“The hay(na)ku is a tercet with the first line being one word, the second line being two words and the third line being three words.” The hay(na)ku sonnet is a form invented by Vince Gotera. “[It] is created through four hay(na)ku tercets plus an ending couplet with three words per line. The closing couplet is actually a hay(na)ku where the one-word line and the two-word line have been concatenated in order to end up with 14 lines.” (EILEEN R. TABIOS)
The format of this poem came in such a minimalist style. Sappho’s fragments are in a way minimalist, too. Poets, Sappho, and I are in quest of eternity. Our words want to speak against decay, but life is short. What an impasse!
Sapphic Search: a hay(na)ku sonnet
sun completely sets
as black hair
on her parchments
assemble as whole
Sappho searches for
shades of eternity
Ali Znaidi (b.1977) is a Tunisian poet, writer, and translator living in Redeyef, a mining town in southwest Tunisia. He is the author of several chapbooks, including Experimental Ruminations (Fowlpox Press, 2012), Moon’s Cloth Embroidered with Poems (Origami Poems Project, 2012), Bye, Donna Summer! (Fowlpox Press, 2014), Taste of the Edge (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014), Mathemaku x5 (Spacecraft Press, 2015), Austere Lights (Locofo Chaps: an imprint of Moria Books, 2017), Gazes of Wrath (Mount Analogue Press, 2017), and Against Darkness (Pen & Anvil Press, 2018). Follow him on Twitter @AliZnaidi.
Ali’s Book Recommendation
The First Hay(na)ku Anthology, Co-Edited by Jean Vengua and Mark Young (xPress(ed) & Meritage Press, respectively Espoo, Finland & San Francisco & St. Helena, CA, 2005).
Sappho Does Hay(na)ku, Scott Keeney (Deluxe Edition, January 1, 2008)