Monday, November 22, 2010

Query as haiku

Look what turned up in the mailbag this morning!

Recently, I read a fascinating comment about the query letter: "...because it is short, it's like the haiku of writing. It has to convey a vivid and memorable impression with as few words as possible."

What a wonderful image! And that sparked an idea. I looked over several haiku by Bashō, the famed Japanese poet of the Edo era, and tried to imagine which author might have used which haiku for one of their query letters. Here goes!

Nothing in the cry
of cicadas suggests they
are about to die

(James Patterson)

Wrapping dumplings in
bamboo leaves, with one finger
she tidies her hair

(Margaret Atwood)

A weathered skeleton
in windy fields of memory,
piercing like a knife

(The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold)

I would like to use
that scarecrow's tattered clothes
in this midnight frost 

(To be used by Neil Gaiman if he ever decides to re-imagine The Wizard of Oz)



Downith said...

The third one is bang on.

Josin L. McQuein said...

I wanna play :-D

Vampire or werewolf
Broody sparkler or shedding
Bella's choice to make


A girl with a bow
Made a political pawn
Competes for her life

(Hunger Games)

Cupboard to castle
His magic was a surprise
Scars deeper than skin

(Harry Potter)

Yes, I know I'm fat
You're a jerk, but still worthwhile
Don't call me The Duff

(The Duff)

Fawn Neun said...

I'm an Issa girl, myself.

Sarah W said...

His lack of feeling
Renders him invisible
To all but blind love

(Sean Ferrell)

wry wryter said...

Beginning to end
believe or not to believe
comfort if you do ?

(King James Version)

I never did this before.
Did I do it right?
Maybe I'm going to hell anyway.

jjdebenedictis said...

The shortest footsteps
Carried evil the farthest
To melt a tyrant

(Lord of the Rings)

Teri said...

Love it. So smart.

Kristin Laughtin said...

These are all quite lovely!

All the birds can say
"Poo-tee-weet" to war and time,
Unfightable as glaciers


The stars have gone out.
Earth is left to age as the
universe spins round.


Cave girl all alone
Amongst people not her own
Mother of mankind

(The Clan of the Cave Bear)

Elisabeth Black said...

I like those haikus!

Naomi Ruth said...

This idea is fantastic! I love it. :)

Heidi Willis said...

Those are hauntingly beautiful!!

And your commenters are pretty talented too! :)