Sunday afternoon . . .
I help my neighbor
take her top down


gK © 2002-3

About the author: gK is a member of the Southern California Haiku Study Group. Besides writing haiku, senryu, and tanka, gK also writes science fiction haiku (also known as scifaiku), and is a moderator for the scifaiku mailing list at Yahoo! Groups.


Responses to the haiku for 4 August 2003 by gK

    2003-08-04 17:44:28

    sounds like a good time to be had by all... I love gK's work, different interpretations abound.

    2003-08-05 04:18:29

    Here is the story behind my senryu/haiku:

    I have a neighbor who used to own an old Mustang convertible. About 6 months before she sold it the motor that moved the convertible top up and down quit working. On a nice hot summer afternoon she asked me to help her move the top from up to down -- it was a two person job. End of story.

    The Japanese language has many homophones (the same pronunciation but different characters) so it is easy to give haiku multiple layers of meaning (kake kotoba or "pivot word"). It is harder to do anything similiar in English, but it can be quite effective when it works. In this example, I am using a phrase that can have multiple meanings, instead of a single word.


    R K Singh
    2003-08-05 05:11:27

    simply lovely.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-05 12:19:08

    gk has provided us with an interesting subject, the "kake kotoba"

    matsu  (pine)

    "learn of the pine from the pine, of the bamboo from the bamboo."
    matsuo bassho

    i would like to go further in detail, but not now. the above being "food for thought"

    H. Gene Murtha (Genemurt at cs dot com)
    2003-08-05 17:47:43

    this is nice Greg, just wish that you submitted
    more of your work, I really enjoy it.

    All the best,


    2003-08-06 05:43:59

    JAPANESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY OF JAPANESE CULTURE, Setsuko Kojima and Gene A. Crane, Heian International, 0-89346-336-1

    kakekotoba: a paronomasia; a kind of pun; the use of a word in such a way as to suggest two or more different meanings, found particularly in Japanese short verses. The Japanese language contains countless homophones. Taking advantage of this, Japanese short verses depend largely on the effect of _katekotoba_, which compress many images and subtle shadings with a minimum of expression. For example, the use of the word _matsu_, meaning "pine tree", can also suggest the feeling of _matsu_, "to wait", blending the two ideas with a single word. When such use of a word achieves a humorous effect in everyday language, it is also called _share_.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-06 08:32:13

    wednesday evening

    as gk mentions, "matsu the term, common for the pine tree, is a kake-kotoba", humor for (expectations), or in some cases feeling (a deep desire). have we heard of "to pine for", same difference. i like, "to watch for", or even "to crave".

    kake kotoba is not really hard to do, if one takes the time; of late, i rarely see it done by authors, sadly.

    there are a world of, as we used to say, homonyms in the english language. rather than follow the exactness of the style in japanese, i feel it is more than acceptable to use one's common language and idiosyncrasies, and from this the haiku can grow.

    rain/rain, one being the wet stuff, and the other being that which pours down on one, not necessarily the wet stuff, a wealth of material here

    cloud/cloud: once again, that which is related to nature, the other being to overshadow. some interesting thoughts here

    next time, i'll discuss gk's presentation

    Michael Meyerhofer (angry_seraph at yahoo dot com)
    2003-08-06 17:19:52

    An excellent, playful haiku that functions well regardless of which meaning you wish to draw from it... well done.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-07 01:09:36

    the "haiku" from days before...

    "sunday afternoon" seemed safe enough.

    as i began to read the following lines, thoughts came to mind, "do not follow the footsteps of the old masters, but rather seek what they sought...", and in doing so, go backwards rather than forward

    reminded of this, i was left up the creek without a paddle, as for gk's intentions of:

    "i helped my neighbor
    take her top down",

    even with the explanation given.

    i see more of a statement about heroism, on a sunday afternoon

    a haiku draws on imagery taken from "careful observation" and/or even "participation", requiring an active mind on the part of the reader

    a haiku evokes mood and emotion.

    a haiku demands quiet attention, needing perception and meditation.

    a haiku, in my opinion, exhibits simplicity with depth

    a rewrite:

    sunday afternoon
    inoperable convertible top
    neighbor's plight

    the end

    2003-08-07 13:55:21

    Greg - I got a chuckle out of this one & I agree with Gene - I wish you'd submit more of your poems since I always enjoy them when you read them at the Southern California Haiku Study Group meetings.

    Bob - The trouble with your rewrite is that it loses the double meaning. Is gK actually helping her with her convertible top or perhaps her blouse? Your re-write solves this intriguing little mystery and we are worse off for knowing.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-09 07:35:27

    sigh, too many shallow thinkers, even when things appear obvious.

    deborah, an assumption on your part the convertible being a car. things called something else adds to one's creative thinking.
    if you are worse off for knowing, then one has only one's self to blame. you remind me of the individual who cries out about a movie, book, or whatever, "why did you tell me the ending". even in being told the ending, there should be enough wisdom or curiosity in an individual to still being led to think about how it ended, resulting in one seeing the hasty assumption, made by other's as to, in this case, the film maker's meaning.

    by no mean am i trying to be vindictive, deborah, at times it comes out appearing that way; yes, deborah, a "DOUBLE MEANING".

    don't think there isn't more coming...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-08-09 07:40:13

    here we go...

    deborah, on gk's piece, i failed to make an instantaneous observance, sooooooo, in my rewrite, you may feel some of the mystery was removed, but think about it.

    if anyone takes the time to read my words, or even to reread my words, then one would see there is usually a compliment hidden within, until that person becomes pompous, feeling insulted. THEN, the mystery is cleared up, the writer wasn't really a writer, merely a "wannabe"

    "thin skin
    to shallow thinker"

    deborah can you critique the above; and please, don't think the obvious.

    in addition to what i have said, deborah and others, my usage of the word "vindictive" is not the meaning you normally associate with it;
    however, if you make that assumption, have at it.

    think it over...