Second Warring States period

Posted by Rich Magahiz Sat, 05 Apr 2008 13:47:00 GMT

the old power plant
a sour wind blows
flakes of paint

hold me! prelude to a spore body

Come, love,
to Venus! Mind the
flesh-rending molluscs…

Q
About that title…
A
You want to know what the Second Warring States period is?
Q
Of course.
A
It is a time which postdates the first one or the other first one. As far as I know, it hasn’t happened yet.
Q
But it doesn’t relate to the scifaiku at all, as far as I can tell.
A
You would perhaps prefer this title, then:

The old power plant

the old power plant
a sharp wind blows
flakes of paint

To me, it is part of the reader’s experience to try to bring the title in line with the poem, and the two parts of the scifaiku itself in line with one another, so when one titles a scifaiku with the very same words used in the poem, something is lost. In fact, I would go further and say that it would be better to leave it untitled than to repeat oneself in the title.
Q
You hate that kind of lazy titling.
A
No comment.
Q
So you think there actually is a connection between the weird “Warring States” title and the verse, I guess.
A
To me, it suggests that perhaps such a period of strife and chaos might return, given sufficient inconvenience, and plays against the images of acid precipitation and of worn and peeling paint to give you an idea of what kind of wars one might be able to fight then. Utterly straightforward, it is. Yeesssssss.
Another in a projected series of discussions on poetry.

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Comments

  1. Avatar Patricia (a/k/a Roswila) said about 4 hours later:
    Interesting thoughts on titling scifaiku. I come from the place of no titles at all, largely based in its roots in haiku. But also because for me the challenge is to say it all within the scifaiku itself. Therefore, anything I put in the "Subject" line of an email is just to distinguish it from other scifaiku posts and not a title at all. I do almost always title a series of scifaiku, though, as a title then can pull them all together. However, even with "regular" poem titles (non-scifaiku or haiku, etc.), I don't usually rely on my title to say something that is not in or at least fully implied in the poem. That to me is truly "lazy" writing as a whole. All of this IMHO, of course.
  2. Avatar RichM said about 10 hours later:

    Oh, I don't completely disagree, to the extent that a title gets away from the minimalist esthetic. That's why I do have those nearly content-free "Yet another" titles and the untitled ones.

    But if I do put a title on, I prefer to apply the prohibition on backlinks to them as well - avoiding the exact words that are in the poem, just as I would not want to reply to someone else's scifaiku by repeating their science-fiction kigo verbatim. It tends to clash on the ear, usually.

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