e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Haiku challenge – to distill a new haiku out of another poem

Carpe Diem has set us a fascinating challenge this time. As Chevrefeuille points out, poets often get their inspiration from the work of other poets, and we can try the same.

The poem offered as a starting point is by Otomo Miyuki and was written at the end of a period of conflict and war.

Our Sovereign, a god,
Has made his Imperial City
Out of the stretch of swamps,
Where chestnut horses sank
To their bellies.

The poem has powerful images – does that make the distillation easier? I don’t know, but if you follow the links on the Carpe Diem post, you’ll find haiku that really rise to this challenge.

The following is my contribution:

Now the swamps are gone
homeless will-o’-wisps will haunt
the imperial streets.


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14 thoughts on “Haiku challenge – to distill a new haiku out of another poem

  1. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) on said:

    Oh, how I love this one!


  2. Excellent haiku and challenge well met!
    groetjes, Francina


  3. 4joyjoanne on said:

    yes, this was an intriguing challenge, and you met it royally….a perfect, empty feeling at the end showing how meaningless it all was…


  4. Very nice. I like the thought of mentioning what was displaced


    • Thank you for reading my haiku and for commenting. I always think it’s sad – whatever one builds, something loses its home as a result – maybe only a few spiders but it’s still life-threatening to them.


      • So true. Once I had driven into a parking garage and a spider built a gorgeous web between my car roof and the roof of the garage. I felt sorry to destroy his work.


      • Spiders must spend a lot of time building webs that get destroyed. I like to think they enjoy the process of making a new one – perhaps they daydream about what they’ll catch in it.


  5. jazzbumpa on said:

    Ahh – paving over the wetlands
    never was a good idea
    excellent take



  6. Wonderfully distilled … I am so glad to see that you’ve tried this new challenge and I am happy with your psrticipation in this. Thank you E A M Harris


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