Yes, it’s 10 P. M. on February 14, 2006, and I’m here working
at my weblog. Sigh. Might as well write a few Quickie blurbs
relating to Valentine’s Day.
When it’s February 13, and I don’t have a Valentine’s sweetheart,
I resign myself to the situation. Looking at my Came-From/Referer
Page yesterday, however, there were a few visitors who still seemed
to be using search engines in search of romance.
Here are a few examples:
There were 43 million results for the Yahoo Search!
will pay for a wife> The #1 result was a link to a notice from
Rod Barnett that he’s “Offering a $10,000 reward to anyone that
introduces me to the woman that I marry (or propose to).”
I don’t know whether the querist found Rod’s link useful, but I’m
fairly certain that the link to f/k/a was a blind alley. That’s because
the #5 result was to our post called no need to pay for a living will,
which also included this poem from Kobayashi Issa:
still no wife
his voice grows hoarse …
Meanwhile, someone was looking for hot chicks with pit bulls>.
There were 777,000 results to that Google query, and #2 was a
surely disappointing link to our coverage of the 1-800-PIT-BULL
Another Google query wondered about sumo life expectancy>. I’d
guess the searcher was deciding whether to make a lifelong commitment
to a sumo wrestler. The sad fact, I learned by following the link back, is
that “Sumo wrestlers have a life expectancy of between 60 and 65, more
than 10 years less than the average Japanese male.” That #2 result, from
Wikipedia, was quite informative — far more than #5, which led to our post
on the new pope‘s life expectancy. On the other hand, if the Googler is
practical, this Issa poem — that appears on the same page — might spark
a fine wind-break…
Finally, lawyers are not known for being romantic. Nevertheless,
I’d like to think it was a 2L trying to demonstrate his sensitivity,
who asked Google to find lincoln on lawyers avoid litigation>.
Maybe our post A Lincolnesque Law Practice? , which was the
#1 result, supplied the magic words that won the heart of the fair
lady-lawyer to be. Once again, alternative dispute resolution bridges
the gap and brings two parties together. Sigh.
If you’re into a more academic approach to romance, take a look at
Joshua Foer’s op/ed “A kiss isn’t just a kiss, in yesterday’s International
Herald Tribune. Foer notes the great variety of kisses (as demonstrated
by the German language, which has words for 30 different kinds) and asks:
“How did a single act become a medium for so many messages? “
There follows a quick summary of theories on the origins of kissing, gleaned
from numerous social sciences. Foer tells us that ”According to some
cultural historians, it is only within the last 800 years,with the advent of
effective dentistry and the triumph over halitosis, that the lips were freed
to become an erogenous zone.” Despite his youthful perspective as a
20-something, foer concludes the piece with some sage advice:
“Whatever its origins, kissing seems to be advantageous.
A study conducted during the 1980′s found that men who
kiss their wives before leaving forwork live longer, get into
fewer car accidents and have a higher income than married
men who don’t.
“So put down this newspaper and pucker up. It does a body
Of course, some good haiku is also good for the body and soul.
before we go:
she reminds me
to fasten my seatbelt
the coolness on my cheek
after the kiss
“moving day” – Frogpond XXVII:1; tug of the current: RMA 2004
he comes to bed
cleanshaven . . .
good morning kiss
of the hummingbird
My big sister just sent me a link to an article about St. Valentine.
Click here for the history and story behind the eponymous Saint. (Catholic
News Service, “Forgotten man – Valentine’s Day originated from wise,
caring bishop,”Feb. 10, 2006.)
As we said a year ago, whether a couple or a singleton,
may you all feel loved and appreciated on this Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day –
the new sign says
“tinyredcheck” Don’t forget ukku spring haiku, your
poetic window on the coming of Spring 2006.
February 14, 2006
Washington Post reporter Joe Heim is right (see “Anti-Valentine Play List,” Feb. 12, 2006) :
“The world is divided into two groups on Valentine’s Day: Lovers and Others. For the former, life is sweet and the sound of music sweeter. But for the Others, certain songs cut straight to the heart — to the bone, even.”
Heim gives a sample of 14 songs, in the categories of Rage, Regret, and Revenge, and gives you the chance to vote on your Anti-Valentine Favorite.
Meanwhile, here are the only Valentine Quickies I’ve got this year:
A year ago, we spotlighted author Emma Forrest, after reading her quote: “Love is so delicate, you can’t afford to risk it on a fake holiday.” (AP/ Nashua Telegraph, “British author had no need for Valentine’s Day rubbish,” Feb. 20, 2005; also pub. at CNN.com as “I don’t like Valentine’s Day,” (Feb. 11, 2005) We at fka agree with the author of namedropper, and “Cherries in the Snow” that the romantic gestures that really count aren’t those coerced through commercially-motivated promotions. It’s the everyday demonstration of attention, appreciation and respect that has real meaning (sort of like haiku):
Heimliched out of me
pink candy heart
Who would have believed (except my brother) that 40 years later, I’d be singing the same lonely-lover’s lament in the shower that I sang in high school — the 1962 song “Everybody’s Got a Ya-Ya,” by the UK’s (Three) Viscounts. You can Listen to the song, which has the chorus:
All the kids are couples,
I’m as lonely as can be
Everybody’s got a ya-ya
Everybody but me
Well, I have to run out for an EMG. Maybe I’ll have some romantic Valentine notions while the electricity is running up and down my arms. So, you all come back later (I have no dinner plans).
bingo boards empty–
another widow intercepts
the old man’s wink
snap of her bra . . .
the baby stops crying
to open his mouth
Valentine’s Day -
I forget to get
the garbage out
Click for more Haiku for Valentine’s Day, from the Global Haiku Tradition Kukai 2 (Millikin University, February 14, 2001); you’ll find 30 haiku selected by Prof. Randy Brooks..
it’s sealed –
the Valentine card
she never sent
……………….. by dagosan:
Most lawyers, as well as the general public and haiku poets, probably think of the world of haiku as a peaceable kingdom — inhabited by gentle souls of goodwill. While looking for a few of my favorite poems by George Swede yesterday, and hoping to supplement them with new ones, I discovered a darker side of haiku: a tale of plagiarism and haijin posses, and swift justice. Here’s what I learned:
Searching through the latest edition of Frogpond (the journal of the Haiku Society of America), Vol. XXVIII:3, 2005, to see whether it contained new poems by George Swede, I found an essay entitled “The Mind of a Plagiarist,” written by George. Like most of the essays in frogpond and other haiku journals, I had passed it by when the edition originally came my way, intent on enjoying the poetry. When I saw the title of the essay, I figured George was putting on his professor and psychologist hats (he teaches Psychology of Art and Creativity, at Ryerson University, in Toronto, and wrote Creativity: A New Psychology). So, I flipped to the end, which had the following senryu
Found: my sunrise haiku
with someone else’s name–
this dawn dark
I realized that George was referring to one of the very poems that I had wanted to spotlight again for Valentine’s Day:
I forget my side
of the argument
That made return to the beginning of the essay, which read:
“As a victim of someone who stole over sixty of my haiku and senryu, I have tried to understand what occurs in the mind of a plagiaris
Finally, my highly-tuned lawyer-advocate-investigator mind was engaged and I found myself devouring the Autumn 2005 column Tracks in the Sand, a regular feature by George, in Simply Haikujournal. That column was entitled “Plagiarism: The Haiku Community Delivers Swift Justice (Vol 3:3). The column starts:
Disbelief flooded through me as I read the first paragraph of Carol Raisfeld?s email on the morning of June 3, 2005:
“Browsing on a poetry site I came across some poems I know are yours. . . What I saw was word or word George Swede poems.I looked for your name, but no credit was given. Can this be? I looked at other sites where this ‘poet’s’ work is published . . . I’m afraid he has stolen your poems.”
In detail, George then tells how Irish “artist, cartoonist, illustrator and
poet” Adrian Saich, under the penname Giles, posted 60 Swede poems and a dozen by other haijin, labelling them as his own and even claiming copyright protection for himself. Most of the poems were on The Starlite Cafe Poets Corner. Others appeared at The Poet’s Castle, George understandably emotes:
Particularly galling was the blatant appropriation of each haiku poet’s poems. All were identified in the following way
- 2004 Giles (All rights reserved)
George, along with his wife Anita Krumins, and Robert Wilson of Simply Haiku, quickly alerted the haiku community to this problem, and so many haijin quickly directed email and letters at the manager of Starlite Cafe, Albert Victor, that:
“Victor told me that he had received threatening e-letters from what he described as my ‘posse’ and was worried about his safety and that of his family. At one point, he said that he had called the police who told him there was nothing they could do. To assuage his worries, I explained to him that he had no reason to be afraid. The poets who had written to him were gentle souls, just like he was. They were merely venting their anger at what had happened and would never put their words into violent actions.
By June 8, 2005, the plagiarized poems — which had been posted for years – were taken down from all the offending sites, including Mr. Saich’s. It’s a great story of collective action and “swift justice,” and I hope you’ll read the entire column.
In his Frogpond essay (which is not available online, but is available as a
back copy), George ends by saying:
“To insure that plagiarists are detected more quickly, we must become more vigilant and extensive readers of haiku and develop more finely – tuned memories of them.”
Although he’s absolutely right about that, I’m afraid that few of us avid readers of haiku (many of us over 50) can achieve the scope of reading and acuity of memory shown by Carol Raisfeld. I suggest that each poet take the time to do internet searches — through Google or Yahoo! or other search engines — for each of their poems that might be available for poaching by plagiarists. Using quote marks around all or part of the text of each poem (should tell you quickly if it has been posted anywhere on the internet. If any tech-savvy readers know of an efficient way to accomplish this task for a collection of poems, and to repeat it frequently, please let me know.
update (Feb. 14, 11 AM): Through his email address, I discovered that the Commentor “Jonathan” has a weblog entitled Plagiarism Today. It has a lot of information about this subject — he is a webmaster, not a lawyer. There is a series that looks particularly helpful:
“How to Find Plagiarism” is a must for content creators. Jonathan says “Google is your best friend,” and reminds us that “even though the Internet is vast, it’s so well indexed that separating the needles
from the hay is a very easy challenge.” Thank you, Jonathan!
update (Feb. 16, 2006): Just in case you got the impression that Swede’s Haijin Posse turned ugly and threatening, I wrote to Prof. Swede for more information relating to Albert Victor’s fear of bodily harm. George replied that words like “outrageous” and “unbelievable,” and forms of address such as “Hey Buster,” were the worse that he saw in the email from haijin to Victor. He did note: “Perhaps email to which I was not privy contained worse.” George concludes: “Anyway, Victor subsequently apologized for his ‘outburst’ i.e., his letter to me about fearing for his family and his call to the police.”
If you’ve read this far, you deserve to enjoy a few poems by George Swede, that — as I said last year at this time — display quiet moments of romance that are more my style than typical Valentine’s Day rituals.
at the height
of the argument the old couple
pour each other tea
among the tangled driftwood
on the face
that last night called me names
I forget my side
of the argument
In closing, here’s a new poem by George, that also seems appropriate on Valentine’s Day:
the deep well, two boys
talk about girls
p.s. If any copyright experts are visiting, I’m still hoping for confirmation of my conclusions in haiku and the fair use doctrine.