in the attic the patter
of mice

11 Responses

  1. Marilyn Hazelton Says:

    Lovely! I know those stones and I know those mice . . .

  2. Alan Summers Says:

    in the attic the patter
    of mice

    —Jane Reichhold

    I enjoyed the playfulness of 'in' so that I don't know if it was just hailstones in the attic (very alarming) or mice in the attic, or hailstones on the roof, plus mice in the attic, perhaps tap dancing in rhythm to the mice.

    Brings an animalistic twist to Singin' in the Rain. :-)

    warm regards,


  3. haikuapprentice Says:

    I am so glad I discovered Tinywords. It is like being invited to a great modern renga party, in which so many of the greatest haiku poets of our language are participating!

    Jane Reichhold, it is an honour and a joy to have an opportunity to share my response to your work today.

    Jane's book "Basho The Complete Haiku" is for me the definitive sourcebook for that poet's work, and really guided my understanding of Basho the poet as well as his transformation of the form. Her humility is evident in her translations and in her commentary. Her own voice is quiet and respectful in that book.

    But now I get to hear Jane speaking poetic words for herself, and I must say it confirms the premise of my own blogging website that reading and really studying the haiku of great poets is a path to poetic achievement. Jane has been immersed in perhaps the greatest of the historic haiku poets, and I sense she has imbibed the famous "karumi" or "lightness" invented by Basho.

    The strong opening line certainly grabs my attention and sets a certain expectation of what is to follow. A storm, perhaps. Mentally I look up to the roof. But then – a delightful line of onomatopoeia matches the sound of pattering above our head. And the surprise at the end – inverting our expectations it is some mice which make the pattering, themselves disturbed no doubt by the sudden downpour. A playfulness in this poem which matches the "hailstone" poem by Basho (number 23 in Jane's book). And a spirituality of acceptance, of openess, of deep sympathy with nature and her creatures that is akin to Basho's own. One of my favourite Basho poems is this one (number 891 in her book):

    baby sparrows
    exchange voices with
    rats in the nest

    It is a pleasure to meet you here Jane. Thank you for sharing your own work with us.


  4. madhurip Says:

    ah, lovely haiku, vivid, I could actually visualise the scene. Thank you.

  5. Jan Dobb Says:

    Thank you, Jane. The sounds of those mice are indeed haiku provoking!

    frosty stars
    the crackles of mice
    in the ceiling

    (paper wasp 17:3, 2011)

  6. Alan Summers Says:


    Despite meeting lots of mice both in Queensland and Wiltshire I've written only one about the wee critters:

    late deadline
    keeping owl hours
    with the mice

    Alan Summers
    Publications credits: haijinx volume IV, issue 1 (2011)


  7. kalaramesh Says:

    Jane, I love your L 2.
    Good one!

  8. @Zirconium Says:

    laptop unplugged
    I rub grandma's forks

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  10. fynearts Says:

    in the attic the patter
    of mice

    —Jane Reichhold

    luverly … the middle line works with the first and third … there's a name for that – i am rusty (a long interruption from writing and reading) ..

    the patter of mice in the attic we get ….

    in the attic the patter

    hailstones patter in the attic – to me is the sound of it while one potters about the attic

    nonetheless … that switching between lines (and brain) works a treat !

    so nice to be reading wonderful short form again ; Gina

  11. @ngockonvang Says:

    I have been waiting for someone to share this post. This has actually made me think and I hope to read more. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

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