Happiness in an Arsenal Haiku

images (2)

Even when at the Grove

Sight of cold Clock

I long for Ars’nal 

This amateurish attempt at a haiku is inspired by a proper haiku from the award winning novel ‘The Narrow road to the deep north’ by Richard Flanagan:

‘Even in Kyoto

When I hear the Cuckoo

I long for Kyoto’

Haikus were introduced to me by fellow blogger Red Arse a few years ago. Redders and I are no champions of brevity but we both admire the art of it, and I cannot think of anything briefer and to the point than a good haiku. A haiku consists of seventeen ‘on’ or syllables (although some syllables count as more than one on), in three phrases of 5-7-5 on. For more info see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiku

There is something in the ‘Kyoto’ haiku that struck home with me (pun intended): the importance of the past: the cherishing and sheer longing for it.

If we were to detach Arsenal’s glorious mid-term and long-term past and just look at the here and now, we would be amongst the happiest football team supporters in the world: we won the FA Cup last year and are currently still in the competition; we constantly qualify for the CL and are currently still in it; we are in a good position to finish high in the league; we are financially sound and can now afford to buy one or two top quality players every season and keep our very best ones; we have a great reputation and a loyal, quality manager; we have some of the very best creative footballers on the planet; and we are homed in a sumptuous 60000-seater stadium in the heart of north London with hundreds of thousands – if not millions – supporters worldwide: many boxes of football fan heaven are surely ticked with these attributes?!

Yet there remains a feeling of dissatisfaction among many fellow Gooners, and I reckon this is to do with this longing for our glorious, romantic, mid and long term past. Or maybe, it is not so much to do with the glory and success of our beloved team, but simply a longing back for (a) great period(s) in our lives, which gets projected onto our team. In this respect, the here and now cannot compete with the past, as nothing is stronger than the dreamy, warm pull of nostalgia.

I have no doubt that nobody is feeling this pressure more, both intrinsically and extrinsically, as our always committed manager, Arsene Manager. As a human, he will have similar longings for the glorious, beautiful past; and as our manager he carries a lot of expectations on the shoulder-pats of his apparently un-zip-able coats.

WengerWincing (2)

We cannot detach ourselves from this past, and there is nothing wrong with cherishing it; but for our ‘here and now happiness’ we should really try to seize the day so much more, and bless our football socks for the club that we are today, in 2015.


Now let’s put that in a haiku! 🙂

 By TotalArsenal.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Happiness in an Arsenal Haiku

  1. AB says:

    Hi there HT! I don’t know much about Haiku, but I share your sentiment fully – we have so much to be grateful for, even if there is clear room for improvement; I’d be interested to know of the club (in the world) where the same does not apply!? So why do we spend so much time tearing our hair out over it rather than savouring it while we can?

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers AB, even though you only greet HT and not me, hahaha! 🙂

    Answer to your last question is not easy, but I reckon it has to do with the standards created in the past which feed our current expectations; and as 17HT will tell you, high expectations are a recipe for disappointment/loose hair in one’s hand.

  3. St. Henry says:

    We dream of our past
    don’t enjoy our present and
    ask why we’re unhappy


  4. St. Henry says:

    Great perspective TA! Fully agree. I suspect given the new TV deal we are only going to get more people who feel that buying a big name the instant we lose / draw a game is the path to success.

    I’ve just started reading the book “Pep Confidential” describing Pep’s first year at Bayern. At least in the early stages of the book I’ve come away with a greater appreciation of all pressures, worries, tasks facing a manager, and especially what Arsene has done. He may not end up ranking too high among the managers with the most trophies but when you discuss transformative managers he is right up there at the top. Quite interesting to also note the players that Pep thought would be successful at Bayern and how many are actually playing for Bayern now! 🙂

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Love that haiku, St H 🙂 And spot on!

    The Guardiola book sounds interesting. If you want you can do a review with some sort of link back to Arsenal/Arsene – if at all possible?

  6. steve says:

    We hide from the past
    Ashamed of its lineage
    Invincibles lost

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha Steve, nice and contrary! Well done. 🙂

  8. jnyc says:

    Excellent post. When we win the league next year, it may be Arsenes most satisfying achievement. We all will also enjoy a fun ride in the Champions League in the next few months.

  9. RA says:

    Reminds me of us in byegone days, Total. 🙂

    Arsenal on the pitch
    Happy fans singing
    In the cold Feb wind

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Same with me, Redders 🙂

    Love your haiku and nice touch with the seasonal reference! 🙂

  11. St. Henry says:

    TA – I think you have created a new style for match commentary – the Twaiku! (17 words only) 🙂 Cool Haikus Steve and RA! I’ll send you a write up on the book TA once I complete it. You can then decide what to do with it.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha St H, I like it. 🙂

    Look forward to the review as well. That would be great!

  13. AB says:

    TA! Apologies – and belated thanks to you! I’m not sure why I read that and ‘read it’ as HT, but somehow it just came that way! I even noted after reading it that it was unusually brief for HT – not a dig HT, as I appreciate the instant and the elaborate equally!

    As to raised expectations TA, yes for sure; we were treated to something really special around 15 years ago, and we will be measuring against that standard until we reach it again – I hope some of my hair survives the journey…..! But even at the time I remember there were complaints; too fancy, inconsistent in not being able to retain the title, not up for the fight on cold, wet away games against ‘primitive’ teams, and most of all, under-performing in Europe.

    The truth is we are seldom satisfied for long, when it comes to football at least, and our reference points go up swiftly, but down very slowly (imperceptibly even). Is football therefore providing us with some essential torture of the soul – we complain about it all the time, but would miss more than we can express if it were not there?!

    I need a drink…..

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    hahahaha ‘I need a drink’….. a while to go AB 😆

    Excellent point about supporters being unhappy about things back then as well. We tend to forget about that and over-romanticize the past.

  15. Gerry says:

    On that last note, here is my attempt at the deeper lying thinking that is ever present?

    Our team, so full of potential

    Disappointed with only glimpses

    Tomorrow renews hope …

    There is the cycle of a football fan.

  16. The Cockie Monster says:

    Thanks for all the BKers Valentines Day cards !…………………………try getting a woman, you fcuking filthy degenerates !……………….although VCC`s did make me laugh !…………………..

    “Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    I`ve enclosed my false teeth
    To suck on you !”

    VCC got one from his wife too !……………………………….

    “Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    The nuts on your Zimmer are rusty
    Lets have a trip to B and Q !”

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    Happy V-D, Cockie… 😀 You are (by far) the most romantic of all the Gooners I know… (Cue Arsenal lingerie photo montage)… Enjoy the day, as I’m sure all the BK wags will…

    Sorry, I’m late to the Haiku (and other poetry) theme… Things are busy–or at least tiring and time consuming around here… Nonetheless, TA, you have mail…and there’s a Haiku in it… I had to give it a go, what with the 17 syllable requirement…

    Anything fun happening in the cup matches or is there only one in the early time-slot? West Brom are all over West Ham in that one… 3 nil now…

  18. 17highburyterrace says:

    Time-slot, yep, Cockie, that what I said… You’ve probably slipped through a few of those over the years, in all your travels… 😀

    AB…You must’ve gotten tripped up by the 17 syllables TA mentioned…For me, of course, it’s not my preferred format. If you can say something in more words (than less, or more correctly, fewer…) why wouldn’t you?… On the other hand, maybe all you need is a whisky… 😀 With Valentine’s day here on the 14th, February is half done…

  19. 17highburyterrace says:

    “In this respect, the here and now cannot compete with the past, as nothing is stronger than the dreamy, warm pull of nostalgia.”

    As I attempt to troll for Mr. Monster, I’m surprised he’s let the above line (from the post) go unmentioned…

    West Brom is having a rather dreamy warm pull vs West Ham.. 4-nil and WHU down to 10…

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Cockie, thanks for looking after our wags all year long. 🙂

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Seventeenho, early bird. I will check in a bit. 🙂

  22. VCC says:

    Cockie…you crack me up…….lol

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Good start Vickers but we need more ‘on’ 😉

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    I hope to issue the preview at around 10.30 tonight. 🙂

  25. AB says:

    Hi there HT. I’m counting hard. Have you ever done a dry (caffeine free) month? Suspect that would be harder. Is this deja vu or have I asked you that before??

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, yep…driving to and then skiing got me out early today…Feels like summertime today and the snow conditions were like late Spring…

    AB, A very long time ago I once quite several vices all at once… The only thing tougher than the caffeine was the sugar…By comparison, alcohol (and smoking. but I was not a “big” smoker…) was nothing… No espresso in the morning (and no tea in the afternoon) would be a brutal couple of days but then a more boring (but likely more steady and healthful) life. What’s the point?… The worst bit about the alcohol, for me at least, are the empty calories…and the unspeakable things Cockie would do to my wife while I happily snoozed away on the couch. Otherwise, I say, I don’t have a problem…as long as I have my drugs (substances)…

    Re: football matters, Plenty of goals in today’s cup matches. Lotsa opportunity in this competition. Big match tomorrow…

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post New Post! 🙂

    17HT has produced a fine preview. 🙂

  28. AB says:

    Hi 17. Interesting. Smoking has been the hard one for me. I’m over 12 years now since my last drag, but I can’t imagine ever not missing them. If there were healthy cigarettes, I’d take them over alcohol, sugar, coffee, the lot. Sugar I didn’t find a problem at all to be honest. Alcohol, not a problem so far and I’m not sure ever will be, although I can get through a lot of whisky quite easily these days; but I find even one drink and I can feel it taking the edge off things the next day. I find after a dry month I naturally don’t seem to drink much for a while, and it takes about 6 months before I have to take any sort of active restraint.

    BK becomes the confessional/therapy couch! Has to be good for the soul – and serve as a distraction for the nerves as a potential banana skin approaches tomorrow. I’m worried about this game I confess…..

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