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  • Adriaan Jan 1, 2009 @ 12:42

    I don’t get it. Who’s he? How does he cover stars? Who shiver(s) to sleep, he, the stars or the street?

  • Ken Wagner Jan 1, 2009 @ 22:35

    Yes, this was a more impressionistic one, perhaps not good for haiku.

    I wanted the suggestions and blurs in meaning to capture the indifferent motions on both the street and in the sky, as well as the shiver of a cold body, and our shifting sense of social responsibility.

    That’s a lot to ask of eight words, I suppose.

    Perhaps this works better –
    stars he turns, covers and
    shivers to sleep

  • Adriaan Jan 2, 2009 @ 5:15

    I think the problem is with stars being the first word of the second line, it still reads like “he” (whoever he is) turns the stars. How about stars on the first line, like this:
    “Street… stars…” or forget about the street, and just say something like “The starry sky”

  • Ken Wagner Jan 2, 2009 @ 19:58

    Perhaps I need to strip it down and, as you suggest, lose the street idea.

    How about –

    The stars –
    He covers and shivers
    to sleep.

  • Adriaan Jan 3, 2009 @ 11:09

    It got rid of the notion that there would be someone out there covering stars. But I still don’t know who “he” is, if this is inside or outside, or anything really. And for this reason I can’t feel how and why it resonates with the starry sky.

    In other words, as a reader I can’t recreate in my mind what made you write this (neither emotion nor impression), so whatever feeling it gave you doesn’t communicate.

  • Adriaan Jan 3, 2009 @ 11:20

    Wait. I see it. I’m rereading your comment on “indifferent motions” and “shifting sense of social responsibility” and finally it dawns that this is about a homeless person.

    Okay, sorry. Maybe you are trying to do a little too much in such a small poem.

    Am I right about the homeless person? If I am, I think you should go with “starry sky”, and maybe be a bit clearer about the homelessness. Maybe you could mention a sleeping bag or cardboard.

  • Ken Wagner Jan 3, 2009 @ 16:33

    Yes! I assumed that the homelessness – at least! – was clear. Ugh,

    I am so
    trapped in my
    small wet brain.

    How about –

    Starry sky –
    Beneath cardboard, he shivers
    to sleep.

  • Ken Wagner Jan 6, 2009 @ 0:16

    Was –
    stars he covers and shivers
    to sleep

  • Adriaan Jan 7, 2009 @ 12:18

    I was thinking along the lines of letting the homeless person disappear from view, and letting the card board or sleeping bag shiver. A sleeping bag turning and shivering to sleep.

    I must confess that the reason I didn’t see the homeless person was because you often write about your dog, and I assumed that the shivering must be done by a dog…

  • Ken Wagner Jan 7, 2009 @ 18:57

    Yes, my dog shivers at my haiku!