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Haiku Exchange between two Davids on Jan 11, 2003 [Shapiro and Lehman] – The Best American Poetry

#Haiku Happenings #7: The Best American Poetry presents a Haiku exchange!

Ed. note:  An exchange of e-mails on January 2, 2003, prompted David Shapiro to suggest to David Lehman that the two Davids “link haiku” for a year. They more modestly sustained their haiku exchange through the month of January 2003. In February of that year they traded couplets, and in March aphorisms. Here is haiku exchange #4 dated January 11, 2003. On left, a photo of David Shapiro between two portraits of him.


DL to DS

your mystifying silence is the answer to all haikus
Date:    1/11/03 1:33:45 PM Eastern Standard Time

Let’s face it: it has
always been snowing, it has
never stopped snowing.

Do you ski? No, I
snow. I don’t know why but I
do. Do you know why?

Why have I not heard
from you I wonder. It’s strange
for you to miss a turn.               [DL, 1 / 11 / 03]

DS to DL

Re:  silence due to lack of access; also an elegy for Rudy B.,etc.
Date:    1/11/03 7:41:34 PM Eastern Standard Time

My son controls screens:
The computer, memory,
And other green scenes.

That’s why I missed turns:
The turning fire that burns:
Those that father bairns.

The boy has grown up:
Knows the secrets of poems:
Grown girls he’ll phone up–

Everything speaks:
Your lost voice, found computer,
The space between words.

Dead photographer:
He saw it all, spoke to it:
The space between clouds.

My son said: Are there
Words for everything, Dad?
For sky between clouds?

Poetry’s secrets:
I taught you on walks to school:
Now I am your Fool–

Because of him I lose
A turn in haiku—because
Of him I see saws–!        [ DS, 1 / 11 / 03]

DL to DS

  Quick rejoinder
Date:    1/11/03 11:43:45 PM Eastern Standard Time

Because of love too
you lost count of syllables
on yon abacus

which happens to me
frequently though less frequent
now than dark blue snow.

What Kenneth poem
will you read at the tribute
at Columbia?

I’d opt for “Proverb”
or maybe “At Extremes” from
“A Possible World.”

Brueghel painted it:
my window: hunters in snow,
skaters on green ice.       [DL, 1 / 11 / 03]

See also the first of their haiku exchanges
https://thebestamericanpoetry.typepad.com/the_best_american_poetry/2009/01/haiku-exchange.html
and this one devoted to Kenneth Koch
https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2009/01/haiku.html

https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2021/01/haiku-exchange-between-two-davids-shapiro-and-lehman.html

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