Two More Haikus

Haiku 4.

 

In the glass shower door

the light switch is a pendulum

and I have no reflection.

 

Haiku 5.

 

A small, round bauble

holds nothing inside itself

but the ache of snow.

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Haiku Poetry

Let’s start with the haiku! Haiku poetry is perfect for the first post of this project – usually only three lines long – it’s just enough to tickle the poetic tastebuds. I’m also hoping it will give you a good enough idea of what sort of blog this is actually going to be.

A brief online search will produce copious results informing you that traditional rules of haiku dictate that a haiku poem should have five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the final line. However, from my experience, give a poet a rule and they will try to bend or break it. I guess this comes with the territory! Many writers within the form sneak in a few extra syllables or lines here and there, thus creating a bit of wiggle-room within the once rigid structure of the style. Not all rules are meant to be broken though, and the original concept of haiku poetry has been retained, even by the most rebellious of haiku poets. At the very core of the form’s philosophy is the idea that a haiku poem should endeavour to use natural imagery to convey a single realisation or moment in time.

Sounds interesting, right? And I’m sure you’ve had enough of reading my thrilling (sarcasm doesn’t really work on here, does it?) take on the form. So, here are some inspiring examples of haiku poetry instead. I have picked some of my favourite poems to share with you. Let me know what you think of them, and if you have any favourite haikus to share with me.

 

6.

The falling snow flakes

Cannot blunt the hard aches nor

Match the steel stillness.

 

Part of ‘Haiku’

by Etheridge Knight

 

 

New Year’s Day—

everything is in blossom!

    I feel about average.

 

‘New Year’s Day’

by Kobayashi Issa

 

 

Sing sing little yellow blight rage rage against the dying of the

light

 

Last lines of ‘Twenty Five Haiku’

by Marilyn Chin

 

 

Happiness? Finding

your indestructible core;

leaving it alone.

 

Part of ‘Blue Octavo Haiku’

by Rachel Wetzsteon

 

 

There are countless other wonderful, profound, shocking, thought-provoking haikus that I could have also included here. However, I picked these four because, not only are they amazing poems, they illustrate a variety of approaches to the art of haiku. The first haiku by Etheridge Knight follows the original syllable rules and juxtaposes the natural image of snow with the vivid image of something manmade. The second poem, ‘New Year’s Day’ by one of the four masters of haiku, was originally written in Japanese. In translation the amount of syllables contained within each line has changed, but it is still one of the most famous examples of haiku poetry. The third example completely disregards the syllabic guidelines but still reads as an effective haiku, and the fourth piece conveys a moment of realisation for the voice of the poem. This is just a brief summary of each of the examples, but if you’re interested in learning more about them or the tradition of haiku poetry, here are a few useful links: rules for writing haiku, a large collection of haiku poetry and how to analyse a haiku poem.

 

These are three haikus that I have written after researching the form.

 

Haiku 1.

November leaves shake

like my hands at the keyboard.

Winter is waiting.

 

Haiku 2.

If the asterisk is a snowflake

the rest of your punctuation is a landslide

and I’m buried.

 

Haiku 3.

When the wolf is

in shadow

all you see are teeth.

 

I’m no haiku master, but I quite enjoyed writing those! Please share your own haikus with me and I would love to hear any feedback/advice/constructive criticism you have for my writing!

The Start of a New Project

I wasn’t sure how to start this post, other than to say that I write a lot of poetry that no one ever sees. It just sits in my documents folder doing nothing all day and I realised that if I want to improve my writing skills then I need to start sharing my poetry with other people. With that in mind, and with the goal of improving my writing, I am going to start a new project in which I challenge myself every other week to write at least two poems in a new (to me) style or form. I need to get out of my writing comfort zone and start experimenting!

Here is an example of the type of poetry I have been writing recently.

 

Disassembly

 

I found you in the deepest

recesses, hiding.

 

The walls are all ruins here.

The windows are metaphors,

 

and the complex island universe

behind your teeth

shatters.

 

Nothing moves us,

nothing moves

in this deepest ocean of time

 

where you disassemble the neurons of our consciousness

and fold me up

like flat-pack furniture.

 

This free verse poem is a perfect example of the loose structure and style in which I usually write. I would love to hear any feedback you have about this poem or any suggestions for different forms or styles of poetry that I should try writing next.