Pretty girl prances fast,
slipping past with high bright skirt,
the downcast glances.


5 thoughts on “HAIKU 18

  1. This haiku was prompted by a real experience. I watched an astonishingly pretty girl walk through a large crowd in Victoria station, London. It was almost painful watching how man after man coped with his visceral reaction to her in the knowledge that his feelings of attraction would not be requited. The use of ‘downcast’ here has a double meaning.

  2. I was also intrigued by the girl’s reaction or lack of it. She must have noticed the effect she was having because it was clear as day – it was like the parting of the red sea around her. But the game she had to play was to pretend not to notice and in particular not to make eye contact with anyone (either direct or sustained). And I wondered her role in this – so many women complain about unwanted reactions from men – and yet in this case she was dressed to evoke a reaction, surely she can’t have been naiive in this and If, at some level, she wanted a reaction then it must have been frustrating for her too not to feel safe enough or to have social permission to acknowledge the reaction.
    I would be interested to hear a female take on this phenomenon.

  3. The female mating show is very complex. Of course she can’t make eye contact because she doesn’t want to cope with the possible consequences; but, I assume that she is going somewhere where her appearance will be important perhaps meeting a relative, boyfriend, husband or group of women. By the way it may surprise you to learn that many women dress up more to show off to their female companions and ‘competition’ than for the opposite sex. I recall walking past building sites in my youth and hearing the ,gratifying perhaps, wolf whistles and knowing that I had to pretend that I didn’t notice. Perhaps I did this from embarrassment, but more probably fear, after all what consequences could evolve from this obvious animal attraction. Nowadays when I don’t get any such attention I’d probably turn and bow, or curtsy, feeling quite safe.

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