Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hot News: Haiku/Tanka Reprinted in 60 E-Papers and BackStories Behind Seamus Heaney’s Haiku

My Dear Readers/Poets:

Launched on the first day of 2013, NeverEnding Story reached another milestone today:  its haiku/tanka have been regularly reprinted in 60 e-papers, four of which are Japanese. The newest members are The Mindful News Daily edited by Jeanette Patindol, TVVH_Urban Review: The Lit Daily edited by Jeff Casselman, PoemWatch Poetry News edited by FJustin Germino, Lighthouse edited by Noemie Goessne, The PoetryTree SUNDAY EDITION edited by Renee Sigel, Haunted Poetry edited by Morgan Dragonwillow, and The Nature__Lover Daily edited by Nature_lover. For more information, see Hot News: Haiku/Tanka Reprinted in More Than Half A Hundred E-Papers and its comment section.


Pageviews yesterday: 203
Pageviews last month: 5866
Most-read post last month: Dark Wings of Night: Seamus Heaney and His View of Haiku (posted on Aug. 31), 227

And I just added the backstories behind Heaney’s haiku to the 'Dark Wings of Night' post:

In The Japanese Effect in Contemporary Irish Poetry, Irene De Angelis gives the backstory behind Heaney's haiku below (p. 30): Heaney wrote it after a small accident when he fell on a icy pavement in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and hurt his knee.

1.1. 87

Dangerous pavements…
but this year I face the ice
with my father’s stick

Below is excerpted from Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney by Dennis O'Driscoll, pp. 212-3.

Helicopters and roadblocks have appeared regularly in your poems, Were you especially aggrieved by British army patrols of that sort?

One half of me would be saying, "They're only a bunch of squaddies doing their job; as individuals, they'd sooner be at home in Leeds or wherever -- they're here because of the IRA's threat to life and limb." But another half rebelled when I'd turn a corner and there were the armoured cars blocking the road, marksmen in the hedge, soldiers in warpaint manning the checkpoint. A lot depended on the manners of the individuals you were dealing with. But the truth of the matter was that they were deployed to keep you in your place, their comrades had shot down people in Derry and they could basically do what they liked. The disgrace of the army comes from the way the higher-ups protected the low-downs. leaving aside the scandal of Bloody Sunday, there were those cases where soldiers who'd shot innocent people and were found guilty of it got a token sentence and then were readmitted, smirking, to the ranks. In cases like that, the contempt for the nationalist people, the contempt for justice, told you what you were dealing with.

At that point you just wanted to say, "To hell with them." And it wasn't the squaddies from Leeds you'd be thinking about, but the Loyalist element in the Scottish regiments and the blond-voiced top brass in the officers' mess. For twenty years and more, every time I drove up from Dublin into Tyrone and Derry, I always felt a kind of generalized menace on the lonelier bits of the roads: you knew the countryside was full of clandestine activity, not just by the paramilitaries on both sides, but by the undercover operations of groups like the SAS. I remember doing a haiku about it:

Springtime in Ulster:
aerials in hedges, squawk
of walkie-talkies

Many thanks to all of you who have helped NeverEnding Story grow in any way.


Updated: Seamus Heaney's last words to his wife -- Noli timere. Don't be afraid. 

Below is excerpted from Michael's Essay: Seamus Heaney's last words to his wife

In the course of the funeral tributes, his son Michael told the mourners that a few minutes before he died, the poet sent a message, in Latin, to his wife Marie. It said simply: "Noli Timere --- Don't be afraid."
Poets know about human pain and human fear.

It is part of their mandate to write about our fears, not necessarily to assuage them, but only to describe them accurately so that we know what we are dealing with.
We seem to be steeped in fear these days, marinating in the uncertainty that something dreadful is about to happen.
Not just the existential fear of death and what may or may not come after. Not just extinction.
The old worry about their physical deterioration and loss of dignity and sense and yes, pensions.
The young worry about their future. People with jobs fear losing them. People without a job fear that they will never again enjoy the pleasures of honorable work.

Updated, September 17

The newest member is Moon Dust Daily edited by Leslie Moon


  1. 54 The Mindful News Daily edited by Jeanette Patindol

    55 TVVH_Urban Review: The Lit Daily edited by Jeff Casselman

    56 PoemWatch Poetry News edited by FJustin Germino

    57 Lighthouse edited by Noemie Goessne

    58 The PoetryTree SUNDAY EDITION edited by Renee Sigel

    59 Haunted Poetry edited by Morgan Dragonwillow

    60 The Nature__Lover Daily edited by Nature_lover.