Renhai Reflections 45B: Leaving Behind


Leaving Behind
A Renhai by Jerry McKenzie (jm) & Vaughn Seward (vs)

A tuft of coyote
with a strand of horse hair —
barbed wire. /vs

Motionless ski-lift chair — /jm
a mit snagged in the rungs. /vs

Zipline view —
a wild goat vaults into
a dogwood thicket. /jm

Click here for notes and linking details:

[This Renhai was originally posted November 15, 2008. A reader suggested that the phrase "on a sliver" in verse 2 seemed to say too much and be too deliberate. The word "wild" in the final verse seemed as well be too deliberate.

I reviewed these comments with Jerry and we have come to the following decisions:

1. We agree that "sliver" says too much. We were trying to convey that the mit was left behind but not just laying there as the wind would have, over time, surely blown it away. We have decided to replace the second line with "a mit snagged in the rungs"

2. We envisioned that the zipline rider was in a wilderness setting here in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. We chose "wild goat" to distinguish it from a dometic one and as we wanted to emphasize the goat's wildness. The goat was perhaps surprised by the zipline rider and was making an effort to get away. We could have used "Mountain Goat" as this is the exact species we had in mind but it seemed unnecessary to name the species in this case as we feel it throws off the rhythm of the verse. We will therefore retain "wild goat"

Thanks to Patrick Gillespie (upinVermont) for making these suggestions.]


Devika said...

agree with the revisions and notes, Masago...

Renhai is more enjoyable.:)


upinVermont said...

I too agree that the first revision makes the poem stronger.

Interestingly, the zipline I envisioned was the last one I saw when taking my daughters to the birthday party of their friend, a girl who had just turned six. The children went down the zipline one after another, only tempted away by a birthday cake. The girl's mother raises goats and there was a kid (goat) who vaulted in & out of some hemlocks & juniper.

So this is the image that first occurred to me.

Omitting "wild" lends some playful ambiguity, allowing me to contrast the wildness of the first tercet with a kind of playful domesticity in the last. Not the effect the author was looking for, I understand, but a compelling one for me. However, given your stated aim, your choice makes sense.

Pamela said...

I like the rungs, too.

zipline is on my to do list. That is a good teaser.

Blog Author said...

Hello Masago,
Can I translate your haiku to spanish and post it in my blog?
I add the apropiate tag of your name and blog.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

this one is really interesting....

Masago said...

Thank you all for your comments and feedback.

Blog Author: Yes, that would be okay. Thank you.