Thursday, November 23, 2023

Butterfly Dream: Thanksgiving Table Haiku by Ignatius Fay

English Original

thanksgiving table
for one
leftover chicken

Frogpond, 43:2, Spring/Summer 2020

Ignatius Fay

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified) 


Bio Sketch

Ignatius Fay was a retired invertebrate paleontologist. His poems has appeared in many of the most respected online and print journals, including The Heron’s NestModern HaikuArs Poetica, Gusts,Chrysanthemum and Eucalypt. Books: Breccia (2012), a collaboration with fellow haiku poet, Irene Golas; Points In Between (2011), an anecdotal history of his first 23 years. He was the editor of the Haiku Society of America Bulletin


  1. Ls 1&2 show a lonely Thanksgiving scene that might take place in a soup kitchen or church basement, which reminds me of the following remark:

    "To give thanks in solitude is enough." Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.

    -- Victor Hugo

    However, unexpected yet visually and emotionally poignant L3 makes the following remark timely and truthful:

    Sometimes lonely isn't being alone, "it's the feeling that no one cares."

    Here are my responses in the form of a timely and sociopolitically conscious senryu :-) as well as an email-style tanka.

    Thanksgiving Senryu:

    nonstop back and forth
    between thanksgiving and truthgiving ...
    a pile of leftovers

    FYI: The Nation, The Debate, Nov. 20: Should America Keep Celebrating Thanksgiving?: Sean Sherman argues that we need to decolonize Thanksgiving, while Chase Iron Eyes calls for replacing Thanksgiving with a “Truthsgiving.”

    For many Americans, the image of Thanksgiving is one of supposed unity: the gathering of “Pilgrims and Indians” in a harmonious feast. But this version obscures the harsh truth, one steeped in colonialism, violence, and misrepresentation.

    Thanksgiving’s roots are intertwined with colonial aggression. One of the first documented “Thanksgivings” came in 1637, after the colonists celebrated their massacre of an entire Pequot village.

    Thanksgiving Tanka:

    Subject: thanksgiving alone
    To: my drunken self
    From: me
    alive again
    in this broken world

    1. I wonder if the following "day after Thanksgiving" tanka might work better:

      Day after Thanksgiving Tanka:

      Re.: thanksgiving alone
      To: my drunken self
      From: me
      Date: November 24
      alive in this broken world