Perhaps it’s the reverb left from the excellent Massachusetts Poetry Festival at PEM last month — suddenly I can’t stop writing haiku about the fascinating objects, old and new, in this museum.
To curb my wordiness, I’ve followed classic haiku structure: line 1, five syllables; line 2, seven syllables; line 3, five syllables. But I’ve let myself stray from traditional subjects of nature and seasonal change in order to be playful, speculative, sentimental—whatever mood the object evoked. Though I work at PEM as an editor, concerned with accuracy and articulateness, here I’m totally off duty.
Are you inspired to write a PEM-related haiku? Send one in a comment to this post. I’d love to read it!
What have I become?
Can’t let go of my baggage—
it’s too beautiful.
Face it—no escape
from authority figures.
Keep an eye on them.
Wanted: headless guy
with shell obsession, to flirt,
talk art, impress guests.
Take your withheld self
off the shelf. Trust it. It’s no
Sea versus Turner.
Both confident, powerful—
a great match to watch!
Eyes dark gray yet bright,
outward gaze and inward sight—
In King Penguin’s realm
ancient meets recent. He loves
browsing the iPad.
Loves me, loves me not—
plucked petals meld, a disc of
shadow, sheen, fragments.
Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2013
Attributed to the Pollard Limner, Portrait of Benjamin Lynde, about 1730; Jangseung (village guardians), by an artist in Korea, 19th century; Lamqua, Portrait of Mouqua, about 1845
Brian White, Island Bride, 2002
Michael Linn, Everybody, 2011–12; related to Mr. Nobody, by an artist in China, late 17th century, also at PEM
J.M.W. Turner, Waves Breaking against the Wind, about 1840
Charles Osgood, Portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1840
King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus), about 1820, from the Falkland Islands, shown with other objects in the East Indian Marine Hall
Anish Kapoor, Halo, 2006