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My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor, indexer, and proofreader. This blog is my website.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Haiku Monday: Clichés

Lines meet dots just not
Inside the box. Folks recall
Clichés, not sources.



Haiku Monday this week at Chez Moi.

13 comments:

Fleurdeleo said...

Csar...that is GOOD! It sounds good when read aloud, too! Very elegant with the illustration, too.

Fleurdeleo said...

Really? Well, have you ever seen "Little Foxes?" Bette Davis's character allows her scheming estranged husband to die of a heart attack by withholding his heart medicine (presumably nitroglycerine, picture above.)

When one has a broken heart, the beloved's withholding his love is as devastating as someone witholding medicine from a physical ailment. "Heart on my sleeve" is the cliche.

I believe this haiku makes straightforward connections. Of course, Troll didn't get your haiku either. So maybe you and I are simply writers of more complex haiku in keeping with our soulful and sophisticated personas.

moi said...

I like the way it sounds even though I'm not sure I understand it fully, either, although I know it can't help but be anything but clever.

czar said...

Fleur: "Soulful and sophisticated": applies to you and my next correspondent. Not me.

Moi: Well, if it's that obtuse, I guess I'm a loser this week.

Here is the story. The original puzzle question was, "Take a grid of 3 dots by 3 dots. Connect all 9 dots with 4 lines, without lifting the pencil off the paper."

Invariably, everyone tries to start at a dot and draw four lines to connect all the dots by staying within the parameter of the square. Can't be done.

The only way to connect all the dots with four lines without lifting the pencil is to draw outside the square, which doesn't occur to people that it's something they can do, even though there is no rule against it.

From this exercise/puzzle comes the phrase "thinking outside the box" -- to employ some ingenuity to solve a problem in a way people don't usually consider.

And my point is that people often use cliches without knowing what they mean, or that cliches might have some interior meaning that can be profound, before overuse rendered them banal.

Aunty Belle said...

Heh--very very clever, cause it is TWO cliches, one stated and one implied and made visual--"Think outside the box" and "Connect the dots."

BTW, that same puzzle has another method to connect the dots but in just three lines w/o lifting pencil--also requires outside the box thinkin.'

czar said...

Everybody needs an Aunty who understands them. Bless you, Aunty.

moi said...

D'oh——I get it now! Very, VERY clever! Just because something has to be explained, doesn't mean it's a loser. I was just foggy from barbecue and beer, most likely.

Aunty Belle said...

reading backwards on yore blog--the em dash?--I'se SO guilty. Mea culpa. However, I wonder iffin' that for BLOGs, use of a dash is more, ah, elastic. Seems to me that blogs lend theyselves to writin' as mimic of yakkin'--so, since we yak wif' dash mode speech, reckon it's OK to dash an' dot yore blog posts?

I has a deadline of tomorry noon fer a online 'zine (uh, paid-- not like them folks I 'coritated in mah recent post) an' I'se now hyper aware of mah dashes an' dots abuse. I better mend mah ways--reckon?

czar said...

Aunty: Thanks for hunting around.

Read my comments on that entry, too. I have no problems with em dashes myself. I posted the piece not in agreement with the Slate writer but to see if anyone else had the same take.

I think of a line from a favorite book:

She: "Words don't seem to bother you."

He: "Only in certain combinations."

Em dashes are fine. My biggest writing problem is adverbs. If my prose never saw another adverb, I'd be much better off.

I am working on a book, though, about Jewish architecture after Auschwitz. Author is mildly fond of em dashes, but in one chapter uses ellipses instead. Jarring. I'm just indexing so I can't change anything, but I don't know where the copyeditor was on this one.

czar said...

Moi: The B&B fog. I often make that one work on the first B alone.

chickory said...

i remember this exercise - but it was the version aunty mentioned -the one where you cant lift your pencil. good haiku even without the image - esp the part of not knowing how cliches came to be. thats why this one is so good. well done!

czar said...

Chickory: Thanks. Love the visuals on yours. Is that your own work?

Your site is always so beautiful to look at.

Pam said...

Ooooh, very good haiku AND visuals. No one is going easy on me this week.