Haiku Canada – Michael Dylan Welch sur les déjà-ku

 Extraits de la présentation de Michael Dylan Welch à Haiku Canada (Vancouver, 15 mai 2009).


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If I write spring moon

or mountain, is that

haiku plagiarism?

Billy Collins, She Was Just Seventeen,

(Lincoln, Illinois: Modern Haiku Press, 2006




“It may be true that everything

has already been said,

but it’s just as true that not everyone

has had a change to say it.”


Dobby Gibson, Polar (Alice James Books, 2005)


How we respond to déjà-ku, in all its forms, is something I believe haiku poets must grow into. Deja-ku are an occupational hazar of the haikupoet, but whether we are a potentional offender, or the offended, I believe it’s possible to find the right balance between being blasé and freaking out.  No doubt, an assessment will always depend on each individual poem, and will be a subjective reaction based on each person’s own comfort level with the type of deja-ku at hand – plagiarism, crytopmnesia, excess similarity, parody, homage, allusion, or simply having the same subject or season word.  — Michael Dylan Welch

Michael Dylan Welch collectionne les exemples de déjà-ku (haikus qui ressemblent à d’autres parus précédemment). 


Il nous présente quelques exemples de poèmes ayant d’étranges similitudes, soit à cause de l’emploi des mêmes mots ou de la même structure.




falling snow –

white envelopes drop

through the mail slot

Winona Baker, Even a stone breathes, 2000


scattered petals…

the thud of my books

in the book drop

Michael Dylan Welch, Frogpond 22.2, 1999


Allusion, Parodie et homage:


Even in Kyoto –

hearing the cuckoo’s cry –

I long for Kyoto



even in Paris

watching lovers in Paris

I miss Paris

Wendy Smith, Starfish #6, July 2001



longing for San Francisco

in San Francisco

Lane Parker, South by Southeast, 13.2 June 2006


Smells like plagiarism

(or is it Cryptomnesia: a “remembered” text, but without realizing that you’re remembering rather than creating it)


Winter solitude –

in a world of one color

the sound of wind



winter solitude

in a world of one color

the taste of peaches

Wendy Smith, Starfish #7, Winter 2002


Autre exemple:



than the wren himself

the wren’s joy

 John Wills, Reed Shadows, 1987


Carolina wren

its morning song larger

than itself

Yvonne Hardenbrook, Geppe, 1990s


(wren= poule)


Les participants discutent pour déterminer s’il s’agit de plagiat ou de coincidence. La salle est divisée.


PS Michael suggère de consulter également ce court article sur le sujet.


3 thoughts on “Haiku Canada – Michael Dylan Welch sur les déjà-ku

  1. Eh oui ! Moi aussi, je pourrais en ajouter et rajouter, des déjà-kus… et j’y figurerais autant comme “offended” qu’en tant qu'”offender” – jouant ce dernier rôle bien involontairement, j’espère seulement qu’on voudra me le croire ! Merci, Tessa, pour le résumé !

  2. Thanks for posting this summary. Obviously, there’s a lot more to deja-ku than can be covered here. I have a longer paper on this subject that I hope to publish sometime, but until then, there’s a shorter introductory article on deja-ku available at http://www.simplyhaiku.com/SHv2n4/features/Michael_Welch.html.Also, I’m always eager to see new examples of deja-ku, so people are welcome to send them to me, with publication credits where possible.Michael Dylan Welch (WelchM@aol.com)

  3. @MichaelDylanWelch – Hi Michael,Thanks for your reply and the link to the article. It will be much appreciated by the readers of this blog especially by Monika from the Groupe Haiku Montreal (http://www.xanga.com/MoHe) who was very interested in the subject and to whom I sent a copy of your handouts.As always, your session at the Haiku Canada weekend was very entertaining, informative and mind-opening.  I look forward to seeing you again at the HNA in Ottawa and hearing your next presentation.All the best.

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