Sunday, December 27, 2009

Michele L. Harvey - Three Questions

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. ( My haiku was this:

not mind
nor heart, nor flesh am I...
sun on the water

AHAPoetry forum, March 2009

broom straws
bent by habit
migrating geese

Ambrosia, Issue 1 Autumn 2008

spring laundry-
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.


Pamela A. Babusci said...


so nice to see you here on TR!
i so love your art work; you are
a Master! pamela

Jessie Carty said...

love this set of haiku and i want to do more reading on haibun etc. my favorite was the first in the set but i love how you can do multiple readings with these because the three lines are so distinct.

Jane Reichhold said...

Michele, so glad to see you and your work here! Great to see your photo, too. Is it 'new avatar' time? Joking around because I am so impressed by you and your work! \o/ Jane

snowbird said...

Michele, I just came in from a friend who is going in for Chemo on the 4th and had finally gotten her to smile...even laugh a bit...through the pain...and came in to find the link to the video and your fine haiku.
How does the human heart cope with such things?
Thanks for your fine comments on FB too. Always interesting.

Unknown said...

Dear Pamela, Jessie, Jane & Snowbird- Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Tobacco Road has been a wonderful stopping off point, to make a cup of tea, pull up a chair and get to know poets as individuals. I was so pleased to be given the chance to contribute by Curtis. And Jane, I couldn't pass up using our AHAPoetry Forum group Haiga for Mike (with his blessing). It still brings tears to my eyes... Thank you for the kind words. Sincerely, Michele

Unknown said...

For Snowbird- I didn't mean to gloss over your question, "How does the human heart cope with such things? " I don't believe there is an answer, or a single answer. These vehicles that we walk around in, break sooner or later. (But the true self remains untouched.) Pain is the price and measure of love. Your friend is very fortunate to have your care. Wishing your friend health and that it goes quickly & easily for you both. Sincerely, Michele

Anonymous said...

Love all of these haiku. Great work!

Unknown said...

nice work Michele, so glad you have desided to share!