Gavin Whyte

Screenwriter & Author

Quote – Sentimentality in Poetry

Even though I’ve written poetry for several years, I’ve never read up on it, nor have I studied it. But right now, I have to say, I’m fascinated with it, and it all started with the Japanese haiku.

You might have noticed I’ve written several of them already, and posted them on my blog. Since writing them, I’ve come to realise how so very off the mark I was in my understanding of what makes a haiku a haiku.

I’ve scheduled many haiku to be posted on my blog, right up until the end of Feb, and, to put it bluntly, most of them are not haiku at all(!)

But, I will keep them on my blog to show my error in understanding. They are still expressions of a moment after all, and, if anything, they show a writer’s growth (hopefully).

The book I’ve just finished reading is the fantastic Seeds from a Birch Tree by Clark Strand. The reason I’ve chosen to quote this specific paragraph is because it lit up a lightbulb in the dark room of my understanding of poetry.

“Sentimentality is self-conscious emotion. It happens when, in the midst of an emotion, we want to watch ourselves having that emotion. In such moments, the feeling turns too sweet. It becomes self-consciously precious or sad—in other words, something other than it is, if only to a degree.”


Thanks for reading.

It would be grand if you could Like & Follow.

Many blessings.


4 responses to “Quote – Sentimentality in Poetry”

  1. It takes courage to write…whatever…so please continue doing so…haiku must be one in an instant, according to Matsuo Basho…


    1. Thank you. Seeds from A Birch Tree explains really well how haiku are constructed, and mentions Basho quite frequently. I’ll continue to write them, and, who knows, maybe one day a good one will come out 🙂


      1. Each try is good enough…


      2. 😊 agreed


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About Me

I am a screenwriter and author of The Girl with the Green-Tinted Hair, Happiness & Honey and others.



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