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triveni spotlight: 29th january

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



graduation day—

my son & I side by side

knotting our ties


Lee Gurga Woodnotes #30, Autumn 1996


About the poem:

Another classic haiku from the pages of Woodnotes. How many fathers and sons have shared a moment like this? How many mothers and daughters and sisters can empathize with this moment with their own shared rituals? A brilliant touch to this poem is the use of the ampersand instead of “and”—the shape itself being like the tying of ties. If we are to be like the ideal reader of Henry James, on whom “nothing is lost,” we will notice these subtleties in the best haiku. The interwoven “ties” here are not just neckwear but intergenerational.


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


A lovely poem and an in-depth analysis! Loved the many interpretations the poem conveys.

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Jan 30, 2023

I love this haiku. And enjoyed it as much reading it today.

Thanks, Michael, your write-up is amazing. Most poignant. _()_


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Billie Dee
Billie Dee
Jan 29, 2023

Thanks so much Michael. Every poem in this presentation top-notch and beautifully reviewed. See you next time in Seabeck.


---Billie

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lakshmi iyer
lakshmi iyer
Jan 29, 2023

Lovely write up.


"A brilliant touch to this poem is the use of the ampersand instead of “and”—the shape itself being like the tying of ties."


Beautiful!!!

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Bonnie J Scherer
Bonnie J Scherer
Jan 29, 2023

What a lovely write-up about the poem! I did not pick up on how the shape of the ampersand imitates the knot in a tie. So I really appreciate the instruction to pay close attention to the content of a poem. 🙂

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