in silence
we toss out bread crumbs 
for the ducks

—Charles Trumbull

Previously published in From a Kind Neighbor (1997 HSA Members Anthology)

About the author: Charles Trumbull is an editor for Encyclopaedia Britannica and lives in Evanston, Illinois. He has been writing haiku since 1991. He was editor (1996-2002) of the Haiku Society of America Newsletter, president of the HSA in 2004 and 2005, and an organizer of the Haiku North America 1999 conference. He is currently editor of Modern Haiku and proprietor of Deep North Press, a publisher of haiku books.

No Web page yet; e-mail: trumbullc at comcast dot net

Responses to the haiku for 18 September 2003 by Charles Trumbull

    Julie Pisacane (julpisacane at yahoo dot com)
    2003-09-18 21:33:41

    You've captured
    a fond memory
    from my time.

    Michael Meyerhofer (angry_seraph at yahoo dot com)
    2003-09-18 23:56:05

    This haiku gave me the image of two people in an awkward silence--perhaps two lovers in a failing marriage--turning their attention to feeding ducks instead.

    Not sure if that's what was intended... If you were trying to emphasize just the quietness of a moment spent feeding ducks, I don't think I quite got that (maybe expand to a tanka if that's your intention). If you have any questions about my comments, feel free to email me and maybe I can clarify a bit!

    don socha
    2003-09-19 11:14:27

    I agree with Michael about may be re-working this into tanka or some other form. The reason I say this, however, is because, for me, the three lines of a haiku are most successful when not readable as a single sentence.

    paul m.
    2003-09-19 16:40:52

    I feel there is an effective cut here between the first line and the rest. I like the distinction between the silence (what the couple is willing to give to themselves) and the crumbs they are giving to the ducks. A quiet poem that speaks volumes. Nicely done!

    2003-09-20 06:43:53

    I think that both Michael and don are misreading this one. What couple would ever go duck feeding when they are mad at each other? I see a couple who are so content with each other and are so used to each other's ways that no words are necessary. I also see a contentment in the simple pleasures of feeding ducks.

    Although I think that "in silence" works well for this particular haiku, part of the problem may be, as Paul O. Williams mentioned in his 1993 essay, "The Question of Words in Haiku" (in Frogpond and then "The Nick of Time"), is that "silence" is a word that has been overused in haiku.


    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-09-20 13:00:01

    a sentence
    try a one liner
    even two lines
    even remake, three liner

    bits and pieces from each line

    1. "in silence (we)..." speaking earlier or lost in thought

    2. juxtapose nor cutting, establishing a clear continuation of l1 into l2 into l3

    3. "we tossed out bread crumbs", hmmm, a ploy for tidbits of conversing amidst the "we"

    or food

    4. "for the ducks"

    (slang, any person) or even "the lowering of one's head", tying in of earlier premises

    conceivably jane reichhold, "from your experience, you allow the reader/listener to relate with a (similar) experience of (their own)".

    personal interpretations

    a. an argument

    b. needing silence(meditation or not to scare off)

    c. feeding the duck or ducking the issues

    take your pick

    surrendering it's (sentence structure), conceivably it could be a haiku, though it presents a challenge.

    there's room for clarifiers

    lana b
    2004-05-22 17:05:24

    winter morning
    seagulls are feasting
    on storm remains

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-07-19 15:54:50

    crossing midnight -
    can't run from memories
    crickets seem to ask why


    Vasile Moldovan
    2009-01-12 05:03:00

    noisy lunch-
    the ducks dip
    in the gravy

    2009-01-29 19:37:38

    out of the darkness
    this soliloquy--
    the shuffle of feet