know what that phobia for life is!); stark admissions that for some of us, vacations are more work than play (Pam and Buzz); wistful imaginings (Troll/Secretariat's Ghost, Kym); vacations as altered reality (Czar); and sojourns that became paradigm-shifting experiences of a lifetime (Eggy). Then there was Aunty, who posited that perhaps the whole ding dang getaway thing is more hassle than it's really worth.

This contest was also rife with wonderful wordplay:

Czar's "spectral outliers," Troll's "warm turf under hoof" and "bitch-slapping mullahs," the cut-to-the-chase efficiency of Aunty's "girly goo" and "grope and grab." I also really liked how Karl's first two sentences mirrored each other with their rhythmic "bikes, babes, beer" and then "snow, rain, thunder." Nicely done.

In the end, though, I had to go with the haiku that, for me, best represented the idea of vacation as romantic ideal, as something both adventurous and escapist, whether real, or imagined.

For me, the several haiku that did that best were:


Best Vacation Ever, Summer of '73

Drive through the Badlands.
Steely Dan on 8-track tape.
Pop Rocks and Blowpops.


My destination
Imagined and untitled
Anywhere but here

Which beautifully sums up our childlike belief in the transformative power of escape. Of vacation as a way to re-energize lives that at times become sodden with responsibility and routine. She doesn't know where she wants to go, she just knows she does . . . anywhere but here.

Troll's Trio:

The book, jug and loaf
but nobody beside me
in the wilderness.

The book, jug and loaf
but nobody beside me
yakking or singing.

The book, jug and loaf
but partner is not silent.
Shhhushhhhhh! Let nature sing!

Romantic he may not be, but, hey, what's the point of escaping to the wilderness if NOT for utter peace and quiet? Also, come on; how many of us don't secretly shudder when someone we know spontaneously bursts into song in front of us?

And the winner is: Fleur.

I couldn't get it out of my head, and not only because of its verbal bounce. It's also an exceptionally sensual haiku, evoking with sight, sound, and taste, the feel of a family summer road trip vacation at a specific time in history: the wide open country and its promise of discovery and adventure; the fact that gasoline was cheap enough to travel by car; the omnipresent musical accompaniment (and if you don't have an emotional response to at least one of Steely Dan's songs, then you either weren't alive in the 1970s or you don't like pop music, period), and finally, who doesn't remember the ridiculously simple pleasure of Pop Rocks and Blow Pops, the holy grail of candy for many a child of the '70's?

Congrats, Fleur. You win the Bill Bryson book; however, I think I deleted your address from the last time I sent you a prize, so please have Czar re-relate. You also get the pleasure of picking a theme and hosting next week's contest.

And thanks to everyone for participating, most especially Eggy, who doth protest too much that she's not "that kind of writer," which Czar always says as well, but look at the both of you. Haiku-ers for sure.


Buzz Kill said...

When I read Fleur's the first time, all I had in my head was that old Lesley Gore tune - Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
Everything thats wonderful is what I feel when - we're together.
Now you have it in your head too.

I actually had Troll slightly out in front with "bitch-slapping mullahs". But good choice and excellent recap. Thanks for hostessing.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Fleur! She writes good haiku and, without knowing why, she seems to understand the GREATNESS of the Summer of 73.

Superlative recap by Apple-Biter. They just keep getting better but..

I didn't write those haiku. I didn't even know who Omar Khayyam was until I broke up the ghost-poet party he and Basho were throwing in the attic.

P.S. Keep Sylvia Plath's ghost away from the tequila if you see her.

fishy said...

Congratulations Fleur ... so engaging and clever :-)

Very entertaining analysis Moi.
You certainly struck a chord with all entrants when you selected the subject for this weeks game.

The phobia is height over water.

Karl said...

Good afternoon Moi,

Congratulations Fleur! Well deserved.

Moi thank you for time and trouble of hosting. Your skill at judging and your composition of the results are always a treat.

@Buzz Kill: You had to mention Leslie Gore. Damn your eyes man!

Karl said...

@ Fishy: Your phobia would make perfect sense, it's awfully hard for a fish to breathe over water.

Aunty Belle said...

whoo hoo Fleur!!

Good going all.

Thanks again Moi fer the hostess wif' mostest.

moi said...

Buzz: Yes, that was a top contender, but it wasn't about vacationing per se, although it (and the title) was mighty clevah.

Troll: I don't encourage Sylvia. Anne Sexton, on the other hand: way more fun, not to mention, better dressed.

Fishy: Hey, I got that phobia, too. I'm really charming on a transatlantic flight. Hence, red wine and Adivan.

Karl: Leslie Gore is awesome.

Aunty: You were a top contenda with da clevah, too!

czar said...

Concur on all accounts. Great work, Fleur, Moi, and all others. And welcome, Eggy. Competition just kicked up a notch.

Sharon Rudd said...

Thanks to Moi for hosting, to all for the welcome, and to Czar for his help. After my recent trip to the Badlands (not to mention the Steely Dan ref), my hat is off to winner Fleur!

darkfoam said...

Another wonderful write up, Moi. Congratulations to Fleur. And congratulations to all the other entries.

sparringK9 said...

you do give great recap. I couldnt get around yesterday to read so it was critical this go around. Congratulations to FLeur! LOL@ troll and sylvia

Fleurdeleo said...

Thank you so much, Moi, and to everyone for the lovely comments! I am so glad to have had a chance to memorialize a time that meant so much to me.

I just cannot get enough of Haiku Monday. It is like 17-syllable therapy, but more fun and much less expensive.

The competition was fierce, and the recap was magnificent as always! Am thrilled to host. Details forthcoming!

moi said...

Czar: The competition was tough and I hope Eggy joins us again.

Eggy: Once you start, it's hard to stop!

Foam: Hope to see you playing again soon! I would have loved to have read your interpretation of this theme.

K9: Missed you, too. But if you get 10K because of it, it's an HM well-missed :o)

Fleur: Also: less expensive than buying a whole new summer wardrobe :o) Your prize will go out in the mail today. Did you ever get the salsa? I have nightmares of smashed glass in some post office in Hoboken . . .

Pam said...

Congrats, Fleur, I loved that haiku also .... took me right to a time and place. An era. Sigh. I'm so glad I was raised in the right era. Anyway, I loved Auntie's too regarding airport shock and just staying home. Loved it.

Kymical Reactions said...

Congratulations Fleur! Can't wait to see what your topic will be. :)

LaDivaCucina said...

Moi, I agree with your choice of winner and was there in my head too, signs of good poetry and writing, esp considering the simplicity of haiku.

Thanks for turning me on to the Bill Bryson book. Our vacation starts at 5pm tonight...wonder if the library has it?