Friday, August 29, 2014

Cool Announcement: A New Release, Lighting a Path

My Dear Friends:

NeverEnding Story contributor Rebecca Drouilhet and her husband Robert Michael Drouilhet just published their first collection of haiku, titled Lighting a Path: 100 Haiku Poems by award-winning authors of the Deep South.

About the Authors:

Robert Michael Drouilhet is an administrative supervisor at a hospital in Slidell, Louisiana. His wife Rebecca Drouilhet is a retired registered nurse. Their work has appeared in numerous print journals and on-line publications. Rebecca won a Sakura award for her haiku in 2012, in the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational. In 2013, Robert Michael Drouilhet was awarded best in the U.S. for his haiku in that same contest. His work has also appeared in the British Snapshot Press Haiku Calendar.

Cover Art by their son Nicholas Drouilhet

Selected Haiku

the leaves
still falling...
Veteran's Day

Robert Michael Drouilhet

butterfly chasing butterfly
who knows
what dreams may com

Rebecca Drouilhet

winter rain
warped reflections
through the window

Robert Michael Drouilhet

winding river...
the time it takes
to catch my shadow

Rebecca Drouilhet

Below is one of my favorite haiku by  Rebecca Drouilhet:

eyes of the ancestors
the twinkle
in winter stars

NeverEnding Story, February 21, 2013
(authorial note: L1 refers to a North American Indian legend. The Inuit , formerly known as Eskimo, have a star legend that says the night sky is full of holes. After death the ancestors peer through the holes at the happenings on earth to keep an eye on the living.)


 i) Armed with Extra-Textual Knowledge

L1, “eyes of the ancestors,” refers to the centuries-old story told above, setting a thematic context for the poem. On the surface Ls 2&3 refer to this old story above; However, read in the socio-politico-economic context of the fate/destiny of North American aboriginal peoples, the use of a seasonal reference (winter), which successfully makes a thematic shift with a psychological bent, adds emotional weight to the poem. Most importantly, the “twinkle” is now layered with multiple meanings. This haiku is timely, emotionally poignant, and sociopolitically conscious.

ii) Without Extra-Textual Knowledge.

For most readers who live in urbanized environments, L1 doesn’t seem to be realistic or truthful due to the impossibility of physically seeing the eyes of one’s ancestors. Therefore, the reader is encouraged to read L1 symbolically, such as the window into the ancestral world.

And structurally speaking, L2, the twinkle, is well-placed, creating image play (twinkling eyes vs twinkling stars). This shift (from human to natural/scenic) creates a psychological effect on the reader’s mind: the disruption of semantic expectation.


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