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triveni spotlight: 15th january

triveni spotlight A FEATURE EVERY ALTERNATE DAY! hosts: Teji Sethi and Kala Ramesh GUEST EDITOR: Michael Dylan Welch



fields flooded—

beneath the surface, somewhere,

the river bends


Christopher Herold Woodnotes #17, Summer 1993



About the poem:

Another classic haiku from Woodnotes. This poem dwells in the now of the flood but with an awareness of the past—where the river used to be. It’s perhaps also a poem of trust, knowing that the flood will abate, and the river’s shape will return. But for now, the poet knows that the river, as with everything else he still trusts in times of calamity, is still there.



Note by the Editor

Woodnotes triveni spotlight


by Michael Dylan Welch


From 1989 to 1997, in various capacities, I edited or helped to edit Woodnotes, the quarterly journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and in 1996 I took on the journal independently before replacing it with my new journal Tundra. I lived in the San Francisco area for more than a dozen years and was active with HPNC from its first year in 1989 until I moved north to Seattle in 2002. Working on Woodnotes with such coeditors as vincent tripi, Ebba Story, Christopher Herold, and Paul O. Williams was a fine education in the art of haiku. The following are selections of favourite haiku and senryu from the journal’s 31 issues, with brief commentary. These poems are expressions of wonder, or as Billy Collins once described haiku, they exhibit “existential gratitude.” In return, I am deeply grateful for the thousands of poems published in Woodnotes over the years, and the hundreds of poets who contributed to the journal’s success. * * * * * This month is going to be a treat for our members. _()_ Thank you so much, Michael.

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5 Comments


Interesting thought to suggest "flooded fields," Kanji. However, I believe that would shift emphasis to the fields, which is why I think the poem is better with "fields flooded" to put emphasis on the flooding. Always good to consider and reconsider word order, image orger, and line order in haiku, though.

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Kanji Dev
Kanji Dev
Jan 15, 2023

Thank you, this is very beautiful! Though I humbly feel 'flooded fields' in L1 would give more impact _()_

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Jan 15, 2023

Thanks for the lovely poem and loved the notes beneath each poem that clarified everything.

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Jan 15, 2023

Beautiful poem. I've always admired the way Christopher writes.

Thanks Michael for this beaut.

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A beautiful poem and so tuned to the moment when many places around the world are in flood.

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