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Frogpond 47.1 • 2024

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - Baroque-ku?

Essay 2 - Cultivating Zoka

Essay 3 - Imagining Haiku Narrators Part 2

Essay 4 - Nepali Haiku Literature

Interview - Gary Hotham



Book Reviews

Haiku Society of America


Imagining Haiku Narrators - part 2

by Randy Brooks

Imagining Haiku Narrators - Part 2
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

Imagining Haiku Narrators

by Randy Brooks

Part 2 – why, who

As discussed in Part 1 of this essay, the imagined haiku narrator shifts depending upon at least five main implied questions: (1) where are they speaking? (2) what are they speaking about? (3) how are they speaking? (4) why are they speaking? and (5) who is speaking? Each haiku provides clues to help readers imagine answers to these questions. Some haiku only hint at one of these questions and others hint at all five. In this second part, I will briefly discuss the last two questions. Haiku writers play with these various questions to provide clues that help readers imagine a narrator. I will conclude this essay with a brief synopsis of how haiku narrators prompt appropriate collaborative reader responses.

(4) Why are they speaking?

Theories of narrative techniques often discuss ways that writers portray the consciousness of the narrator. Writers share the outer and inner perceptions and values of the narrator as well as var- ious states of being. Readers usually accept the narrator’s voice as a reliable witness of their experiences and thoughts. This is sometimes called trusting the narrator’s “stream of consciousness” and accepting their observations and feelings as genuine which is the usual way we read a haiku. The narrator’s words represent not just the events or images of the haiku, but also their implied subjective or lyrical response to that situation.

However, sometimes writers employ an unreliable narrator to tell a story that may be warped, biased, or deliberately twisted in ways that make it difficult or uncomfortable. Readers resist or do not want to see things the way the narrator sees them. We do not want to relate or imagine things from a murderer’s or abuser’s perspective.

[feature continues for several more pages] . . .

Brooks, Randy. "Imagining Haiku Narrators - Part 2." Frogpond 47.1, Winter, 2024, 118-145.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the feature: page 118. The complete feature includes pages 118-145. To read the complete feature, click on the link to the PDF version:

Imagining Haiku Narrators - Part 2
(complete PDF version)