Conversation 22: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Keith Evetts

Keith Evetts headshot
Keith Evetts headshotIntroduction

Keith Evetts: I don’t like being photographed – the photo’s my i/d card in my prime – before I rhymed.   Retired, I’ve spent some of a varied life writing scientific and government papers, and more recently, local history research and stories.  I always loved poetry, wrote doggerel to amuse family and friends, then decided to take it more seriously.  Short-form poetry including haiku helps me focus on conveying image and thought succinctly – part of the toolkit.

 

I found The Daily Haiku in early July 2020.  Just the thing.  It’s a richly diverse group, but common threads are intelligence and sensitivity.  Humour and kindness too.  Although I’m by nature an outsider, there’s a family feel to TDH that’s a comfort as we share difficult times, and a wealth of knowledge and life experience that’s fascinating to the point of distraction.  Welcoming and nurturing  –  it’s sometimes difficult to get any constructive criticism simply because they don’t want to discourage you!  There are stimulating discussions and questions, and a flexible approach.

2

To write haiku I look around as I go, take notes, then immediately sit and think.  It’s meditative,  a cross-fertilisation of ideas – a useful haiku principle.  Decided on a basic idea, I remove it one or two stages into word images that can show what I mean without making it explicit, avoiding clichés or sententious statements.  The aim is to get readers to focus long enough to start thinking and interpreting the lines for themselves.  I’d rather they form an image in their own mind than provide a photograph that does their thinking for them.  Example:  I’m enjoying hot soup on a December day.  I shiver to hear drops of rain coming down the chimney.  I think of specks of soot and drips on an ember.  Removing that a step:

 

rain down the chimney  –

a dash more black pepper

in my hot soup

 

The day’s haiku.  They’ll work it out.

———————————–

there is a pattern

cutting and shaping haiku

there is a season

 

there may be also

a contrast of images  –

toriawase

 

no pause to look back –

leaves dying on the branches

a swallow takes flight

 

 

In a quiet place

simply start thinking. One thing

leads to another

 

don’t think ‘poetry’ –

your original thoughts themselves

make the reader think

 

seventeen syllables

just the maximum number

not a straitjacket

 

once in a while

we all come up with something

others will enjoy

 

Swallow with haiku

 

Marmite visual haiku Keith Evetts

 

11 Comments on “Conversation 22: THE DAILY HAIKU Interviews: Keith Evetts”

  1. What a wonderful conversation! Complex and clever when you choose and a real heart-catcher with so many of your haiku. Thank you for being a part of this group. You enlighten me and have me looking up words all the time. Looking forward to many more from you.

  2. Keith, I love your inclusion and exclusion of what is and what is not said with words. I admire the purity of your words without photos. Your long-form poems are a lovely contrast to the 17 syllable haiku. Thank you for your good work and for encouraging others who are “learning out loud.”

  3. I am enjoying these interviews because I like to glimpse into other writer’s minds. Keith, you have a great approach to haiku and I suspect you know quite a lot about them. I enjoy your humour and your more serious poems. ❤👩‍🦰🧡🦊💛

  4. I am truly touched by these encouraging comments. I was never before part of a writers’ circle let alone the ‘world of poetry.’ Unattracted by much of the contemporary poetry I see, I have until lately been writing in almost a vacuum. Since I joined TDH it has been thrilling to find I can spark a laugh, a tear (especially a tear) or a deep thought occasionally – the feedback, the validation and help has been invaluable. Some companionship on a lonely path, in a way. Thank you, all.
    ——————
    November
    I prefer my clouds
    separated

  5. Keith, you’ve become an integral and valued member of this lovely group. You provide us with lessons on different forms of poetic form, as well as humour and sensitivity. So glad you’re there.

  6. Bravo Keith for a professed outsider you have become a key member of THE DAILY HAIKU family, your engagement, your wit, your desire to push the envelope, to discuss, explore, experiment is all much appreciated. Reading your work is always a welcome surprise, always moving, changing… Thank you.

  7. the narrowing stream
    after a life all at sea
    to spawn some poems

    ——

    lakeside reflection
    by staring at the surface
    no ripple is made

  8. Really enjoyed learning more about your process, Keith. I didn’t realise you must have joined at more or less the same time as I did, as you seem such an established member!

  9. Thanks Keith, I love your gentle words about TDH and how we are too kind to criticize. I am always keen to read your take on the theme – sometimes way over my head but a welcome challenge. I think your desire to push the envelope, as Amanda puts it, prompts me, and others I’m sure, to aim higher which is a real skill and an asset to the group.

  10. hi Keith – your pepper in soup haiku is the perfect example of how to Haiku.
    And yes to the reader forming their own image.
    Your work often makes me pause and think again. tom

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