the still pond
a frog jumps in

—Barry Goodmann

This is the 600th haiku published on tinywords.

About the author: Barry Goodmann (bgoodmann at is a poet, writer and editor who lives in the New York metropolitan area. He has published poetry on several websites and in various literary magazines.


Responses to the haiku for 25 July 2003 by Barry Goodmann

    2003-07-25 15:33:44

    I'm sorry, but maybe I'm too much of a purist, but this doesn't even seem to be a haiku. It just doesn't work for me.

    H. Gene Murtha (Genemurt at sc dot com)
    2003-07-25 18:58:55

    This is definitely a haiku, now whether the
    idea is worn out, than, that's a different

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-28 05:31:31


    welcome aboard, phil.
    i was beginning to wonder, where were the individuals who might experience my point of view.
    gene, this may have been barry's first time to experience the moment. from the number of readers, i am sure this can be heard from most, though this shouldn't limit another's enjoyment or relating.

    it began as most haikus begin, then i became lost with the "gulp"; as phil has mentioned, i, too, question it being a haiku.

    who was taking the breath, frog or viewer; if either, then, i am still lost:

    perhaps a "SPLASH"

    writing on the wall
    in the morning's darkness, a voice
    "i am a haiku"

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-28 05:34:24

    i know some will say, the "gulp" was a surprise reaction, however, i am going with my first interpretation....

    Michael L. Evans (trailermike at charter dot net)
    2003-07-28 14:22:03

    Barry: No harm in trying a tribute to Basho's
    haiku - most of us probably have ... and many of
    us have also tried to be clever. My reading of
    your poem has "gulp" as neither frog nor viewer,
    but the pond/water gulping/swallowing the frog -
    in which case, you have written yourself into an
    anthropomorphism ... which most haijin consider
    unacceptable, even in comical haiku.

    d f tweney (dft at tinywords dot com)
    2003-07-28 16:17:12

    The "gulp" at the end could be a large, hungry fish swallowing the frog. Or it could be the sound the a frog makes when splashing into the water. Not anthropomorphism, but onomotopeia.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-28 20:02:35


    "the still pond
    a frog jumps in

    michael, where is the humanization.
    i see neither jealousy, hatred, love, sentiment, speech, nor reasoning in this piece.

    1 : to swallow hurriedly or greedily or in one swallow; yes, the water could have done this, or even the frog in pursuit of whatever

    2 : to keep back as if by swallowing; yes, an observer may have made this startled sound

    3 : to take in readily as if by swallowing
    hmmm, i don't know, there was nothing indicating anything swallowing, only that left to one's interpretation.

    d f, what is being named by anything vocal representing the sound it makes.
    the sound water, a frog, or a startle individual makes does not name that object, at least not here.

    i see no where the use of a word representing a sense, either.

    michael, i think basho may have said:

    the still pond
    a frog jumps in
    eagle claws attached!

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-28 20:59:18

    "comical haiku", another thought, michael, would this quality as a senryu.

    michael, was there a survey done on this subject of "unacceptableness" to most haijins, surrounding humanization

    "spring departs.
    birds cry
    fishes' eyes are filled with tears"

    "just beyond the gate,
    a neat yellow hole 
    someone pissed in the snow"

    "the old dog listens
    intently, as if to the
    worksongs of the worms"

    "an evening cloudburst 
    sparrows cling desperately 
    to trembling bushes"

    enough said...

    Michael L. Evans
    2003-07-29 00:52:21

    Bob - Hmmm, well OK, I have to admit my
    interpretation of "gulp" as anthropomorphic
    was incorrect - since it is a physical act
    rather than a trait/characteristic, and is not
    restricted to humans.
    As for anthropomorphism not being
    acceptable to most haijin: well, I have to
    admit that I have never seen a definitive
    survey; here I am relying on the opinions of
    certain authors, editors, and poets, who are far
    more skilled than myself - and whose opinion I
    trust. I believe that haiku must maintain some
    rules, or guidelines, if it is to survive as a
    valid poetic form. But, I am now going beyond
    response to comments concerning the posted haiku,
    so will stop here.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-29 06:37:52

    michael, others' opinions are merely measuring sticks, and not the law. if one is ever to be an independent thinker, one has to go beyond what one is taught, even to the point of questioning the "authorities".
    you'd be surprised as to how many of those, whose opinion you respect, have strayed from the rules and opinions of others who came before them; these were/are the "groundbreakers".

    i believe, what comes out of a discussion, simply solidifies the truth around any issue, in addition to enhancing one's own thoughts.

    you have heard of brainwashing?

    i am reminded of a math class i took, in which i found two incorrect entries in the book. the professor had taught this course for many years, and no one had spoken up concerning there possibly being an error.

    listening to another's "opinion" is one thing, michael, but "TRUST" of those, they comes with an extremely high price from me.

    Michael L. Evans (trailermike at charter dot net)
    2003-07-29 17:06:44

    Bob - Since my last comment did not seem to
    satisfy you, guess I will have to respond to
    parts of your most recent comments.

    First: You give three definitions for "gulp",
    all of which are defined by "swallows", then
    state "there was nothing indicating anything
    swallowing" - well, seems like a fairly clear
    link, to me.

    Second: I realize there are anthropomorphic
    haiku that are accepted by the haiku world.
    I just wonder how many are not accepted, for
    every one that is. As for the example haiku
    you used: "just beyond the gate" does not appear
    anthropomorphic, to me - could you have fallen
    into my mistake??

    Finally: As for your personal attack against
    me, I find your arrogance absurd. How childish,
    to think that anyone who disagrees with your
    personal dogma can't think for themselves, or
    have been brain washed. To quote a famous line:
    "when I became a man, I put away such things."

    To quote you own words: "enough said."

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 00:17:34

    excuse me, michael, i was not aware of your comment being meant to satisfy me, but simply your adding your opinion to the forum.

    i saw where you had made mention of not wanting to say any more, because you felt the conversation had strayed from the haiku; however i see it didn't matter to you, for here is another comment of yours.

    no, it was not necessary for you to respond, however i tend to have this in my make-up whenever i feel i have been addressed.

    michael, i find myself being at odds with you, again.

    michael, there's more...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 00:24:35

    michael, continuing...

    1. SWALLOW: can be done both voluntarily and involuntarily. once again, if something is engulfed this could be considered swallowing, involuntarily. then we have the act being done by anything having life within, voluntarily.
    we have the same two words seemingly meaning the same, there is a different; however i will not insult your intelligence in assuming you don't recognize the difference. yes, there is a link, an associated act with the same ending result, something/anything being consumed. this is quite clear to me.

    2: michael, from your words, i could not see your wondering how many accepted the usage of "anthropomorphism" or not.

    as for the "just beyond the gate", my thoughts were, "this could have been an animal as oppose
    to being a man".

    michael , i am not finished yet...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 00:27:18

    concluding, michael, and if you like you may respond...

    michael, did i fall into your mistake.

    3: michael, are you sure you were reading my words. in none of my comments have i ever "launched" a personal attack against anyone, however if there was something askew to a comment of yours to me, then perhaps you read likewise in my response, can you refresh my memory.

    some have called me arrogant, before.
    perhaps, there's some truth to this; isn't there a bit of arrogancy in all of us, including you, michael.
    read your words, michael. as for my arrogancy being absurd, you are free to make that assumption.
    those lines you attributed to me, you misinterpreted, they were not meant for you, per se, but the world in general.
    michael, the famous line goes like this: "but when i became a man, i put away childish things..."


    Michael L. Evans (trailermike at charter dot net)
    2003-07-30 04:05:58

    Bob; Thank you so much for granting me
    permission to respond - how very kind of you.

    As you are so fond of saying: read my words. I
    only said "so will stop here" - for that
    particular comment. I find some of your comments
    laughable: such as talking down to a person, and
    trying to ridicule them - then deny, and
    back pedal on it. And some of your antics are
    also comical: such as posting part of your comment
    to me in the midst of your comments to Gene Murtha
    on the next page. But in the end, you are merely
    a bore - and I grow weary ...

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 08:40:31

    michael, as you make my day, i am pleased i have done something to bring a smile to your face.

    again, michael, reread my words. it is regrettable you feel the way you do. at no time have i intentionally insulted anyone who has responded to me in these commentaries. at no time have i insinuated anyone, including you, being inferior to me. if you get this from my words, at this time i would like to clear the records, that is not the case. perhaps now you are getting an insight as to why i repeatedly ask you to reread my words.

    michael, there is much in others i find irritable. michael, my philosophy is: if it is not directed at you, why be offended, unless one finds themselves in search of a crusade.

    to be honest, your receiving my words as you do, leaves me with a negative feeling as for your intentions. however i am old enough and mature enough to accept "whatever" from you, without becoming offended.

    michael, if you are reading this, there's more....

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 08:47:15

    here it comes, michael>

    as for some of my antics being comical: such as "posting part of your comment to me in the midst of your comments to Gene Murtha on the next page", michael this was a posting error. i have informed tinywords of this and i hope it will be corrected

    michael, i would have thought your first thoughts would have been along these lines, as there being an error somewhere, before your jumping to conclusion. mike, i gave others this benefit of the doubt, but i seem to have erred, at least in your case

    mike, i may be a bore - and you may grow weary, but why do read my words. or even take the time to respond to me

    a question for you, mike, do you take delight in boring reading and of that which you grow weary of

    michael, do you realize your usage of "my words" in responding to me. is this a subconscious form of flattery. if so, i thank you, sincerely

    however at this point i am concern you may find this being somewhat patronizing

    Michael L. Evans (trailermike at charter dot net)
    2003-07-30 17:16:01

    Following comment by Michael L. Evans:

    Bob - What do you think of this idea? I will
    try to remember to identify myself at the start
    of any comments I post - those not interested
    in reading what I have to say, then do not have
    to read any part of it to determine who it is.

    If you could return the favor - then I could just
    scroll through your comment, and your continued
    comment, and your follow-up comment, and your there is more comment, and your next comment ...
    until I finally get to someone elses thoughts,
    that I might have an interest in reading.

    bob richardson (orgbob at webtv dot net)
    2003-07-30 22:13:16

    you are incredible, michael. i do not have a problem reading your postings, regrettably you have a problem reading mine; whatever the solution, i am afraid you, michael, are going to have to find it on your own.
    this will probably go down in history as one of the shortest commentaries i have ever written,

    unless of course, if you, michael, choose to answer/respond/reply/ make mention/insinuate/indicate some remark seemingly addressed to me.
    before continuing, michael, please REREAD my words for a full understanding of what i am saying.