Michele L. Harvey is a professional landscape painter living in New York. Her year is divided between rural Hamilton, NY and New York City, providing a lively contrast. Her poetry has kindly and widely been accepted by most of the current short form poetry publications. You may view both her paintings and examples of her poetry on her website.
1) Why do you write haiku?
The element of surprise. Like many, my first experience with haiku was in grade school. The Japanese masters (need I name names?) were a revelation. For me, it was poetry that engaged in an entirely different manner. Haiku demands the reader be nimble, engaged and totally open. Although, I did not find the contemporary haiku scene until recently, I couldn't resist jumping in. The exquisite pivot and enlarging use of kigo create a mind shift (the aha!) not experienced elsewhere.The more great haiku I read, the more I felt the challenge tug. I began to see the world with 'a haiku mind'.
2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
Tanka is my preferred form. But it requires a much different mindset. It gives the writer more room for rhythm. I've done some haibun (prose + haiku), and some haiga, the best of which have been collaborations. Also, a bit of rengay and senryu. I plan to do more solo haiga & taiga (prose + tanka) with my own painting as background.
I have a huge tanka & haiku addiction, and have been known to carry my own hand-scribbled copies of favored authors' works. (I use them as a goad for my own writing.) As a matter of fact, many of you are right here, on Tobacco Road.
3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?
The answer depends on mood and season. The haiku I'm most proud of was used as part of a haiga compilation on the AHAPoetry forum for a friend facing a serious medical challenge. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5_uMH4-sCw). My haiku was this:
nor heart, nor flesh am I...
sun on the water
AHAPoetry forum, March 2009
bent by habit
Ambrosia, Issue 1 Autumn 2008
the sun-washed snake
on the cellar steps
Ambrosia, Issue 2 Winter 2009
Thank you Curtis, for the opportunity to be part of your wonderful blog.
If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Michele answered. You must be a published poet to participate.