Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ellen Compton - Three Questions

Ellen Compton is a freelance writer with a background in painting and theatre arts. She lives and works in Washington, DC, and is often drawn to the shores of nearby Chesapeake Bay.

Ellen shares her response to Haiku - Three Questions with us this week.

Hello Curtis:

1. Why do you write haiku?

Just some of the reasons I write haiku:

The study of haiku sharpens my awareness. In writing haiku I can touch what my memory holds and my senses and imagination perceive. Small is beautiful--one red maple leaf, or a couple of pebbles, a good haiku. And haiku is a pure poetry. Writing it teaches me more about poetry than I could ever learn in the classroom.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Other poetic forms?

Well, I love and write tanka and have been experimenting with the possibilities of haibun. Rengay are always fun, and especially so when the poets are meeting in person. In the past I have written poems in other genre, and occasionally do so now. I read, learn from and greatly enjoy the work of non-haiku poets--Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, Hopkins, Blake, Billy Collins, Pablo Neruda, Ted Kooser, to name only a few of the many. And I somehow consider Thoreau among the poets.

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)

My top three? I'm probably not the best judge, but here are some I wouldn't mind being remembered for:

The little sound of a star

"kaleidoscope" first appeared in Modern Haiku,23:1, winter-spring 1992. Later Cor ven del Heuvel included it in the 1999 edition of The Haiku Anthology (New York: W. W. Norton).

motor stilled . . .
                   the headland echoes
            the loon

"motor stilled . . ." first appeared in South by Southeast, 5:1, 1998, and was selected for Snow on the Water, Red Moon Anthology 1998 (Red Moon Press, 1999).

sifting pebbles
my fingers pause to read
the broken one

"sifting pebbles" received Honorable Mention in the San Francisco International Competition, Haiku Poets of Northern California, and was published in Woodnotes, No. 27, Winter 1995.

If you're enjoying this weekly feature, please consider sending your response to the questions that Ellen answered.

Next week, Tom Clausen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm late discovering this site but love the work you offered here - still feel my fingers feathering the brokeness. Your poem opening such a huge space within. TY