The haikus

Since there were three entries, all of which I cherished, I’ll write a brief commentary on each.

First, offered by the brainy bZirk:

The turn of the head
Eyes unable to see him pine
Tea drinking divine

The turn of the head
Eyes unable to see him thirst
Tea drinking divine

The great strength of these, it seems to me, is the play on words around the meaning of “unable.” In the first, bZirk refers to Margaret’s inability to see Mr. Thornton’s distress, and in the second, her attentiveness to his empty teacup and inability to leave it unfilled. I love the choice of this metaphor because it seems to me that capacity/incapacity, esp. to notice things, is one of the primary axes of action in the film, and indeed for both main characters. In Margaret’s case, her inability to see certain things and her inability to overlook others is the capacity in her character that draws out the narrative and makes us interested in her development. I also like the way in which the first two lines of each stanza convey reciprocal motion between Mr. Thornton and Margaret.

Phylly3 offers this delightful summary of Mr. Armitage’s career:

I followed you from
North and South to Dibley and
Sherwood to the Grid.

On the way, I passed
Through Sparkhouse, seeking some warmth
For Cold Feet, Between the Sheets.

I understand why
The Impressionists paint such
Golden Hours of you.

This contribution is really quite masterful. Not only does it undertake the difficult work of incorporating the names of the productions in which Mr. Armitage has worked into the syllable scheme of the haiku, which taken alone would have been clever, it also incorporates a sense of building excitement over his work and the journey that the viewer takes while watching it, piece by piece. Finally, it avoids an overly literal or slavish adherence to the meanings of the words and uses them figuratively in an effective way–especially apparent with the use of “Golden Hours.”

The last really moving possibility was offered by Tracey:

Haiku Hopes & Dreams

Guy of my dream world
Dear John Thornton I adore
Harry I hope for

I think that this haiku is really potent and real, and it speaks to something in Mr. Armitage’s works that I have been pondering a lot since looking so closely at Dibley in the course of the Fanstravaganza: that is, the ways in which these roles speak to various things that I as a woman am looking for and thus projecting on to Mr. Armitage’s acting. Guy is quite obviously not real, and so the fantasies about him are the wildest. Thornton is more real, and more admirable, in that we can imagine actually interacting with him, but it’s sometimes hard to see how he would be as a partner. (I’ve always wondered, since he and Margaret have had so few friendly conversations before their kiss in the train station, whether they wouldn’t need relationship counseling to learn how to speak to each other without constant misunderstandings.) It’s better to adore him. But Harry is the one you want to meet.

Thanks to you all!

~ by Servetus on March 25, 2010.

4 Responses to “The haikus”

  1. Do you think I could get you to come to my house and speak to my kids? 😉


  2. about what? how great your haikus are? 🙂


  3. Wow… great poetry ladies!


  4. Thanks so much for your critique. It was very thoughtful and flattering as well. Creating Haikus, was so much fun that I found, it was hard to quit!


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