Daily Haiku: March 24, 2017


blood red tulips
I want a man
to write me a poem

by Susan Antolin, Author
Artichoke Season



About Charlotte Digregorio

I publish books. I have marketed and/or published 55 titles. These books are sold in 46 countries to bookstores, libraries, universities, professional organizations, government agencies, and book clubs. I recently received an Official Commendation from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for my thirty-eight years of accomplishments in the literary arts, and my work to promote and advance the field by educating adults and students alike. I am the author of five non-fiction books: Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All; Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Homes; You Can Be A Columnist; Beginners' Guide to Writing & Selling Quality Features; and Your Original Personal Ad. The first four books have been adopted as supplemental texts at universities throughout the U.S., Canada, India, Pakistan, and Catalonia. They are sold in 43 countries, and are displayed in major metropolitan cultural centers. These books have been reviewed, recommended, and praised by hundreds of critics, librarians, and professors worldwide. I am also the author of a poetry collection: "Shadows of Seasons: Selected Haiku and Senryu." Two of my books have been Featured Selections of Writer's Digest Book Club. I am regularly interviewed by major print, radio, and television organizations throughout the U.S. I regularly sign books at libraries, chain bookstores, and university bookstores, and do poetry readings at art centers, cafes, tea houses, and galleries. I was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry. I have won forty-seven poetry awards, writing twelve poetic forms. My poetry has been translated into eight languages. I do illustrated solo poetry exhibits 365 days a year in libraries, galleries, corporate buildings, hospitals, convention centers, and other venues. My individual poems have been displayed at supermarkets, apparel and wine shops, banks, botanic gardens, restaurants, and on public transit. I have been nominated and listed in "The International Authors and Writers Who's Who" in Cambridge, England and in the "Who's Who In Writers, Editors & Poets U.S./Canada." I hosted my own radio program, "Poetry Beat," on public broadcasting. My poetry has been featured on several library web sites including those of Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana and Cornell University's Mann Library. My background includes positions as a feature editor and columnist at daily newspapers and as a magazine editor. I have been a public relations director for a non-profit organization. I am self-employed as a public relations/marketing consultant, having served a total of 118 clients in 23 states for the past several decades . In other professional areas, I have been on university faculties, teaching French, Italian, and Writing. I regularly give lectures and workshops on publishing, journalism, publicity, poetry, and creativity to business and professional groups, and at writer's conferences, universities, literary festivals, non-profit organizations, and libraries. I have been a writer-in-residence at universities. There have been about 400 articles written about me in the media. I have served on the Boards of writers and publishers organizations. My positions have included Board Secretary of the Northwest Association of Book Publishers. I served for five years as Midwest Regional Coordinator of The Haiku Society of America, and for two years as its Second Vice President.
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8 Responses to Daily Haiku: March 24, 2017

  1. Joseph Kirschner says:

    I am lost here. l can’t relate line one to what follows. Joe Kirschner

    • To me, Susan is describing true love, like bleeding over the loss or absence of love in her life. The red tulips have the same affect on me as red roses. Wouldn’t it be nice to receive a love poem from someone? What do other readers think?

    • haikutec says:

      Hi Joseph,


      blood red tulips
      I want a man
      to write me a poem

      Susan Antolin
      Artichoke Season

      As Susan Antolin is an editor par excellence of the Acorn haiku magazine I can imagine she is well read both in haiku and tanka, including English-langauge versions that appear in this ground-breaking anthology:

      Tulips have been a symbol for love (romantic and spiritual) since the 13th Century, and “the gift of a red or yellow tulip was a declaration of love, the flower’s black center representing a heart burned by passion.’ – Wikipedia

      Machi Tawara, a tanka poet, who sold millions of copies of her first collection, had this tanka translated by A Long Rainy Season editors:

      bright as a tulip in bloom–
      take me
      in February.

      –Machi Tawara

      Translated directly from Japanese, it reads:

      tulip flower / bloom like / brightness / you me / carry away February

      But tulip is also a haikai seasonal reference aka kigo:

      Tulip (chuurippu, Japan)
      Location: Japan, worldwide
      Season: Late Spring
      Category: Plant

      Back to Susan’s

      blood red tulips
      I want a man
      to write me a poem

      There is nothing more romantic, in some ways, than a man wooing a woman with more than lazy all-nite supermarket flowers and chocolate. If a person wants to be a woman’s lover, go deeper, write a well-executed poem bearing your soul, but in controlled and non-flowery prosaic language.

      Karen, my wife, likes nothing better than if I write about her in haiku or tanka: We even a performance based around this. As red is the color of love with both roses and tulips, blood red suggests something beyond just mere idealised romance/love. This is a highly charged haiku, with precedent from both tanka poets, and also brave women poets of Japan’s 20th century, perhaps encouraged by Yosano Akiko (1878-1942) who wrote her first sexually charged tanka in 1901:

      You have yet to touch
      This soft flesh,
      This throbbing blood —
      Are you not lonely,
      Expounder of the Way?

      (yawahada no atsuki chishio ni furemomide
      sabishikarazuya michiwo toku kimi)

      See Simply Haiku article:
      Awakening Female Sexuality in Yosano Akiko’s Midaregami (Tangled Hair)
      by Hiromi Tsuchiya Dollase


      blood red tulips
      I want a man
      to write me a poem

      Not just red tulips but blood red, as blood is charging around our bodies in an intense anticipation. The second line is a straight forward wanting a lover, whether just as a fellow poet, as suggested by the last line, or something far more earthy, as suggested obliquely in the first line. A haiku to be not just through its three lines, but as four lines, reading the first line as also a last line, and to be honest, read perhaps in a continuous roll.


  2. annamaria48 says:

    I like it very much!

  3. Lovely!
    A wish on the wings of poems.

  4. janbentexas says:

    I’ve liked this poem since I first read it.

    For me, it is from or about a woman who has tried to negotiate subtly (in the past) her needs, that have not yet been acknowledged by her lover.

    This poem sounds an exasperated cry (written in her journal) for want of more. More intimacy, close attention?

    She has the unfortunate engagement with a lover who is not in search of all her buttons, which a good lover will always pursue, endlessly.

    I am quite relieved Susan has used haiku over tanka, as tanka (when let fly) can become boorish or crass, letting the reader too closely into the bed and bath of lovers! The reader should be sophisticated enough not to need graphic detail, as if one is in the same room peeping the unfolding activities.

    Ah, you may say that the origins of tanka were explicite invitations between lovers, and held as intimate triggers between then. And I would agree, and that is why there is so little evidence of the origin form of tanka!

    That said, the choice of blood red tulips is more than the lips of a flower, or face… This, is a frustrated woman, being as plain spoken as she dare.

    Her lover is so disconnected from her needs, he (as Ms. Antolin has declared “wanting a man”) will likely not even look for a diary.

    Senryu? Haiku?
    It is a worthy poem either way.

    Brava, Susan Antolin.

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