StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Haiku of Sorrows

After three failed attempts to publish an Ekphrastic poem these past few weeks, I finally found something that could relate all the frustration I have felt over the matter to my audience. The site, which I found with the help of StumbleUpon, is called “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.” I know many people, including myself, who lack the vocabulary of feelings and thought this would be a great site to introduce to them and to the audience. It is common that we describe sadness with words like “sad, blue, and depressed.” They are the common surface description that many tend to use, so that everyone can understand what they are feeling. I admit that I myself did not know there were ‘types’ of sadness. This site has brought to light my inability to describe my own feelings within the moment they occur. Therefore I have decided to use words of obscure sorrows to title the following poems, as they are the topic and the feeling I am attempting to express.

At first, I thought alliteration would give the poem expression, using adjectives to emphasize and give life to the definition of the world. This was a first attempt that kept me stuck in a stalemate with words and over-active ideas of intricacies that I could not grasp. I kept thinking of different ways to express more than one sorrow in a poem, and this left me with no narrative poem to tell, and writer’s block that spread all the way to my fingertips. I worked on these words the weekend of my sister’s wedding (August 11th) and on the weekend of the Warrior Dash I attended in Wisconsin (August 18th). Each time I wrote a line I had to stop and start multiple times. The style was, essentially, the problem. I had to step out of that comfort zone, in order to complete the task.

It was this week that I found out I was trying too hard to tell a story. I remembered when I was young and we had random writing projects assigned. I remembered a haiku I wrote about purple mountains. I did not find an actual copy, but I remembered it being a simplistic way of getting to the point. A haiku restricts the syllables and forces a poet to say things in a softer voice. The haiku form, I believe, is a whisper of a poem that allows poets to express by exhaling that brief sigh of words. A poetic interpretation of each word I found in the site of “Obscure Sorrows,” became my format for this long overdue post. Click the title word of each haiku for their site link to find out the meaning of the words, these are only a few of the total sum on the site. Enjoy!

future be
still awhile, no one
fears, all do
give it a
name, hate it’s broken
the sound
shakes sweat off
dancers’ hair
the clicking
bickering twit of
your brain
your fingers
hold mine, you are
small & fragile
burn upon reentry
you have –Beep—
no new messages
thank you –Beep—
Fata organa
break mask
tears fall from
fractured flaws
breeds trust
flutters away-
as butterfly
in silence
souls echo in the
places we were
Mother in
my eyes you have
given me more
breath & tears
within pages
stop walking
on a sidewalk
cause Chaos
hills & pastures
mountains sing
day dreamer
a glance
without direction
still affects
failure is by
never finishing
~All By: Linda K. Strahl
Editor’s Note: Linda K Strahl is a transfer student from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, where she was studying Archaeology and minoring in Creative Writing. She came to Lewis University in Fall of 2010 to major in Creative Writing. She is at the moment, considering application to a Master Program in Creative writing, after she graduates.

2 thoughts on “StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Haiku of Sorrows

  1. Adam August 28, 2012 / 1:34 pm

    Very introspective, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

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