Thursday, October 3, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Yellow Sun Haiku by Rebecca Drouilhet

English Original

Mississippi autumn...
the last question that remains
and this yellow sun
(for Rod McKuen)

Rebecca Drouilhet

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

密西西比秋天 ...

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

密西西比秋天 ...

Bio Sketch

Rebecca Drouilhet is a fifty seven year old retired registered nurse.  She first encountered and fell in love with haiku poetry when her mother used  it as part of her curriculum.  She taught classes for the intellectually gifted. Rebecca enjoy reading and writing haiku, playing word games and spending time with her large family.


  1. L1 sets the context, local and seasonal, while Ls 2&3 stir the reader's emotions and reflection.

    Rebecca's skillful use of a dedication successfully sets up an intertextual framework upon which the reader can write his/her other half poem.

  2. Reply from Rebecca:

    It was inspired by a poem from the old songwriter Rod McKuen. I don't remember the name of the poem anymore, but he wrote: this yellow sun is not of my choosing/ I am disposed toward kinder things...

    Today, when I went out here at the end of September I felt the radiant warmth of a strong yellow sun. I moved away from Mississippi, but chose to come back so, I guess this yellow sun (which can be so merciless in summer) is of my choosing....

    I notice when I write haiku that the spring and summer seasons of Mississippi roughly coincide with the spring and summer seasons in this hemisphere. However, our autumns are muted in color and quite warm all the way until the end of October. By winter, we are clearly out of sync with the winter images of most other parts of the country...

    After writing this haiku, I googled Rod McKuen and found that the critics were unanimous in their contempt for Rod McKuen's poetry although some of his work in the field of music received critical acclaim. It was, however, noted that the common people had loved him. The article gave examples of some of his poetry, and the poems in the article were pretty awful. I just remember that he had a gritty streak of honesty and a note of pathos that was easy to identify with. I also remember something he said about the month in which he was born. He wrote: "April is the only month man need not ask God for miracles or transformations. They come unsolicited and everywhere." I like the idea of writing a tribute haiku for Rod McKuen. I think of his lines about 'this yellow sun' every year especially in the merciless Mississippi heat of August. In my poem, the sun is a little mellower, however.