April 17 – Haiku Poetry Day

Standard

The humble haiku
Often overlooked because
Often they are crap 

And if you don’t believe me, here is an actual haiku someone thought was appropriate to publish (admittedly, published online…but still
‘My sheep hear My voice’ 
Christ did say, ‘and I know them 
and they follow Me’ 

Haikus…you’re doing them wrong. 
So beautiful, so deep, so inspiring…so…well, underwhelming. Haikus are a traditional form of Japanese poetry and are designed to be little windows into the world. They’re often inspired by nature and if done right can be quite beautiful. They are composed of three lines. In the first line there a 5 syllables, 7 in the second line and 5 in the third. I quite like this one, from unidentified poetry student (http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html
The last winter leaves
Clinging to the black branches
Explode into birds 

^ Now that’s nice. In order to write a good haiku (and by that I mean I haiku that captures the traditional beauty of haiku poetry) I decided to consult wikiHow (oh wikipedia, how I love thee). According to the omniscient wiki a haiku should juxtapose two ideas and should be able to be said in one breath. The subject is commonly the natural environment relating to the human condition. Basically, if you see something in nature and go “oh wow, look at that thing, isn’t it fabulous and touching!” that’s a pretty suitable subject. As far as language goes haikus more often that not include a seasonal word; for example the nice one above uses “winter”, while the one that is literally a passage from the Bible (No, really. John 10: 1-29) does not use anything of the sort. Haikus often use sensory language and (like you’ve never heard this from every writing teacher ever) uses “show don’t tell” language. And if you’re stuck, just remember:
Haikus are easy
They don’t have to make sense
Refrigerator. 

~ Darcie Rae

Info-links: 
wiki-how: http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-Poem 
The nice haiku example: http://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html 
Bad haiku: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/christ-s-sheep/ 
I didn’t use this but here is some serious haiku writing help: http://www.ahapoetry.com/haiartjr.htm 

 

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