31/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
31/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
the robot dog keeps lifting
29/100 #The100DayProject #100daysnewthings
Delighted to have two poems featured on Jennifer Hambrick’s blog Inner Voices, for a second year hosting the International Women’s Haiku Festival 2018! This is how Jennifer introduces them in her blog:
Two laser-sharp senryu by poet Stella Pierides explore women’s age dynamics and the eternal question of women’s dress and sexuality.
dressed to kill
if I’m retired
Well. Why not just ask about her final wishes? The picture is this senryu is crystal clear: a younger woman, in full heat of professional and/or personal ambition and wearing the clothes to prove it, asks the poetic speaker, whom I read to be an older woman, if she’s retired – read: no longer competition, no longer someone to be concerned with. To be charitable, maybe it’s just an observation: the older woman looks older, looks perhaps comfortable in her own skin, and the younger woman just doesn’t get a) that retired doesn’t equal out to pasture, and b) that remarking, even obliquely, on someone’s age is at best insensitive. And what if the poetic speaker actually is retired? Picasso said it best: “It takes a very long time to become young.”
of her rebellion
This little senryu is situated perfectly between the rock and the hard place that, eventually, every woman encounters. Look sexy, be sexy, the world instructs. But not too sexy. In this poem, rebellion against the social expectations that a girl or woman be prim and proper results in a shorter skirt. But rebellion against social expectations doesn’t necessarily eliminate the expectations. There is potentially a price to pay – the demise of one’s reputation – for breaking the rules, hence the “extent of her rebellion” is defined by the knees. It could be fear from social pressure that keeps everything north of the knees covered, or it could just be the poem subject’s authentic assessment of her own comfort.
Many thanks to Jennifer Hambrick for including my poems!
I am very much looking forward to reading and enjoying the rest of the month’s contributions with Jennifer’s insightful commentaries.
Delighted to have two of my haiku: “juggling” and “hermit crab,” appear on Jennifer Hambrick‘s Inner Voices as part of the International Women’s Haiku Festival. And I love Jennifer’s commentary! Check it out here
Photo from the piece: Vanessa Pike-Russell/Creative Commons/Flickr
the Home visitors
letting go of
In Blithe Spirit, Journal of The British Haiku Society, vol. 27, n.1, Feb. 2017
the soprano’s perfect
In ‘Beginning’ the British Haiku Society Anthology 2016
In Failed Haiku, issue 1.11, p.152
Nights at the Opera
long after the laughter
the prima donna throws
and the stars were shining
and what if
all the world’s a stage—
Failed Haiku: A Journal of English Senryu, issue 1.11, p.152
crossing the road
for no reason
Failed Haiku, issue 1.11, p.152
two kids make space
for their granny
NaHaiWriMo prompt: jet
In the Garden of Absence
by Stella Pierides
Awarded the Haiku Society of America Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards 2013 (3rd place, for books published in 2012).
From the judges’ commentary in Frogpond, the journal of the Haiku Society of America:
“A charming collection… This intersection of the past and present is within all of us, and Pierides mines it well. A very satisfying read” (Vol. 37:1, p. 170).
In the Garden of Absence takes you on a journey echoing the author’s childhood. Yet it does so in the context of adult concerns, uncertainties, and anxieties—as well as pleasures. This book explores the existential fear of loneliness, the many facets of absence, and glimpses a path towards bearing absence and being creatively alone.From the back cover:
“Readers of any book of poetry can assume that each poem has substantial personal meaning for the writer. The poems in this collection go one step further, offering personal meaning to the reader. Stella Pierides pays attention in simple ways (and sometimes vast ways) to her surrounding world, noticing the warmth of a hen’s eggs on Mother’s Day, that only a dog makes eye contact on a crowded train, or in observing the tiny dark holes in a pin cushion as she extracts its pins.”
—Michael Dylan Welch, from the Afterword, “Presence in Absence”
How to obtain a copy:
The print edition can be ordered from your local bookshop: ISBN: 978-3-944155-00-5 (Germany) Fruit Dove Press, Paperback, 76 pages.
e-editions are now available from Smashwords
(Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), PDF and kindle
Publication information: – ISBN: 9783944155012 e-book
– Published by Fruit Dove Press at Smashwords. Price: USD 5.99
Honours, Reviews, Essays:
Awarded third prize in the Haiku Society of America Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards 2013.
Previous praise for the Book:
— “In Pierides’s meditations, imagination takes center stage, as do imaginary gardens, real toads, and their negative space… The result is a welcome debut in which the reader will find much to admire.”
In Briefly Reviewed, Frogpond, 36-1, Spring 2013 (Click here, please scroll down).
— “This is an engaging collection…”
Modern Haiku 44.2, 2013 (in the “Briefly Noted” section).
— “A Poetic Gem… In the Garden of Absence is a lovely little book that sparkles with a quiet brilliance – every word shines.”
Debbie Strange on Amazon.co.uk
— “In the Garden of Absence is a stunning book. From homely to somewhat obscure, Pierides touches a chord. Her poetry is the essence of haiku and an inspiration for many of us. In the Garden of Absence A must-read book of poetry.”
Sondra Byrnes on Amazon.co.uk
–“… everything, from cover to cover, the cover image, the design, the graphical presentation, the empty space around the haiku, also the introduction… all very aesthetically (one more Greek word) appealing and pleasing! Thank you for taking me on this Magical Journey!”
Freddy Ben-Arroyo, Haifa, Israel*
–“… I really enjoy reading it, and already have some favorites…”
Annie Juhl, Svendborg, Denmark.
–“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your book this afternoon while sipping on a chai latte. A few that I particularly like are: “between my ego and yours”, “the horses neighing”, “your vacant stare”, “moment of stillness” and “shooting stars”. The whole book is really lovely… the beautiful cover, the feel of the paper and the afterword by Michael Dylan Welch. Thank you for sharing your beautiful poems with me!”
Lauren Mayhew, Boston, USA
–“Stella Pierides pays attention in simple ways (and sometimes vast ways) to her surrounding world, noticing the warmth of a hen’s eggs on Mother’s Day, that only a dog makes eye contact on a crowded train, or in observing the tiny dark holes in a pin cushion as she extracts its pins.”
Michael Dylan Welch, Sammamish, Washington, USA
–“I cannot recommend ‘In the Garden of Absence‘ by Stella Pierides highly enough. A great Afterword too by Michael Dylan Welch. … The book is entrancing.”
Sheila Windsor, Worcester, UK
An informative, literary, and well-written essay, “Presence in Absence” by Michael Dylan Welch, first written in October 2012 and included in In the Garden of Absence as an afterword, can be read at Graceguts, by clicking here
the snowman’s hat
NaHaiWriMo prompt: abbey
An honour to be included together with a number of my favourite poets in the Haiku Euro Top 2013 100 most creative poets!
This list is compiled by Krzysztof Kokot of Haiku Euro Top 100. Thank you so much, Krzysztof .
The list can be viewed by clicking here. Check out the poets in the list for blooming, bubbling, daring, original work! It’s poetry and it’s fun!
the screen animals
NaHaiWriMo prompt: wall
Welcoming new prompter for July: Gillena Cox
the hush in the visiting
NaHaiWriMo prompt: Art
on a warm day
each blade of grass
the newsreader’s answer
NaHaiWriMo prompt: gold
NHWM prompt: sound
spring sunshine –
tying her laces a girl beams
at her mother
NaHaiWriMo prompt: shoes
on the tablecloth –
NaHaiWriMo prompt: pasta
In a few days, on the first of February, National Haiku Writing Month begins. Again. Once a year, during the shortest month of the year, the shortest form of poetry is being celebrated by writing at least one haiku a day for the duration of the month. And so a dark, dismal month, in the Northern hemisphere, that is, is being transformed through haiku. (No doubt, the poets in the Southern Hemisphere see this differently. I look forward to hearing what they say… )
Once again, the world becomes quieter. A sense of awe and expectation grips the bankers, the nurses, the old age pensioners, the performers, the writers, the psychologists, the traffickers. All eyes are glued to the NaHaiWriMo panel, waiting for the day’s prompt to appear. The moment it appears, the magic unfolds. Noradrenaline flows. Nerve cell upon nerve cell get activated, electrical signals spread, transmitter substances are released, sending out tentacles of attention to gather material.
do not disturb —
gathering of poetry
What a state of mind to be in! Though some poets are more relaxed than others!
The moon, a grain of sand, the sound of the carburetor, the horse’s neighing, the blackbird’s song, waves rolling to the shore; the child’s hand, a kite, tomatoes… Whether snow, cold or warm weather, the poets are watching and waiting, fingers poised over the laptop to catch it, hold it in the palm of their hand, share it.
Will you join NaHaiWriMo? Do if you can bear the world come nearer to you; if you believe you can hear the wind’s voice; if you can let this big, big wonderful world sing to you. If not, you’ll be fine. Just watch from a distance: read what these daring poets are attempting to do, day in day out, here
Michael Dylan Welch, the founder and coordinator of the group, put together a first anthology of the group’s work in August 2012, “With Cherries on Top”. It is a PDF of astounding beauty. And so it goes,
again this insatiable need
to come into bloom
While my first book of poetry, “In the Garden of Absence” is at the printers, being fitted into its paper dress, smoothed, sewn, and shaped physically into a book I can hold in my hands, I’d like to say
Also a huge thank you to my daughter Maria Pierides for her permission to use one of her paintings, “Welsh Hill,” for the book cover, Maria Pierides and Rubin Eynon for designing the cover, and Thomas Geyer for his help with formatting the print edition.
Special thanks to the members of the nurturing NaHaiWriMo Facebook community (now over 1000 people!) for their continuing inspiration, warm support, and encouragement.
Do you ever wonder about the difference between loneliness and the capacity to be alone? Between the soul-destroying feeling of utter despondency, emptiness and despair, on the one hand, and on the other, the capacity to be creatively alone, to enjoy the space and freedom aloneness gives and to be productive? I do, often. I have been putting together a small collection of micropoetry, haiku, and senryu on this theme. Titled “In the Garden of Absence,” the collection aims to reflect on this difference, without, I hope, rushing to answer any questions. Even if I had the answers…
Interested? D. W. Winnicott, the British psychoanalyst and paediatrician originally introduced this concept. If you have access to his work, fine. If not, Jean-Bertrand Pontalis provides the best explanatory note of Winnicott’s concept (on this capacity to be alone) in the online Gale Dictionary of Psychoanalysis.
Risking oversimplification, I would say here that the capacity to be alone is not the capacity to simply bear being alone until the other person returns, but a capacity to feel and creatively use the space and freedom which being separate from the other person offers. In terms of the child, Winnicott argues, it is the capacity to disentangle herself from ‘mother’s madness’ or the most primitive needs of the mother’s attachment to her own offspring. It is in this sense, I believe, that this capacity, paradoxically, is compatible with the other’s or, in that case, mother’s presence.
I quote from Pontalis here:
“To be able to tell oneself “I am alone” without feeling forsaken—such is the prerequisite for what Winnicott considers an essential achievement: to be assured of a sense of continuity as between oneself and the other person, or, better still, to perceive discontinuity in a permanent bond, or even its rupture, as the very precondition of that’s bond’s survival.”
Buffling? Visit the whole Pontalis entry when you have a moment… of solitude! Click here
lost in thought –
his tongue caressing the crown
on his molar
NaHaiWriMo prompt: lost
Inspired by Lee Gurga’s THF Per Diem haiku ‘professional conference’!
For a day only, today, 22 October 2012, it will be available to read on the The Haiku Foundation website, in the Per Diem: Daily Haiku panel by clicking here
rowing against the current free will
I am very happy to have my work included in Diogen Haiku 2012, Diogen pro culture magazine. Six haiku in all, all in English and also translated into Serbian!
A very special thank you to Đurđa Vukelić Rožić, the editor of this haiku section of the magazine.
The direct link is here
The link to the issue is here (please scroll down)
round every corner
new hairdo –
London is a windy city!
NaHaiWriMo prompt: 3-2-1 (or reverse) and coincidence, something unexpected, accidental.
66/100 Days of Summer
Darth Vader at the kitchen sink meteor shower
NaHaiWriMo prompt: dream
#49/100 Days of Summer
a newborn’s cry echoes
through the school gym
NaHaiWriMo: birth (Christina Nguyen)
38/100 Days of Summer
the cup fills with news
This haiku, linked with the article above, now appears in Haiku News: the personal is the political is the poetical
(Vol. 1, No. 30)
once again I find myself
NaHaiWriMo prompt: full moon
26/100 Days of Summer (still with the prompt ‘keep it under your hat: a narcissistic need/obsession…)