where willows weave shadows the receding river

18 Responses

  1. Mary Kendall Says:

    I love the imagery and the alliteration that flows when you read this aloud. I know that the purists amongst us say not to use poetic devices in haiku, but it is used so perfectly here in your verse that no one could object. Well done. Be well, healthy and safe. ~ Mary

  2. Padma Says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful take on my poem, Mary! Take care ~ Padma

  3. haikuapprentice Says:

    With respect Mary, what "purists" do you refer to who would allege alliteration is not part of "pure" haiku?

    I personally consider the "purest" exponents of haiku would be the classical Japanese "four" greats – Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki, and they used alliterative devices in their works when it suited them:

    For instance Basho:
    utagau na
    ushiro no hana mo
    ura no haru

    do not be in doubt –
    even the flowers of the tides
    have spring in the inlets

    And Shiki:
    samukaroo kayukaroo hito ni aitakaroo

    you must be cold
    you must be itching
    you must long to see people

    I agree with Karen Butterworth, in English-language haiku:
    "Alliteration can be a tribute to the music of language, and works that way as long as it does not distract from what the words say"

    Padma's verse definitely meets that criteria

  4. Mary Says:

    Oh dear, perhaps I shouldn’t have left my comment. I absolutely love this haiku and the alteration is a big part of it. It flows lyrically through the mind, breath ad voice. Consider me chastised for thinking alliteration wasn’t encouraged in English language haiku. What do I know? You’ve read the great masters in Japanese while I cannot do that. In English translations it must be very different. Personally. Love alliteration and many other literary devices. In haiku, due to the brevity and nature of the verse, we are all careful to never overdo any of them. Karen Butterworth’s quote is excellent. Surely you must see that I love the poem for this reason. So, do forgive my ignorance. Parma knows I love her poem.

  5. haikuapprentice Says:

    Mary, I certainly didn't intend to chastise you! I could sense your enthusiasm for the verse. And I am glad you commented – it is important to feel free to comment on this site especially when we read something which moves us!

    My reply was intended more to reassure other, perhaps new writers of our beloved poetry form, that there is no prohibition against alliteration. I want poets exploring haiku not to be encumbered with imaginary "rules" or prohibitions, and to reassure them that if they are inspired with a verse which alliterates delightfully, they should not cross it out and start again simply on that basis.

    I wish you peace and look forward to seeing more comments from you in the future! (and hopefully some of your own submissions)


  6. Padma Says:

    I am absolutely certain that you love my poem. Please do not hesitate to leave comments/critique. I t is such a wonderful feeling to know that my poem is being read. I am a rather new comer to the world of haiku, only 5-6 yrs since I started publishing my poems. I really appreciate comments and suggestions. Thank you again for taking time to read and leave a comment for my poem.~ Padma

  7. Alan Summers Says:

    Mary, you use wonderful poetic devices. I use them a lot, and on our courses we encourage all approaches to haiku, as you know.

    Just continue being you, and enjoy the journey. I still am, and still learning!

    Miss you, it was so wonderful meeting you in person.


  8. Padma Says:

    Thank you for the illuminating explanation about alliteration in haiku.

  9. Padma Says:

    Thank you so much!

  10. kalaramesh Says:

    Absolutely stunning one-line ku.
    where willows weave shadows the receding river

    i love the alliteration here. Masterly!

  11. Padma Says:

    Thank you so much, Kala! I am so glad you liked it.

  12. Vidya Venkatramani Says:

    Beautiful monoku with alliteration! Sounds so good ! And weaves a magical image

  13. Padma Says:

    Thanks a lot, Vidya!

  14. Venugopalan Nair Says:

    So lyrical and hence so lovely too. The ku flows in the shadow of the poetic device used so skilfully. Heartiest congrats to Padma Thampatty!

  15. Padma Says:

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate that you took time to read and comment on my poem here.

  16. Guest Says:

    It is no often that the poems from tinywords move me enough to reply to them, but this is one such occasion. This is a magnificent piece. I like poems that open up as you experience them and think about them. Thank you for creating it and sharing it with us.

  17. Padma Says:

    Thank you so much!! I am truly honored by your comment. ~Padma

  18. Padma Says:


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