Francine Porad has made a great difference in my
life. After collecting a shoebox full of rejection notes and returned
haiku, I was ready to throw in the towel. I knew that I was close
to "getting it," but I desperately needed direction. I
knew that my images were fresh and real and concrete, but I wasn't
building publishable haiku with them. Then I came across the Shiki
Haiku Salon on the Internet. Back then, the Shiki Salon Haiku Mailing
List was the only place one could go to receive feedback on haiku
efforts--and it was loaded with wonderful poets and teachers, as
well as with bright, new haiku talents.
I began posting some of my poems that I believed to be haiku. They
weren't very good. Some were laughable. Today I blush to remember
them. What the heck, most of the stuff posted to that list back
then wasn't very good. But we newbies were trying our wings and
we were learning in bits and pieces. After a while I submitted more
poems to journals. Close but no cigars. I became very frustrated.
Then one day I posted a few poems to the Shiki list, and Francine
replied to me. Trembling, I read her words. This kind woman whom
I had already come to revere opened a door for me, and I raced into
the sunlight of new knowledge.
Francine told me kindly but without sugarcoating what I was doing
wrong and why, and what I was doing right. She talked in specifics.
From that moment on, I was on fire with the determination to study
and write and learn all that I could about the art and craft of
haiku. Francine not only helped me learn to write better, she also
gave me guidance in submitting my work. Because of her generosity
in sharing her knowledge and advice, my own haiku spirit grew, and
I continued to study and write. Because of her encouragement, I
did not give up, and this brought positive sea changes to my life.
Thank you, Francine, my mentor and friend, with all my heart and
much, much love.
her joyful voice leads me
to the light