"Saint Nicholas Providing Dowries" by Bicci di Lorenzo A Limerick on Life and Other Poetry, by Joe Tessitore The Society May 26, 2021 Beauty, Haiku and Senryu, Limerick, Poetry 19 Comments . Limerick I have lived my whole life about me And at last I can finally see That my choice only smothers, Life is all about others And the truth really does set you free. . . Senryu I was born to dance. Alas, I sat on my ass When given the chance. . . Haiku Wind rustles the pines. Crickets chirp in the thickets. The night is breathing. . . What is that, friend? Take heed, what perches on that rail? __A blue jay, friend, without a tail. Has he a tale to tell, you think? __Indeed! He broke free from the mink! . . Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. 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CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 19 Responses Daniel Kemper May 26, 2021 Fun barbs! Also I like [crickets in thickets] for sonics; that was nice. Reply Joe Tessitore May 26, 2021 Thanks, Daniel. Reply jd May 26, 2021 I especially like the last two. The Haiku has the obligatory surprise ending and the last also a final surprise but not obligatory as far as I know. Reply Gail May 26, 2021 Nice, Joe! Hope those sentiments in the first two are not autobiographical. If so, well . . . you’re not dead yet! Reply Joe Tessitore May 26, 2021 They are, Gail, but as you say, I’m not dead yet (and I have no regrets). Reply Julian D. Woodruff May 26, 2021 Good going on all 3, Mr. Tessitore. Thanks! In line with jd’s comment: I like the rhyme & the ass-onance in the middle of the senryu. What about a contraction in line 4 of the limerick? Reply Joe Tessitore May 26, 2021 Thanks, Julian. I was counting syllables in line 4, to square it with line 5. Reply Julian D. Woodruff May 28, 2021 Ah, I see! I should have caught that, especially since you use the same approach in the last line. (Whereas I was rolling along in groups of 3 syllables & got tripped up. I may be hung up on expectations of baroque gigue / jig phrasing.) Margaret Coats May 26, 2021 A contraction would wreck Joe’s perfect anapestic meter in the limerick. The whole poem reads by syllable as no-stress, no-stress, STRESS. “Smothers” and “others” have an extra unstressed syllable that does not count for the meter; it is simply a feminine ending. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 26, 2021 Joe, I love these poetic nuggets of wisdom. They are all blessed with wit and wonder and infused with lessons in life. My favorite is the Haiku – in its brevity it manages to conjure a nocturnal image with musicality and pine-scented magic. It also tells this reader to wrap herself in the beauty of night’s breath. Thank you! Reply Joe Tessitore May 26, 2021 Thank you so much, Susan. My dear Cousin Arleen gave me the final line of the haiku – verbatim – as she did for a previous poem; “What flies in the wind in the night?” Only a poet speaks like that. Reply C.B. Anderson May 26, 2021 Joe, you are the Heart of New York City, and you must keep beating — Thub-dup. Reply Joe Tessitore May 27, 2021 Thanks very much, C.B. A quick tale from the City: Our neighbor down the hall invited us to a party and, in her invitation, asked if we were fully vaccinated. We told her that was a matter of medical privacy, thanked her for the invite, and told her to have her party without us – no offense taken and none given. She wrote back that she would be offended if we didn’t come, and wrote that we could wear masks and stand out on her terrace! She assured us that we wouldn’t be alone! Remarkably enough, Mrs. T wants to go! If the situation permits here on the page, I’ll keep you posted. Reply Margaret Coats May 26, 2021 Joe, these are all beautifully polished with rhyme, rhythm, wordplay, and sentiments. You do especially good work in showing how rhyme can meaningfully ornament the Japanese forms, where it is neither necessary nor customary. I would say the final line of the haiku is not so much a surprise, as a thought that interprets and connects the earlier two lines. This is a level of sophistication characteristic of haiku masters. “Crickets” is an autumn word, by the way. One great resource with haiku is a website entitled “The Five Hundred Essential Japanese Season Words.” Of course, you are entitled to use New York City season words. Reply Joe Tessitore May 27, 2021 Thank you, Margaret, very much. Your comments are always gracious and always informative. I do appreciate them and I do look forward to them. The haiku really does belong to Arleen. Mrs. T. and I recognized it for the poetry that it was as soon as she spoke it. It took me a while to realize that it was five syllables and then I recognized it for what it really only could be – the cutting line of a haiku. All that was left for me to do was come up with some night sounds, and Arleen’s line pointed me in that direction as well. Reply Joe Tessitore May 27, 2021 On a final note, the blue jay and the mink in the last little poem are real. The jay is a regular visitor to our feeder, along with all the other birds. If you walk the stone walls out here in the country – where the mink live – you’ll find any number of blue jay tail feathers. The mink have obviously mastered the art of hunting the jays, and our guy almost certainly broke away from one of them. Reply Cheryl Corey May 27, 2021 I love the wit of the last one. Regarding the first three – is it customary to label them as haiku, senyru, etc. as opposed to giving them a title? Reply Damian Robin May 27, 2021 Short and exact, getting to the pithy fact (s). Neat, Joe. Reply Yael May 27, 2021 All 4 of these little poems are delightfully entertaining. I prefer very short poems over unusually long ones any day, especially when they tell a good tale, as each one of yours does. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.