Lyles & John Stevenson
deciding on which authors to compare for this assignment,
I wanted two that could capture almost the same moment, but
present it in a different way from the other. John Stevenson
has a way with words. He has the ability to immerse his reader
into the scenes that he has depicted for them. Each haiku
is written with such a vividness and clarity, which allows
the reader to become part of his experience. You, as the reader
feel his emotions, see his visions, and live his experiences
over and over again, just as if they were your own. You feel
comfortable in experiencing these moments along with the author
because of his chosen subject matter and writing style. The
words of John Stevenson are simply a reflection of an ordinary
moment, conveyed in the simplest terms.
Lyles has somewhat of a different approach to writing haiku
than the one mentioned above. Ms. Lyles seems to write traditional
haiku with an innovative twist. She prefers to focus on the
senses, such as sight, taste, smell, touch, or sound, while
also presenting a seasonal element in most of her writings.
She, too, has a clarity and vividness about her writing. Every
time I read it, I become part of her moment and her world.
Although not in the simplest terms, she conveys a simple moment.
She removes herself from her experience, and allows readers
to imagine it for themselves. These two authors are nothing
less than admirable haiku writers.
what a tree costs
Some of the Silence, p.48
my small son asks
who made God
Lyles, To Hear the Rain, p.57
two haiku portray a very similar idea. Within the first haiku,
by Stevenson, I picture a father and his son out on a walk
in the park. This is a very casual and relaxing walk where
the two are spending quality time together. During the walk,
the child is admiring the trees, and he wants to know how
much one costs. This could be an awkward situation for some
parents, just for the simple fact that you arent prepared
to answer, or aware of the answer, to this type of question.
Although this is an awkward type of question, it is presented
in a light way. The clarity of Stevensons emotions is
apparent through this haiku. I see him dealing with this situation
maybe with a little humor. This haiku is not one that shows
an everyday experience for Stevenson, but I believe it does
show the simple terms that he uses to capture a moment.
style of Peggy Lyles is somewhat different than that of Stevenson.
Within her haiku, I picture a mother and her small son in
their car in the heart of a heavy traffic jam. The mother
is a little irritated, and at her maximum point of frustration,
he proposes a question. He asks her who made God. This too
can be an awkward question for a parent to answer. I believe
that after this question, she feels not only trapped in the
traffic jam, but also trapped by this question. Although this
is different from her normal style of removing herself from
the haiku, I think it still works well for her. You feel trapped
just like the mother, but you also feel the curiosity of the
small child. The reader is totally immersed within emotion
and words of Peggy Lyles.
drawn back into bed
by my own warmth
Haiku Anthology, p.204
the wedding-ring quilt
lumpy with children
Lyles, To Hear the Rain, p.64
two haiku, I believe, are the most similar of the three sets.
Within each haiku, the reader feels a comfort and warmth,
and they are both good experiences to put into words. The
first haiku by Stevenson is my favorite because I relate to
it so well. I picture myself trying to get up for class during
the winter months. I always hit the snooze button about three
times before I get up. I just dread the cold, and my warm
bed seems like a much better place to be than outside fighting
the cold. I think this haiku paints such a vivid picture for
its reader, and this simple experience brings apparent emotions
next haiku focuses on what the writings of Peggy Lyles are
all about. Her style portrays a seasonal element with a touch
of the senses. Within the first line, Peggy sets the scene.
You picture the snow and ice all around you. Next, she plays
with your senses. You see the children huddled under this
huge quilt. You feel the comfort and warmth of the blanket
and others around you. And you hear the laughter of the small
children. This haiku is my favorite written by Ms. Lyles.
She is able to take this special moment and bring it to life
while adding to it with her senses and seasonal elements.
This style she uses makes her writings special and unique.
reading my meditations
the page brightens
Some of the Silence, p.5
on her hand
. . . the pages
Lyles, To Hear the Rain, p.27
last set of haiku conveys their idea in a different way. The
haiku by Stevenson hits the heart of his style of writing.
This normal experience is presented in the simplest terms.
I picture a man sitting outside on a spring morning because
he has decided to enjoy both his reading material and the
weather at the same time. During his time of reflection, he
has finally realized something that has never been apparent
to him before. Ideas are now becoming clear. This haiku has
a humorous play on words. I see the bright sun of the spring
day, and then later you see the pages become brighter as the
ideas have been discovered. Stevenson sometimes chooses to
write with a humorous twist, and I think this aspect to writing
collaborates well with his personality.
this haiku by Peggy Lyles, I picture a girl sitting at her
desk reading. She is so engrossed in the book that the pages
and the time seem to pass very quickly. It is almost as if
she is not even turning them herself. This haiku focuses on
the idea of removing the author from the haiku. By doing this,
Peggy has allowed more readers to relate to the experience
and enjoy what she has written. She almost adapts to the style
that Stevenson loves to write. She has taken a simple, everyday
moment, and portrayed it with clarity. I feel as though I
am sucked into this haiku, and that I am the one she is writing
the styles of these two authors are very different, they seem
to be able to capture the same moments. Their different styles
are what make them unique. John Stevenson has his everyday
experiences given to the reader in a vivid clarity. Peggy
Lyles enjoys her senses and seasonal elements. With each unique
style, these authors are able to reach different audiences,
and for this reason, I admire them both as haiku authors.
Peggy. To Hear the Rain. Brooks Books. 2002, 27,
John. Some of the Silence. Red Moon Press. 1999,
Den Heuvel, Cor. The Haiku Anthology. W. W. Norton
& Company. 2000, 204.