Scarlet and sodden
beneath melting spring snow -
her Christmas mitten

—Rosemary J. Gwaltney

About the author: Rosemary Gwaltney (mountainrecluse at

I'm the mother of a large and wonderful family, now mostly grown. Most of our children are adopted, and have disabilities. Also Iím a 15 year veteran home school teacher. My husband and I, with only four children still at home, live high in the northern mountains of Idaho. I write haiku, assorted other poetry, and am working on a book.

My poetry has been published, or will soon be published, in Acorn, The Heronís Nest, Short Stuff, The Fairfield Review, and a book called The ABCís of Grief.


Responses to the haiku for 24 March 2003 by Rosemary J. Gwaltney

    2003-03-24 12:28:59

    Very nice atmosphere and emotive content, Rosemary.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-03-25 07:48:26

    to borrow a word from one of my "colleagues", "contemplative", there is a complete picture, though one's mind indeed contemplates, if not the future of the mitten, then for a moment, it's past. this does not take away from the haiku.
    further criticism(remember, this word indicates the art of judging with propriety the "beauty" and "faults"...) it seemed slightly wordy.

    case in point:

    Scarlet, sodden
    beneath melting snow -
    her mitten

    it being the spring time of the year established a time reference, it doesn't need this to survive.
    it being a christmas mitten, though exhibiting a further time reference and the possibility of it being special, doesn't add to the worthiness of this thought evoking piece.

    to further use a word, borrowed from another colleague, "brevity" would have placed a crown upon this piece, and words etched upon it, "go to the head of the class", alas, points were deducted for trying to do too much, when simplicity was sufficient.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-03-25 07:52:31

    for "contemplative", i give credit to stella.

    "brevity", this word, i can't seem to master, i applaud norman

    Ellen G. Olinger (ElinGrace at wi dot rr dot com)
    2003-03-26 12:03:05

    Reads aloud beautifully, with all the "S" sounds. I like how the color, scarlet,is an example.

    I taught an elementary class years ago and this haiku brings back recess duty. I'd write this poem on the board, have the class read it aloud , etc., leading to writing or dictating their own poems. Or perhaps a poem-picture, with a haiku to follow next class...Thanks, Rosemary.

    2003-03-27 13:55:35

    Now this one here, this one is good. Vivid image.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-04 20:00:04

    doe like eyes
    within a smudged face --
    her tears melt my heart


    Rosemary Gwaltney (mountainrecluse at yahoo dot com)
    2004-06-04 23:07:52

    Thank you very graciously, all, I very much appreciate your comments!

    Bob - I really enjoy, and am intrigued by your haiku. Can you tell me why you did not combine the first two words - "doe-like?"

    I continue learning.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-05 03:47:13


    i'm smiling this a.m.

    the easy ways out:
    a typo

    didn't know better

    not wanting a compound word

    there's always a reason,
    even when we know not why

    i prefer archaic meaning of like

    there's more ...

    Rosemary Gwaltney (mountainrecluse at yahoo dot com)
    2004-06-05 10:36:51

    I'm smiling too!

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2004-06-05 17:30:06

    "doe like"

    attributes, a sullied face could not disrupt

    still (archaic)pleasing; going pass the "eyes"

    "doe like eyes"-to me, an enticing woman, not emptied of all her innocence

    doe, not the deer
    but one's "dear"