Haiku 161, 162, 165, 176, 177 – The Theme is Objects

The slanting sunshine
lights the chipped plaster statue
set on the bookcase

Out in the lobby
a drawerful of pencils
meets the sharpener.

The sun-bleached woodwork
and the light-rotted curtains
console each other.

Rows of dried-out books
in the forgotten archives
resent their exile.

The books here require
no readers, wanting only
to be left alone.

Bright Curtains small


23 thoughts on “Haiku 161, 162, 165, 176, 177 – The Theme is Objects

  1. Thank you. Yes, I know just what you mean. People force a thought into the syllables, but it doesn’t follow the rhythm or the flow, just a sentence broken into part. I hate that and I try not to fall into that trap. I try to think of a haiku as needing to be a polished pearl, and for some reason that gets me on track…kind of crazy… but it works!

  2. Thank you. This was inspired by the library at Chestnut Hill College. They need a renovation but I hope they don’t lose the perfect 1950’s look they have.

  3. That’s rather how I think of it too. A polished gem of some kind. I’ve always thought haiku was meant to be about nature and natural observations. Just me being needlessly traditionalist probably.

  4. No, you are right, the traditional haiku is focused on nature. For me, I found the form to be perfect for distilling bits of everyday life – maybe that’s my version of nature – including manmade objects and what people are doing around me.

  5. Actually, your distillations are natural. The urban world is our environment after all and it didn’t exist when the haiku form was invented. It shapes the way we see things. I love the way you attribute human feelings to inanimate objects.

  6. Thank you. You know, I think I was school aged before I understood that others didn’t think objects had feelings (that sounds odd, I knew they didn’t talk and so on, but I did think they had their own sense of being). I kept my mouth shut about it as I did get the impression it would be better to, but I’m older now and don’t worry about it, I just enjoy living in a highly populate world.

  7. And when librarians do it (as was the case in the situation that prompted me to write this) it is slightly creepy, and I don’t know why, exactly, except that the library was SO quiet, and the sun SO warm in the lobby, and then…the pencil…it was kind of jolting. I felt the librarian might be letting out some feeling there in this way, almost. Poor pencil…

  8. Now you mention it, although it was for different reasons, I have early memories of keeping quiet about things I understood were probably not mainstream. Funny how even small children know when to keep secrets.

  9. Exactly how I felt. I was sitting in the stacks at Chestnut Hill College for this one and I felt I was interrupting the books in their private lives.

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